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Catching Rae

How to Use Photoshop to Analyze Your Colors

Did you know that you can use Photoshop (or other photo editing software) to get an information on your coloring? Here's how!

Value

Yesterday, we learned that color value shows you how much black or white is in your coloring. In Photoshop, select your face and hair - this doesn't have to be perfect. Then go to Image>Adjust>Levels. Don't DO anything, just look at the graph that pops up. The left hand side shows you how much black is in your overall look, and the left shows the same about white. The more you have on the EDGES, the brighter your look. The closer you are to CENTER, the deeper your look. In my example, it shows that I appear DARK, BRIGHT, and DEEP. 

Conversely, you can see how this blonde stock photo shows a model that has very little color information on the edges of her graph, and a lot more information on the white side of the graph. This shoes that she appears less bright than I do. She does, however, have some depth to her look, because of her dark hair and deeply colored eyes, eyebrows, lips, and lowlights. Her overall look is FAIR, SOFT, and a bit SHADED.

Saturation

If you want to help yourself get an idea about your saturation, select your face and some hair in Photoshop. Then choose the eyedropper tool to select your face color. Then double click on your foreground color icon. When the window pops up, choose the "S" radial button to show you saturation. 

In the vertical color bar to the right of the big rainbow square, you will see how much gray appears within your face selection based on the two little white arrows on either side of the vertical bar. Don't be alarmed by the gray! None of us want to walk around looking as orange as the very top color. 

You can also compare your saturation levels to those of a friend or stock photo to get an idea of your relative saturation. Compared to the previous stock photo, you can see how my features appear more saturated than the blonde, gray-eyed model. With this information, it totally makes sense that I'm dressed in bright green, and she's wearing a soft gray. 

One thing to remember when using these tools to evaluate color is to use a well-lit photo in natural light. Shadows and colored lights will distort your color information and give you an inaccurate result.

I hope that helps clarify a bit more on the subjects of Value and Saturation! Tomorrow, we'll discuss your Contrast and Texture so we can round out this week of self-image analysis. See you then!