Try This: Match the Master’s Colors to Your Photograph

Match Color

Here’s a neat trick for you to try the next time you’re confronted with an underwhelming photo and you’re stumped on how to get the color just right.

This guy uses the Match Color function of Photoshop to enhance the color of his photos. And where does he get his colors? From the old master painters, no less! Yeah, why not?

The classical master painters knew a thing or two about colors and lighting, it might not be a bad idea to mimic their techniques and apply it to our everyday photos.

The original intention of Match Color in Photoshop CS was to be able to match a series of photos to one another. This guy (is his name James?) found a new use for the tool by matching an ordinary photograph to the colors of a master’s painting. The result is quite astonishing.

It’s quite easy, you’ve got to try it. Just open two photos, one yours the other a photo of a master painting. Then, with your photo active, go to Image > Adjustments > Match Color, select the master’s photo as the source and play with the Luminance and Color Intensity sliders. Hit OK if you like what you see.

Combine this with HDR (high dynamic range) techniques and what you get is the closest thing to a real work of art.


Published by Chris Malinao

Chris teaches Lightroom as workflow software to photography students at the FPPF, Federation of Philippine Photographers Foundation. He also teaches smartphone photography.