If you’ve ever tried to take a photo of an amazing sight, only to see that the colors didn’t turn out quite like you remembered, you are not alone. Even in cases where you’re capturing a breathtaking sunset in just the right lighting, the hues can end up looking washed out, desaturated, and dull. Although cameras are amazing pieces of technology, they still are not able to capture and process colors the way our eyes are able to.
Although you might feel deflated in that situation, we’ve got some news that’s going to turn it all around - you can edit the color in your images to be as captivating as you imagined. All it takes is the right photo editing tool for the job: the Color tool in BeFunky’s Photo Editor. With it, you have total control over the tonal balance of your images, whether you want eye-catching hues, muted tones, or anything in between. Best of all, it’s intuitive and easy to use, making the Color tool a super quick way to get the look you’re going for with any kind of photo.
Tools For Color Correcting And Enhancing Image Color
The chances of achieving perfect image color with your camera alone is slim. If you had a sneak peek into any photographer’s photo editing process you’ll see that the before and after images tell the story of how color perfection is created with photo editing tools, not captured instantly.
In the photo editing process, the term “color” means more than just depicting the colors of a rainbow. Rather, color is actually comprised of saturation, temperature, and hue and the relationship between the three of them. These three elements of color work in harmony to help you get the right tonal balance for your images, and BeFunky's Color tool lets you edit each of them individually:
Color saturation refers to the intensity of the colors in your images. It plays a huge role in your photographic style, and can change the mood of a photo very quickly. For example, some photographers prefer to desaturate their images, meaning they go for a more muted color palette in their imagery. Desaturating colors can make a scene look more moody and emotional. On the contrary, some photographers prefer to add intensity to the colors in their images. This can be important for emphasising color as the main focal point in the image.
It’s important to note that when it comes to saturation, slight adjustments are better than drastic ones. Colors can become very muddied (undersaturated) or shockingly bright (oversaturated) very quickly. Make sure that your adjustments are slight and look natural, whether you’re going for a moodier look or a more colorful one.
Temperature refers to the coolness or warmth of a photo. Because of a camera’s limitation even in superb lighting situations, photos can come out cooler or warmer than expected. Adjusting the temperature of your images is a quick way to give your them some life and transform dull photos into something warm and buttery or cool and muted.
It’s important to note that when adjusting temperature, making a photo cooler will add more blue and green tones to the overall image, while making a photo warmer will add more yellow and brown tones. It is possible to overdo it when it comes to temperature, so make sure that changes made are slight to make your photo look more balanced temperature-wise.
Hue is the most sensitive of the three when it comes to achieving perfect tonal balance. Adjusting it too much can easily lead to a unrealistically technicolor. You’ll see that the slider in BeFunky’s Color tool is marked with a rainbow of color, but when adjusting the slider, the color you land on will do the opposite on the color wheel to the hues in your image. For example, sliding the scale to the green range will produce more purples in your image, the red range will give you more blues, and so on.
The Hue scale can be great if you’re wanting dramatically different colors, and also slight changes can correct the colors in your image. To create more balance, it’s best used in slight increments or in Paint Mode, so you can selectively edit the colors in your photo rather than as a whole. Just look at how the Hue tool changed the background colors of this image (we used Paint Mode to ensure that the colors of the hand and coffee cup were not altered):
There’s a whole lot that goes into editing image color, but the process doesn’t have to be intimidating. With this background info in mind, we’ll show you how to adjust each of these sliders in BeFunky’s Color tool so you can see them in action.
How To Use The Color Tool
When you’re ready for a little color editing fun, upload an image into BeFunky’s Photo Editor using the Open tab at the top of the screen, or simply dragging-and-dropping your image into the interface. Then click on Color in the Edit menu on the left to open the Color tool.
Once you’ve opened the Color tool, you’ll see three sliders for Hue, Saturation, and Temperature. Simply adjust each slider while watching the colors and tones shift on your photo. Editing is a lot about what you see and feel. Over time, you will start to notice what color style you tend to lean towards when editing a photo.
First, let’s talk about Temperature. When decreasing the Temperature (sliding it toward the blue scale), the overall image becomes more blue in tone, making for a colder look. This can be particularly handy when your photo is overly warm, or if the coldness of the image represents the emotion you are intending to evoke.
The opposite is true when increasing the Temperature. Sliding it toward the yellow hues will make your photo look more warm by adding brown and yellow tones. This can be handy when your photo is overly cold in tone, or if you’re going for a warmer look in your photography.
Next, the Saturation slider controls the intensity of the colors in your image. Remember that slight increases are key with this one, because when you increase the Saturation slider too much it can quickly lead to oversaturation and make the colors clip. You’ll know this has happened when your greens, oranges, and reds look neon.
When decreasing the Saturation slider, the colors in your photo will become more muted as the color gets drained from the photo. This is fine when you’re going for more muted colors in your overall photo, but notice that decreasing the Saturation slider too much will give you a black and white image. You’ll need to play around with this slider to create a balanced look where the colors look well-saturated, yet realistic.
Lastly, Hue controls the actual color spectrum of your image. When you drag the slider across the entire rainbow spectrum, you’ll see that the colors are dramatically changed depending on which part of the spectrum you land on. This is a great slider to use if you’re looking to manipulate the color of the objects of your photos in a dramatic way. In this case, we love how the Hue adjustment makes our mountain scene look, but the skin tone of the model in the photo looks completely unrealistic. We’ll fix that next.
The Hue slider can be a powerful color correcting tool when it’s used in Paint Mode, especially in cases like this where we want to keep the model looking realistic while making dramatic changes to the hues in the background. Clicking the Paint tab next to Adjust will let you selectively edit the color of the objects in your image. When the Paint tab is opened, make the necessary adjustments to Brush Size and Brush Hardness (less hardness will make the edges of the areas you paint softer and less apparent) and use your mouse to click and drag over the areas you want. We’ve painted over the areas of exposed skin in this image.
Next, click back over to the Adjust tab and make subtle adjustments to Hue, Temperature, and Saturation to bring the painted areas back into balance. This way, we’re able to adjust the color of the model’s skin tone without altering the color edits we’ve made to the rest of the image.
When you’re finished editing the colors in your image and they look exactly the way you want, click the blue checkmark to apply the edits. From here, you can keep on editing with other tools in our Photo Editor, or use the Save button at the top of the screen to save your image.
Before And After
The Color tool can easily help you maintain the integrity of your photo by creating harmony between saturation, temperature, and hue. It can also make colors stand out in the way you’re imagining. Just look at how one session with the Color tool can drastically change the overall photo:
The cool thing about BeFunky’s Photo Editor is that the Color tool is just one of many tools we’ve created to help you edit colors! If you want to do some further experimentation with the colors in your images, try using our Vibrance tool and Vibrant Colors DLX to see how easy it is to get the hues you’re craving in one click. You’ll never have to be frustrated with image color again!