2007 SLP Curriculum Guide #06, Hue/Saturation/Lightness
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The Hue/Saturation/Lightness feature is an intriguing feature. Before working this guide, it is best to work the Hue Map Guide (2007-guide05.html). The Hue/Saturation/Lightness feature has additional ways to alter colors in a photograph and mastering this feature takes time and practice.

This guide will mainly provide an overview of how to use the Hue/Saturation/Lightness feature and will provide a fairly clear understanding of how Hue, Saturation, and Lightness work on a photograph. The guide is more of a series of steps to follow to first learn more clearly how the various compenent parts of this feature interact and work. Some illustrations are also provided.


The photograph I am using for illustration is the same one used in the previous guide. However, choose a photograph you want to experiment with and one that has a variety of colors in it so you can see how the options and techniques used create results, both good, bad and indifferent.


Active by Adjust || Hue and Saturation || Hue/Saturation/Lightness.

Become Familiar

This step of becoming familiar with the Feature is one you want to spend a lot of time exploring. There are various ways to alter colors and you want to know where to focus attention as well as how to change the color results.
  1. Know the component parts of the feature.
    • Set Preset to 'Default': (Click on the left circular arrow)
    • Edit: First, click on down arrow so you know which colors you have access to manipulate (Master, Reds, Yellows, Greens, Cyans, Blues, Magentas).
    • Master: Next explore the HUE, SATURATION and LIGHTNESS switches, one at a time by moving the switch Left/Right or Up/Down and notice how the values change accordingly. (Hue -180/+180 or changes by 360 degrees with zero value the default; Satruation/Lighness -100/+100 or none to maximum with zero value the default)

      • Master allows editing of all colors within the photograph.
      • Hue Switch: When you slowly move the switch not only notice the value change watch the photograph and how colors change. Also, learn how the color wheels change color. And,
        1. The Outer Wheel is the full range of colors and does not change. However, note the positioning line at the top of the wheel which is the default setting.
        2. First Inner Wheel is the color blends for the Editing mode, in this case 'Master'.
        3. Inner Wheel is the color results of the settings for Hue, Saturation, Lightness.
        Notice also, when you move the Hue switch, the specific color(s) that change are located on both the First and Inner Color wheels. Select a very clear color, move the switch, notice the color change, then view the inner wheels to see how they line up with the default line on the Outer Wheel.
      • Color Wheels are one of the key areas to learn in terms of how the colors on the inner wheels change in accordance with the values and moving the switches. This work of slowly changing the values, first the HUE values and then SATURATION and LIGHTNESS and taking lots of time to get familiar with how these options work and interact will definitely get you to a point where you can master this feature to make subtle or not-so-subtle color changes in a photograph.
      • Saturation Switch: Notice how to enrich (increase the positive value) or to drain or lower (decrease to a minus or negative value) the color richness of the photograph. Plan initially to exaggerate both the positive and negative value to see the results.

        Also, notice the Color Wheels and how they change accordingly, either becoming more brilliant (positive values) or dull (negative values).

      • Lightness Switch: This switch will either lighten to white (positive values) or darken to black (negative values) the photograph.

        Note that one can fix a photograph by just changing the Saturation and Lightness values only.

    • Color Channels: Now, one at a time, set the Edit Box to a color channel. Locate the color in your photograph.
      • Using the Hue Switch slowly explore how the color changes in your photograph.
      • Color Wheels: Notice also how the color wheels change colors and reflect the new color.
      Take lots of time to explore each of the colors. Initially, always reset the photograph back to its default values so as you explore each color channel you can see how the result change occurs both in the value for Hue and in the color wheels. The time you take to explore these steps will reap great values as you will become very familiar with how to manipulate colors.

  2. Next Level Exploration

    Only after you have thoroughly explored as suggested above, should you then move on to exploring how to vary the First Inner Wheel colors to also refine, expand, limit the resulting color changes.

    • The First Inner Wheel shows the range if the color(s) that will be affected by value changes of the switches, particularly the Hue Switch.
    • Changing the Range of Colors:
      1. First Select, as an example, the REDS channel.
      2. Notice on the Inner Wheel the White Dot and the two white separators on each side.
      3. Notice also the range of colors on each side of the separators.
      This range of colors is what will change according to the change in Hue value. So you might again want to first explore changing the Hue value to watch the inner wheel of colors.
    • Next, you can change the range of colors either decreasing or limiting the range or broadening or expanding the range by using your mouse cursor, grab either side of a separator, and then drag around the color wheel circle. You may have to experiment where you grab as very near the outer edge of the range color box is what you need to grab.
      1. First, using REDS edit at default, grab the white dot of the inner circle. Shift it to another than red range such as a blue or green or purple range by dragging the circle to match up with the color wanted on the outer wheel.
      2. Then, vary the Hue Color values slowly and note what colors in your photograph change and how they change.
      3. Sometimes the color change will be dramatic but often the color change will be subtle. So take your time to explore these steps.
    • Explore each of the color channels using the steps above. Upon taking time with this step and exercises will show you how to refine colors within the original photograph. Keep in mind as you explore to start with the default settings, then select a color channel and explore.
      1. Next explore how to either limit or increase the color ranges of the color wheel.
      2. Using your mouse grab the edge of the inner wheel color box and exand it around the cirle. Then, explore the Hue changes and resultant effects on the photograph.
      3. Using your mouse grab both edges of the inner wheel color box and expand them both and then explore again.
      4. Finally, decrease the color range using the mouse grabbing technique to limit the color range effected.

      When you finish exploring this step of changing the range of colors to alter, you will have a great grasp of this feature and how to subtly or otherwise change colors whether in total or in specific in your photograph.


Without details the table below with titles only displays a few changes I made using the techniques described above. Basically I first changed the saturation (richer) and lightness (brighter). Then I used various color channels and changed colors. In the final illustration I used varied channels to produce the result. The color changes are somewhat subtle but manly are in the toys and the multi-colored object in the rear. Note in each of the illustrations following the brightening image, the dog's hair does not change colors, only certain objects in the photograph change colors.


The original is a bit dark and the colors on the toys are also a bit dark.
Saturation/Lightness Enriched

The whole photograph is brighter and the dog's hair is a richer brown.
Blue to Green

Blues are now changed to Green and the blue rug also has a green cast to it.
Green to Cyan

Greens are changed to Cyan noticeable mainly in the kitty toy in back and the multi-colored object in the back.
Various Colors Changed

Various colors, mainly in the toys and object in the back are changed noticeably to purple.


  1. When completing a tutorial or series of tutorials, and having placed them upon your web page, post in the SLP Forum your completed work using this layout:
    • Name or Screen Name.
    • Web Site URL.
    • Version of PSP using.
    • List of Tutorials completed.
  2. Post your Work:
    • List what you did, feature, options used, values.
    • Indicate steps taken and results.
    • Indicate things you found interesting, worthwhile and any other comments.
  3. List some of the similarities you found between the Menu System, Palettes, and Keyboard shortcuts.
  4. Post any questions and comments in the SLP Forum.

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