How to add colors to a picture in Photoshop?

The effects of colors on any image are clearly visible to all. The importance of adding vibrant colors to an image can never be overlooked at any cost. It’s the basic element which can capture the attention of the average viewer. With Photoshop you can add various color effects to your images.

Follow this step by step guide and learn how to add colors to a picture in Photoshop.


Step # 1 – Open an Image

In the first step, launch Adobe Photoshop, load an image and bring it on to the canvas.

Load an image

Step # 2 – The Levels Adjustment Filter

After loading the image, go to the “Image” menu, select “Adjustments” and click on the “Levels” option from the list. A new window will open which allows you to change the levels filter on any image. In this window, move over to the input levels and input the values “100”, “1.00” and “255” respectively. Now click on the “OK” button to apply these settings on the image.

Modifying the levels adjustment filter

Step # 3 – Adjusting the Saturation Level

Create a duplicate copy of this layer and rename the layer “Desaturated layer”. Now go to the “Image” menu, select “Adjustments” and click on the “Hue/Saturation” option from the list. In this window, decrease the “Saturation” value to “-80” and click on the “OK” button to apply these settings.

Adjusting the saturation

Step # 4 – Coming back to the levels adjustment filter

Go to the “Image” menu, select “Adjustments” and click on the “Levels” option from the list. In the level settings panel, set the values to “50”, “1.00” and “255” respectively. Once done, click on the “OK” button to apply these changes on the image.

Modifying the levels filter again

Step # 5 – Change the Blending Mode

Now select the “Desaturated” layer and change its blending mode to “Screen”.

Adjusting the blending mode

Step # 6 – Apply the Clouds Filter

Now insert a new layer and rename the layer to “Clouds layer”. Click on the “Foreground” color option and set its color by entering the color code “1F768C” in the color palette. Similarly enter the “Background” color code “62bdd3” in the color palette. After changing colors, go to the “Filter” menu, select “Render” and click on the “Clouds” filter from the list. Once the cloud filter is applied, change the blending mode of this layer to “Overlay”. This would add a bluish tone to the overall image.

Choose a clouds filter

Step # 7 – Applying the Lighting Effect

Press the “CTRL+SHIFT+ALT+E” key on the keyboard. This would merge all the layers in to a single layer. Rename the layer to “Final Effect”. Once done, go to the “Filter” menu, select “Render” and click on the “Lighting Effects” filter from the list. In the “Lighting Effects” filter window, adjust the lighting ellipse tool to create a light source emerging from the top right corner of the image. After adjusting these settings, click on the “OK” button to apply this filter on the image.

Using the lighting filter

Step # 8 – Adjusting the Brightness

After applying the Lighting filter, change the blending mode of this layer to “Lighter color” from the menu. Now go to the “Image” menu, select “Adjustments” and click on the “Brightness/Contrast” option from the list. In the “Brightness/Contrast” settings window, set the “Brightness” level to “50” and click on the “OK” button to apply it on the image. And that’s it.

Setting up the brightness