Intro

Colour is an emotional medium. It works on both primeval and cultural levels to identify feelings, causes, movements and styles. Apps like Instagram recolour images to give them associations that they didn’t previously have – warmer images, for example, seem happier. 

Photoshop’s Curves adjustments works in a similar way, by mediating between the light that comes through the lens and the final image. In this tutorial, leading urban sports photographer Chris Hill-Scott will show you how careful use of this adjustment can make an image look closer to the original scene, and how you can creatively modify its colour to give it a different feeling. 

This tutorial will use a promo shot of London-based band Kids Love Lies. You’ll learn to bring depth and richness to the shadows, and warmth to the skin tones of the band members for a look reminiscent of old slide film.

In the project files, you’ll find both the original photo and Chris’ final layered PSD for reference.

Time to complete

20 minutes

Tools

Photoshop

Project files

Files for this tutorial are downloadable from here