Fantastic Ways to Give Your Photographs That Fine Touch

Fantastic Ways to Give Your Photographs That Fine Touch

Once I have transferred all the RAW files from my memory card to the computer, I just want to go play and open them in Adobe Lightroom.


For this project I decided to do a colour pop, with main subject in colour while the background is in black and white. These type of colour pop images can be done in Adobe Photoshop but I chose Lightroom for this project. The process is very simple and can be time consuming as with all editing projects, so lets explore how I completed this simple colour pop project. This technique is also called ‘Selective Colouring‘, some people use the name ‘Colour Pop‘ for short.

(EDITED: If you do not use RAW files, then you may need to use Photoshop for creating similar colour pop/selective colouring images. With RAW files, you maintain all of the colours detail and information from your DSLR; whereas with jpeg’s, they compress the colours and you loose a lot of editing capabilities.)

The two images below are one of the original photographs, the second one is of the edited version of the RAW files.

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When choosing photographs for this type of editing, I usually find that the photographs which have a strong colour theme. These can photographs with reds, greens or yellows are the best; as you can reduce the saturation of the other colours in the photograph during the editing process. However, before you start, it is always a good idea to create a copy as you would in Photoshop (just incase you make a mistake, you always go back and start again). Right click the selected image and create a ‘Virtual Copy‘, this after you have altered light and contrast adjustments as shown in the ‘Initial Changes‘ screen shot.

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All of these above images start off with the sliders, with the first image being the ‘Initial Changes‘ to the photograph.

The initial changes to the RAW file are displayed in the table below.

  Slider Name   Slider No#   Color Slider Name   Slider No#
  • Exposure
  • Contrast
  • Highlights
  • Shadows
  • Whites
  • Blacks
  • Vibrance
  • Saturation
  • +1.55
  • +26
  • -37
  • -17
  • -5
  • +40
  • +57
  • -25
  • Red
  • Orange
  • Yellow
  • Green
  • Aqua
  • Blue
  • Purple
  • Magenta
  • +36
  • +30
  • 0
  • -100
  • -100
  • -100
  • 0
  • 0

Although on the first image the sliders for Green, Aqua and Blue are set to zero; I did lower these all the way down as these help when brushing out all the other background colours.

As you can see with the images below, I have show how the editing has taken shape (The brush settings are listed  in the table below).

 Brush Settings  Slider No#
  • Temp
  • Tint
  • Saturation
  • +6
  • +20
  • -100

So you can see where you are applying the brush, you will need to tick the Auto Mask, which is located below the ‘Brush Size Slider‘, ‘Feather Slider‘ and the ‘Flow Slider‘.

Each New Brush will show up as a grey dot. When you need to apply new layer for area’s of colour still showing on the base image. Go back to the top beneath the ‘Brush Panel‘ and Click ‘New‘. This will utilise the current brush and allow you apply new a brush without changing all the brush layers you have already created.

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Final Touches: On the final touches screenshot, I have made the last of the adjustments to remove the last pieces of colour still showing through. The current Brush layer will show as a white border to a black dot. When you mouse over the dot, you can move the layer very slightly; however it best not to move the layer. This could cause your layer to show area’s of untouched colour, by over-lapping on to the area’s you are wanted to be touched.

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The overall time frame for this project is about 20-40 minutes, give or take a few minutes. The Final Image as completed.

Colour pop – 6672


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All Photo’s were taken with a Nikon Camera

Camera: Nikon D5300

Lens: Sigma 70-300mm DG

Settings: ISO200 | 300mm | ƒ/5.6 | 1/250’s

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John Milnes


  1. September 6, 2015 / 12:05 am

    What a great post, useful tips, thanks!
    Great photo too xx

    • JohnMilnes
      September 6, 2015 / 12:22 am

      This is one project that I felt I need to explain how I achieved the end result. It took a little longer than 1 hour, but the result was worth it in the end.


  2. Mel
    September 6, 2015 / 12:09 am

    Beautiful photo, made even more striking by your editing / the red of the flower against the grey background.

    • JohnMilnes
      September 6, 2015 / 12:19 am

      Thank you. I wanted to explain how I achieved the end result.


  3. September 6, 2015 / 12:10 am

    That final photo is just stunning – love the colour pop of the red of the flower against the monochrome background.

    • JohnMilnes
      September 6, 2015 / 12:20 am

      Thank you. It took a little longer than I hoped for, but the result was worth it in the end.


  4. Melody
    September 6, 2015 / 12:23 am

    I love the outcome of how the colour popped. 🙂

    • JohnMilnes
      September 6, 2015 / 12:31 am

      Thank you. I spent a little longer than 20 minutes but I achieved the desired effect.


