Color Grading in Photoshop using Adobe Color Themes

One of my favorite tools in Photoshop is  Adobe Color Themes.  It is a neat little extension that helps you build color palettes around a central color that you have in mind.  It can be very helpful in any sort of design work (which I usually need a lot of help with).

Adobe Color Themes has replaced the Kuler Extension found in CS 6.  If you are looking for Kuler in CC you won’t find it, you’ll see Color Themes instead.  Likewise, if you are looking for Color Themes in CS6, you won’t find it, it is called Kuler in CS6.  Either way, the functionality is the same.

Adobe Color Themes is basically a Color Theory engine.  You can select a color and make a color palette based on your desired outcome.  From finding the perfect complimentary color to your desired color to making analagous, monochromatic, and triadic palettes, it can all be done fast in Color Themes.

Before you discredit this extension for photographers and place it only in the designer’s belt, I want you to think about its application for Color Grading your photos using Gradient Maps.  I have talked about Color Grading with Gradient Maps before on f.64  Academy, but Adobe Color Themes takes it to a new level of awesome!

In today’s tutorial, I will show you how to do some awesome color grading with Adobe Color Themes that makes designing Gradients a breeze!  We will discuss three ways that I use it to make my color grading decisions:

  1.  Using Color Themes to replace the brush palette colors to make instant gradients,.
  2. Applying a color palette to your Swatches to be used in design work and making gradients with the selective eye dropper
  3. Taking a screenshot of several palettes and using the eye dropper in the Gradient Map to make many gradients with speed and efficiency.

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Blake Rudis
f.64 Academy and f.64 Elite are the brainchildren of Blake Rudis. While he is a landscape photographer, he is most passionate about post-processing images in Photoshop and mentoring others.

For Blake, it's all about the art and process synergy. He dives deep into complex topics and makes them easy to understand through his outside-the-box thinking so that you can use these tricks in your workflow today!
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