Film color grading tutorial

Adjust shadow saturation.

Often there is a need to de-saturate only shadow areas of a picture. This need is caused by human eye having natural tendency to see less saturation in the dark. Several tutorials already exist on the Internet but here is the most straightforward way to do it in Adobe Photoshop.

1 Duplicate Background layer.

Layer > Duplicate Layer...

2 Make a selection for the shadow areas.

Select > Color Range...

3 From the palette drop down menu select shadows.

Select: Shadows (OK)

4 In Layers palette make sure the upper copied layer is active.

5 Make a layer mask from the selected shadows.

Select > Save selection...

6 In the palette from drop down menu Channel: select Background copy Mask (OK).

7 Adjust saturation and check that the adjustment works only on shadow areas.

With these few simple steps it is possible to first de-saturate shadows and after that boost overall saturation for film-like results.

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