If You Use Photoshop with Lightroom, You’re Just a Couple of Clicks From Fall Color


Hi gang: This is quick trick where jump over to Photoshop for a few clicks, and it turns your outdoor photo in a real fall-look in just a couple of click (couldn’t be easier), and which we can use the HSL here in Lightroom to get close, this method has it’s own “look” and it’s one you really might like. Here’s how it’s done.


STEP ONE: Select and tweak the image the way you want to in Lightroom. This was a really flat-looking image to start with (taken a few years ago at the top of Paris’s Notre Dame. By the way — it’s 387 stairs to get to the top. By the time I got up there, I was considering throwing myself off. 😉 — so I had to make quite a few tweaks in Lightroom before heading over to Photoshop. Anyway, when it looks OK to you in Lightroom; press Command-E (PC: Ctrl-E to jump over to Photoshop.


STEP TWO: When your image opens in Photoshop; go under the Image menu, under Mode and choose “Lab Color” as shown here. The image will look the same at this point.


STEP THREE: Go under the Image menu again, and this time choose Apply Image (as shown here).


STEP FOUR: When the Apply Image dialog appear (seen above) from the ‘Channel’ pop-up menu, choose “b.” Then, under blending choose “Soft Light” for a more subtle effect or choose “Overlay” for the full monte (I usually use Soft Light, but of course it all depends on the image). Now click OK to apply the fall-color look. Lastly, go back up to Photoshop’s Image Menu, under Mode, and choose RGB to return to good ol’ RGB mode.


STEP FIVE: Now just Save and Close the image in Photoshop and it goes right back to Lightroom, with the fall color image shown here on the right. Notice how the trees get that fall color look, and the blues have that “fall” look, too. Try this on an image with lots of trees and you’ll be amazed at the results.


Above: Here’s another example. Crappy photo, but you can really see the effect it has on trees and the ground to create that fall color effect. 

Hope you find that helpful, and here’s wishing you a fantastic Thursday!






  1. Gerry Slater 3 February, 2015 at 14:02 Reply

    Great tip that I had learned before and forgot. Thats why these entry level tutorials are so helpfull. Speaking of LAB mode, are we ever going to see Dan Margulis again in LAs Vegas. If he could be a little more consumer-friendly, he was an excellent teacher.

  2. Rob Blasdel 16 January, 2015 at 08:16 Reply

    I forgot to change the Mode back to RGB, when I reopened the saved image in LR, LR seemed to have converted it to RGB

  3. Dennis Zito 16 January, 2015 at 06:28 Reply

    Hi Scott,

    Thanks for the reminder on LAB! I follow your 7 point system, but I always forget the LAB step. Love what you and RC are doing with Killertips!



  4. Richard 15 January, 2015 at 12:27 Reply

    A great tip Scott. This works like a charm. I prefer to duplicate the layer first to allow me to selectively apply this fantastic effect. I can then use the Opacity slider to control the overall impact on the image or add a mask to paint it where I want this to apply. I will definitely be using this tip!!!

  5. Scott Martin 15 January, 2015 at 10:58 Reply


    Interesting tip. However,if there are some other objects in the photo (animals for example) that I don’t want the color shift to apply to, I can’t seem to make a mask work on that layer. When I paint with a black brush I get a transparency.

    • Scott Kelby 15 January, 2015 at 11:18 Reply

      Hi Scott — in that case, before you convert to LAB mode; duplicate your background layer. Then, when it asks you if you want to flatten, click “Don’t flatten.” Then do the Apply Image move, and convert back to RGB (it will ask you again if you want to flatten. Choose “Don’t flatten.” Now you can add a Layer Mask and paint over any areas that don’t want to have the effect. Hope that helps 🙂

  6. Scott 15 January, 2015 at 10:30 Reply

    Never heard of apply image before, but I like the effect. Is it best to return the image to rgb mode before saving? Does it matter?

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *