The Selective Color Adjustment panel itself is has 9 different colour channels – Reds, Yellows, Greens, Cyans, Blues, Magentas, Whites, Neutrals and Blacks; each of these have Cyan, Magenta, Yellow & Black colour channel adjustments that allow you to add and subtract colour values to that channel.
Relative takes the value of the color tone in the image, and changes it by a percentage of the tonal percentage, whereas Absolute, changes the tone by adding the percentage directly to the tonal percentage. For the sake of simplicity, just think of Relative being a much more subtle option to use, and Absolute being far more dramatic in it’s adjustments.
Typical uses are:
- To tone down a vivid blue sky – adjust the Cyan and Blue color channels.
- Make greens look green – select Yellow and reduce magenta.
- With portraits – Use Neutrals to help with toning skin colours.
The Selective Colouring technique is a great way to tone your images and allows you
to take a very broad approach in your artistic interpretation – have fun, experiment
with it, use it subtlety or take it to the extremes – there is no right or wrong approach.