Sunday, 23 January 2011

Preview photographic colour variations in Photoshop

The link below is a video on 'smart objects' in Photoshop – skip it to 43:00 mins and you'll find a really useful way of seeing what one of your photographs might look under different colour conditions.

Basically, you can set up a file in Photoshop that acts as a template into which you can 'drop' any photograph you have and see lots of variations of it. The number of variations is up to you – after all, you set them up. The way the photograph varies is also up to what adjustments you choose – but colour adjustments are the main options.

I followed the video to create a template for lots of different black and white filters on a photo of of mine. The differences can sometimes be very subtle, but you'll find some great results – like the second one in from the left (top row). It has a really good wide range of tones and not too harsh a contrast. Photoshop does offer predefined variations but they're very basic and you don't get much control over them so this is the way to go.


  1. oooh, very cool! is this for cs5? i really need to update at home, im stuck on cs3.

  2. Oh dear, well suggest it as a valentine's gift to your bf - it's only . . . a thousand quid or so . . . Eeek.

    Congrats to you on your engagement by the way.

    Anyway, lots of CS3 vids here if you're interested:


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