    • JohnMilnes
      September 6, 2015 / 12:32 am

      Thank you. Photoshop is good for so many things. I do use Adobe Lightroom more than photoshop these days.


  5. September 6, 2015 / 2:56 am

    Love the final effect, it was worth the effort! Loved seeing how you did it too.

    • JohnMilnes
      September 6, 2015 / 8:24 am

      I realised that if I posted just an image, it would get comments, however I wanted to explain How I achieved the end result. I didn’t go too deep and the post got the reaction I hoped for.


  6. September 6, 2015 / 4:34 am

    Nice tutorial, I am going to bookmark this and return to it later. Very nice final image.

    • JohnMilnes
      September 6, 2015 / 8:37 am

      Thank you, if nee any help, let me know.


  7. September 6, 2015 / 5:19 am

    This is fab, ive been looking for a more advanced photo editing software and have been a little scared of trying Lightroom but your tutorial really explains it well. #mysundayphoto

    • JohnMilnes
      September 6, 2015 / 8:26 am

      Lightroom can look daunting at first, I just looked for tutorials on YouTube, that’s how I learned to crated this effect for the colour pop images.


  8. September 6, 2015 / 9:15 am

    I love creating photos using selective colouring. What a great post to talk through the process

    Thank you for linking up

    • JohnMilnes
      September 6, 2015 / 9:19 am

      Thank you. Rather than using some big words. I used the colour pop than using the standard “Selective Colouring’ terminology. As my audience grows, I will also use more of the technical names for my tutorials.


  9. chickenruby
    September 6, 2015 / 8:21 am

    wow that is fantastic, i’m going to save this page and see what i can come up with

    • JohnMilnes
      September 6, 2015 / 8:28 am

      If you need help, let me know. Keep practicing and you get the same results.


  10. September 6, 2015 / 9:48 am

    Amazing photo! Always wanted to have lightroom but cant afford it at the moment! I am shooting with raw files & jpeg just so when I finally have lightroom I can play with old photos that I took as well. #mysundayphoto

    • JohnMilnes
      September 6, 2015 / 2:00 pm

      Thank You.

      There is an adobe package for £8.45 per month. Word of advice, only shoot in RAW. If you shoot in both JPEG and RAW, you are taking up double the space on your SD Card.


  11. September 6, 2015 / 10:41 am

    I do like photos like this – they really do add to the effect of the flower. Great tips too. #mysundayphoto

    • JohnMilnes
      September 6, 2015 / 2:02 pm

      Thank you. I wanted to do something for this weekend.


  12. Emma T
    September 6, 2015 / 2:54 pm

    Great shot. But blimey that’s a lot of work for one photo.

    I’m naughty, I don’t shoot in RAW. I begrudge paying for storage, and my laptop is almost pull, my dropbox is full so needs clearing out, and with RAW I’d definitely need to pay for space. But I’d seriously have to cut down the number of photos I take for blog posts if I was to edit everything.

    What do you use for storage?

    • JohnMilnes
      September 6, 2015 / 6:54 pm

      Thanks for you comments. We have a Network WD Cloud Drive.
      It has 4 TB or storage, although I do have a lot of photographs on there.
      I do need to through and either reduce what I don’t want or just delete.

      They are not cheap but they just sit behind your internet router and anyone in your home can access it.


  13. Mommy's Little Princesses
    September 6, 2015 / 3:54 pm

    Yip this definitely does colour pop. Thanks for the useful information. Xx

    • JohnMilnes
      September 6, 2015 / 7:05 pm

      Thank you. I hope you gained something from the information I provided.


    • JohnMilnes
      September 7, 2015 / 12:52 am

      Lots of people have really like this photo and tutorial I did along side, explaining almost the step by step process.

      Thanks for commenting.


  14. September 6, 2015 / 9:34 pm

    It makes a real difference doesn’t it. I will have to read and inwardly digest this post! #MySundayPhoto

    • JohnMilnes
      September 7, 2015 / 12:31 am

      Thank you ever so much. I am glad I have written something that lots of people can come back to, time and again.

      If you need any help, just let me know.


    • JohnMilnes
      September 7, 2015 / 5:12 pm

      Thank you. After I uploaded the photograph for the world to see, I thought, why not explain how you did it. The response from those who left comments, just go show I did the right thing by turning it in to a ‘How To’ post.

      So I wrote how I did using Adobe Lightroom rather than Photoshop.


  15. September 8, 2015 / 8:43 pm

    What a fab post I hope I can remember even a tiny bit of it! Thasnk #pointshoot

    • JohnMilnes
      September 8, 2015 / 9:06 pm

      Thank you. This post generated a lot of interest, more than I ever hoped for.

      Thanks for commenting.


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