Adjusting Saturation for Individual Colors


Today’s Question: In Lightroom Classic it’s possible to adjust the level of saturation of specific color channels individually. Is there a way to accomplish the same thing in Camera Raw and/or Photoshop?

Tim’s Quick Answer: Yes, you can use the same sliders found under “HSL” in Lightroom Classic in the “Color Mixer” section in Camera Raw, including within Photoshop using the Camera Raw filter. You can apply similar adjustments with a little more control using a Hue/Saturation adjustment in Photoshop.

More Detail: The Develop module in Lightroom Classic uses the exact same adjustments as Camera Raw in Photoshop, with some minor differences in the interface and the names of the adjustments. This makes Lightroom Classic and Camera Raw (as well as the “cloud” version of Lightroom) interchangeable in terms of applying adjustments. Note, by the way, that the Camera Raw adjustments can be applied to an image within Photoshop by selecting Filter > Camera Raw Filter from the menu. The ability to use Camera Raw as a filter in Photoshop makes it possible for Lightroom Classic users to make use of familiar adjustments after having sent an image from Lightroom Classic to Photoshop.

The HSL (Hue, Saturation, and Luminance) adjustments in Lightroom Classic are found under the “Color Mixer” heading in Camera Raw. The sliders are still arranged in groups for Hue, Saturation, and Luminance, with individual sliders for the various color channels, such as Reds, Oranges, and Yellows.

In addition, in Photoshop you can use a Hue/Saturation adjustment to apply similar changes to color ranges, but with greater control. If you add a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer, for example, you can select a primary color from the channel popup (which has a default value of “Master” representing the full image). You can then adjust the Hue, Saturation, and Lightness sliders to alter the selected color range. Even better, you can use the controls between the gradients below the sliders to alter the definition of the color range you are working on. For example, after selecting the Blues channel you can expand the range of colors being affected to include cyan in addition to blue.