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How to Change the Color of an Image in Photoshop

Final product image
What You'll Be Creating

Help spread awareness for Spirit Day and 'go purple' by learning how to change the color of an image in Photoshop. Turning your own photos and profile pictures purple on social media is a great way to support LGBTQ youth and to stand up against LGBTQ bullying. 

Follow along with us over on our Envato Tuts+ YouTube channel:

What You'll Learn in This Photoshop Tutorial

  • How to change the color of an image in Photoshop
  • How to change the color of part of an image such as a piece of clothing
  • How to create a Photoshop action to turn your images purple quickly and easily

What You'll Need

To learn how to how to change the color of something in Photoshop, you can either use your own photo or download this one to follow the tutorial exactly:

You can use this photo to follow along with the tutorial. Find more resources on Envato Elements!

1. How to Create a Photoshop Action

Step 1

Let's get started by opening your image in Photoshop. To do this, simply go to File > Open and then select the photograph you want to use for the tutorial.

Photograph

Step 2

With your image open, you are now ready to start creating your Photoshop action to change the color of an image. Once the action has been completed, it will allow you to turn any photo or image purple quickly and easily with just a click of a button!

Navigate to the Actions panel or go to Window > Actions. Click on the Create New Action button in the Actions panel. 

Create new action

Step 3

Once you've clicked on the Create New Action button, you'll be prompted to fill in a few options first. These settings can be useful when creating your new Photoshop action and can help you identify it more quickly.

  • Name: Choose a suitable name for the action. For this example, we'll name the action "Spirit Day".
  • Action Set: Choose default.
  • Function Key: This allows you to map an action to a keyboard key so that when you press that button it will perform the action (for example, F3).
  • Color: You can assign a color to the action to help you identify it quickly.
Name Photoshop action

Step 4

Once you are happy with the initial action settings, you can click on the Record button. After you click on this button, everything that you do in Photoshop will be recorded as part of the action. The small button on the Actions panel will also change to a red dot to let you know that you are recording.

Record new Photoshop action

2. How to Change the Color of an Image Using a Gradient Map

Step 1

Now that we are recording and that our Photoshop action is set up, it's time to start editing our photo and see how to change the color of an image in Photoshop. In the bottom left of the Layers Panel, click on the Create New Fill or Adjustment Layer button. Then choose Gradient Map.

Create gradient map

Step 2

This will create a new Gradient Map layer above your original photo layer.

Gradient map layer

Step 3

You’ll also have noticed that the color of your photograph has already changed according to whatever default gradient it has been set to. 

Gradient map applied to photo

Step 4

To change the color of the image gradient, let's click on the Gradient Bar in the Properties panel.

Click on the gradient bar

Step 5

This will open up the Gradient Editor. The Gradient Editor will allow you to change the color of the image gradient. Select the first color stop and set its location to 4%.

Change its color to #14071b.

First color stop

Step 6

Now create a second color stop by clicking at the bottom of the Gradient Bar when your cursor turns into a hand.

Set the location to 48% and the color to #5c277b.

Second color stop

Step 7

Create a third color stop and set the location to 60% and the color to #8a2e83.

Third color stop

Step 8

And with the last color stop, set the location to 98% and the color to #be8cba.

Fourth color stop

Now you’ll see that your photograph has successfully changed its color. Now let’s add a few more layers to make the color really stand out! 

3. How to Enhance the Color of an Image

Step 1

Click on the Create New Fill or Adjustment Layer button again and choose Vibrance. 

Create vibrance layer

Step 2

This will create a new Vibrance layer above the Gradient Map layer.

Make sure the Vibrance layer is selected and then in the Properties panel set the Vibrance to 40 and the Saturation to 5. 

Adjust the vibrance layer

Step 3

Click on the Create New Fill or Adjustment Layer button again and choose Photo Filter.

Create a new photo filter

Step 4

This will create a new Photo Filter layer above the Vibrance layer. 

Make sure the Photo Filter layer is selected and in the Properties panel choose a Magenta Filter and a Density of 15%.

Choose magenta filter

Step 5

In the Layers panel, create a new layer and use the Paint Bucket Tool (G) with a color of #5c277b to fill the layer in purple.

Use the paint bucket tool

Step 6

Change the Opacity of the fill layer to 10–15% and then change the Blend Mode to Color.

Change the blend mode and opacity

4. How to Finish a Photoshop Action

Step 1

To finish your Photoshop action, simply go to the Actions panel again, and click on the Stop Button to finalize your Spirit Day action.

Stop the action recording

Step 2

With the action completed, it’s really easy to change the color of any photograph. 

Simply open the photo you want to use, choose the Spirit Day action you created, and press the Play Button.  

Play the Photoshop action

5. How to Change the Color of Part of an Image

Step 1

We can also change part of an image (like a piece of clothing) to the color purple. To do this select the Quick Selection Tool (W) and then carefully select the area of the image you want to change the color of (for example, the yellow raincoat).

Select the coat area

Step 2

Once that's done, press Control-C to copy the selection. Then Control-Shift-V to paste it in the same place. 

Paste the selection

Step 3

Now we have a separate layer containing your selection. With the new layer selected, go to Image > Adjustments > Hue/Saturation.

Choose hue saturation

Step 4

Now we can simply use the Hue Slider to change the color of the layer.

Adjust the hue slider

With the coat on a separate layer, you can easily compare the two colors by switching the layer on and off.

Change the color of the coat

Awesome! You're Finished!

Congratulations! And that's how to change the color of something in Photoshop. Feel free to share your own creations to show your support for Spirit Day below! The great thing about actions is that you can use them to repeat the effect on another image.

I hope you found this tutorial helpful and that you've learned some new tips and tricks that you can use for your own projects. See you next time!

change the color of a photo

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