Changing seasons

Without wanting to wish away the summer, follow this simple guide to give your images amber autumnal tones ahead of their time…

JORDAN BUTTERS: The grass is always greener on the other side, right? As photographers we often find ourselves looking forward to the change of seasons purely because they offer an exciting change in the mood and tones of familiar landscapes.

Winter offers the opportunity for crisp, frosty scenic sand chilly mist-blanketed vistas, spring brings forth new life, growth and vivid colours as flowers start to bloom and summer offers blue skies (when we get them!), green foliage and long days with plenty of shooting opportunities. As summer gives way to autumn we say goodbye to lush foliage and blue skies and enter a period where burnt ambers and yellows dominate our woodland and countryside. It’s a wonderfully photogenic time of year that I personally can’t wait for! Fortunately, Photoshop Elements offers the next best thing — if you’re the impatient type, like me, then this quick and simple tutorial allows you to transform a spring or summer woodland image into one with all of the telltale signs of early autumnal bliss.

1 Add an Adjustment Layer

Go to Layer> New Adjustment Layer>Hue/Saturation to create a new Adjustment Layer. In the Adjustments palette, select the Yellows channel from the drop-down menu and make sure that Colorize is left unchecked. Slide the Hue slider to the left slowly to adjust the colour of the foliage.

2 Tweak the Greens

Judge the effect by eye, until the leaves are rendered a realistic shade of amber. You may need to select the Greens channel and adjust the Hue of this channel slightly, too — don’t worry too much at this stage if areas of the image are too red, we’ll fix this in the next step.

3 Fine-tune the effect

At the bottom of the Adjustments palette you’ll notice a colour scale with four small tabs on it. With the Yellows channel active, drag the left-most tab to the right slightly to reduce the amount of red. Adjust the inner-left tab, too, if required. Tweak the Hue slider while doing this to perfect the effect.

4 Mask unwanted areas

Some parts of your image may have taken on an unnatural hue. Select the Brush Tool and set Black as your Foreground Color. Choose a soft-edged brush at mid-opacity and brush to restore the original colour. Change your Foreground Color to White and brush to add the adjustment back in.

5 Finish with a filter

Go to Layer>New Adjustment Layer>Photo Filter. In the

Adjustments palette, select one of the preset Warming Filters to apply to your image -I’ve chosen Warming Filter (85). The effect of this filter will be subtle, but its purpose is to tie in all of the tones in the image for a realistic finish.

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