Use SELECTIVE COLOR in Photoshop for Nature Photos with Vibrant Foliage

A lot goes into making landscape images that look as spectacular on the computer as they did through the viewfinder, and one common challenge is capturing foliage with realistic, vibrant colors.

For a variety of reasons, it’s often necessary to enlist Photoshop’s help to get the job done, and in today’s tutorial from the f/64 Academy you’ll learn why using the Selective Color tool is the best approach to take. The video below walks you through a step-by-step process that really works.

Instructor Blake Rudis explains why true yellow/green separation for foliage is a difficult task without the proper tools. He puts it like this: “ACR and Lightroom can only take you so close, and you need Photoshop’s Selective Color tool to go all the way.”

Rudis discusses why the color of foliage is often “brutalized” by the white balance of our cameras. In other words, they may be yellow and far from green. Alternately, the other side of the white balance spectrum can make foliage too blue, with the yellow “forgotten.” And that results in dull, washed out colors.

He then demonstrates why Selective Color is the secret sauce, explaining how this tool works, and demonstrating it in action with illustrative images. He says, “Every time I see a foliage image there’s something that’s missing missing.” And proper yellow/green separation is frequently the culprit.

Making the appropriate adjustments can be difficult and complicated, unless you turn to Photoshop’s Selective Color tool and follow Rudis’ advice. After a brief discussion about why this tool is so powerful, Rudis explains how to use the simple sliders involved.

Rudis also demonstrate4s how to precisely target foliage colors, and answers the question, “why yellow for green?” He even created a “foliage action” to help you get the job done.

Rudis’ YouTube channel is full of image-editing tutorials, so be sure to pay a visit after watching this video.

And don’t miss another video tutorial we posted, explaining how to create landscape photos with a unique, eye-catching look.