Applying adjustments to colors is a powerful way photographers control the mood and feel of their photos. Exposure provides a broad spectrum of tools for manipulating image colors. Many of these features are found within the Color panel. The article below is a guide for working with the Color panel tools in Exposure.

The Color Panel

The Color panel is located in the lower quadrant on the right side of the screen. The default interface configuration of Exposure has it placed between the Detail and Tone Curve panels. Learn more about configuring the arrangement of the workspace in this user guide.

Exposure user interface. Color panel disclosed. All images © Craig MacPhee

A – Color Filter

The tools in the top section apply color adjustments to the entire image.

B – Detailed Adjustments

In the lower section are controls are for making targeted adjustments to areas with a selected color hue, saturation, and luminance.


Color Filter

This group of tools simulate the effects of shooting through a colored filter mounted on the end of the lens. Color filters like these are frequently used in black and white photography, where they enhance brightness or contrast in a selection of tones.

The Color Panel in Exposure. Color Filter section.

1 – Preset Dropdown

Click to browse and apply customizable color filter presets that only use the Color Filter controls.

2 – Menu Button

Save, Delete, and Rename presets.

3 – Density

Control the intensity of the color filter settings applied to the image. The density amount must be set greater than zero to enable the Color slider.

4 – Color

Control the hue of the applied filter. Click the color chip on the right to access advanced controls for selecting the filter color.

5 – Cool/Warm

Add a creative warming or cooling effect to the entire image.

6 – Preserve Brightness

Prevent the applied color filter settings from lowering the overall image brightness as an analog filter would.


Detailed Adjustments

The Detailed Adjustments tools provide fine control over eight different color ranges in the image. They enable you to manipulate aspects such as the hue, saturation amount, and brightness of each color.

Detailed Adjustments section of the Color panel.

1 – Preset Dropdown

Click to browse and apply customizable color filter presets that only use the Detailed Adjustment controls.

2 – Group By

Arrange the color controls in groups by type or by color. HSL option selected in the image above.

3 – Hue

Adjust the color balance of each hue. For example reds can be made to appear more orange or more magenta.

4 – Saturation

Control the strength of each color tone.

5 – Luminance

Set brightness of each color.

6 – Menu Button

Save, Delete, and Rename presets.

7 – Compact

Enables a more compact layout for the detailed adjustments. Controls may be grouped by either HSL or Color.

8 – Targeted Adjustment

Select, then click a color sample in the image to apply adjustments. Exposure adjusts matching colors over the entire image as the mouse moves up or down.


Hue

The Hue sliders shift the tones in your photo. This provides detailed control over each of the eight tones available individually. For in-between color hues, use the Targeted Adjustment tool to tweak several sliders simultaneously.

Detailed Adjustments section of the Color panel. Hue controls displayed.

1 – Hue disclosure

Close or open this set of controls.

2 – Hue Color sliders

Adjust balance of each color hue to the adjacent one on the color wheel.

3 – Targeted Hue Adjustment

Click this and select a color sample in the image to apply adjustments. Drag the mouse up and down to adjust the tones selected in the sample. This may adjust numerous sliders at once.

The hues have been modified in this image to give pop to the flowering bushes. Notice the improved color contrast between the leaves and blossoms on the left side.

Saturation

The Saturation controls apply in increase or decrease to boost or subdue specific colors.

The color Saturation controls in Exposure. Note the sliders are displayed in this arrangement when grouped by HSL.

1 – Saturation disclosure

Close or open this set of controls.

2 – Saturation Color sliders

Adjust saturation value of individual colors. Note the color of each slider displays a visual hint for the saturation value at that range.

3 – Saturation Tone sliders

Edit the saturation of the shadows, midtones, or highlight values of the image regardless of color.

4 – Targeted Saturation Adjustment

Use this to select a color sample in the image to apply saturation adjustments. Drag the mouse up and down to adjust all the color tone sliders selected in the sample.

Luminance

Luminance determines the bright or dark quality of each color.

The color Luminance controls in Exposure.

1 – Luminance disclosure

Close or open this set of controls.

2 – Color Luminance sliders

Adjust brightness of individual colors. Note the color of each slider displays a visual of the luminance value at that range.

3 – Targeted Luminance Adjustment

Use this to select a color sample in the image to apply saturation adjustments. Drag the mouse up and down to adjust all the color tone sliders selected in the sample.

The luminance for several tones were modified in this image. Notice the darker red colors in the bushes on the left side of the image.

Group By configurations

Group by: HSL

This arranges controls in a condensed format. This is a great option for smaller monitors or to streamline your workspace. It takes up less vertical space to minimize scrolling.

This group option arranges the Hue, Saturation, and Luminance sliders by type. It is a helpful layout for most editing scenarios when editing some colors, rather than just one at a time.

Group by: Color

The workspace arrangement Group by: Color focuses editing adjustments to specific tones. It’s helpful when editing images with limited color palettes.

Compact View

Enabling compact view is a great option for smaller monitors or to streamline your workspace. This arranges controls in a condensed format. It takes up less vertical space to minimize scrolling.

Compact Group by: HSL

Arrange the HSL slider groups by type in this compact arrangement. HSL groupings are for editing several colors rather than one of two.

Compact Group by: Color

With Compact mode active, the workspace arrangement Group by: Color focuses editing adjustments to individual tones even more.

The tools on the Color panel, and the other color manipulation tools in Exposure, offer fine control over all aspects of the colors in your photos. Thanks for reading our guide. We hope you enjoyed it. Save a link to this page if you need a reference for using the Color panel.

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