What is a popping picture? It’s basically making the pictures you took to have a nice, beautiful contrast between the main subject at the background. This ‘popping’ effect makes the picture looks vibrant and it basically tingles with the inner child in all of us that just loves colorful things. A photographer Kent cannot finish his pictures without these effects!
There are three ways to do this on Adobe Photoshop and more on other types of software, but we’re going to focus on Ps for today.
First is to add a curves layer. Curves is an easy way to control the contrast of the colors and there are four kinds of colors you can adjust: RGB as a whole or each of them separately. If you move the curves upward, it brightens the colors up and moving them downward darkens the colors instead. This is a great first step to emphasize color differences.
Working on the RGB as a whole is simpler, but if you want to be detailed, you can do this by moving the curves for red, green and blue separately.
Now, add a color balance layer on top of the picture. Color balance emphasizes colors depending on where you drag the scroll too. There are six colors you can work on: blue, red, magenta, green, cyan and yellow. You need to be careful when dragging the scroll because too much red will make the picture horrible and easily makes the sky looks like it’s raining blood. Unless that’s what you want.
There are three different stages of color balance: midtones, highlights, and shadows. The principle is for the shadows to go the opposite spectrum of what you did with midtones and highlights. This is will give a nice contrast between the background and the subject a photographer Kent is editing.
Midtones usually deal with the darker side, while highlights are the important parts if your subject has exposed skin or face. Red and yellow are the colors that skin pigments contain typically for most ethnicities.
The selective color layer increases color composition and helps mellows colors that are too vibrant. The rest of the layers are already emphasizing colors a lot. Selective color can fade the pictures out, or make it look popping, the ultimate move in here. There are 9 colors you can play around with, and to make it simple, adjust only the black and neutral colors.
Black refers to the shadowy part of the pictures. There are four sliders with each can be added or reduced from the color you are choosing. Dragging the black slider under that to the positive side increases the black composition while going left will fade the colors away. With neutral, you will affect the whole picture, so do it in moderation.
Then, push the selective color layer just above the picture’s layer. This way, you won’t see that much fading effect of the black, but it still mellows it down, so it doesn’t look too vibrant and painful.
That’s it! Follow this simple 3-step guide to get your picture popping like the professional photographer Kent, David Burke.