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Green to Gold - A tutorial: the photoshop fix for when the leaves just won't turn

Hey, You! Thanks for joining me :)

I’m Fraidy Shimon, owner of Peppermint Photography and The Editing Bootcamp, and I’ve created this tutorial to show you how very quick and easy it is to turn the colors of your leaves and background from green to gorgeous, jewel-toned fall foliage.


So two tips before you even get close to the computer… This is something you need to keep in mind when scouting the location for your session.

1) Avoid short green grass. It won’t fit the vibe you’re going for once you start changing colors. If there are leaves on the ground, that’s perfect, use that. Otherwise, try a forest floor (that’s usually loaded with leaves, right?), or a dirt trail, cobblestones, or tall, unkempt dried out grass or weeds. Those are all either much more pleasing to the composition, or a lot easier to change color of along with the top part of the background.

2) Try for creamy, blurred out backgrounds. This will make the color change much more believable and you won’t have to worry about masking out every little twig that shouldn’t be flaming red.

I’m gonna turn this over to the screen so you can watch as I work.

Here’s the image I’ll be working on. You’ll see that It’s a close-up and pretty blurred out, so I don’t have to worry about the floor or background at all.

You might want to work along with me as I do this, so choose a similar image and open it in either LR or camera raw.

The first thing we want to do is get to the HSL sliders. Slide the green over to yellow and the yellow to orange. Look at how much better that looks, already!

Depending on your image, that might be all the push it needs. You can also play around with the saturation sliders for red, orange, yellow and green and move those up and down to experiment with different looks and see what works for your image.

When you're satisfied with how your image edit looks, you can sync the color across all other edits in your set of photos.

Now ctrl+E (cmd+E for mac) to open this in Photoshop. If you’re working out of camera raw, you can just click open.

Create a new solid color layer, pick a nice red or orange or mustard that’ll work well with leaves, and then change the blending mode to soft light.

Once it’s on soft light, you can also click back into the color to adjust. Click on the mask thumbnail and ctrl+I to invert the mask.

Now with a soft white brush, start painting in the areas you want a brighter burst of color on.

For a more natural look, you can layer a couple of solid color layers like this with different colors in different areas.

All done, there you go!

I hope you liked this tutorial and that it was helpful to you! Please share it with friends who can use it, too! Sharing is caring :)

And if you’d like to see more photography tips and editing tutorials like this one, make sure you’re subscribed to my email list and follow my stories on Instagram @peppermintphotography.


Bye for now, see you next time!



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