One Four Challenge – December Week 3…

I have joined a month-long photo post-processing challenge called One Four Challenge, hosted by Robyn at Captivate Me.  “This challenge is about processing 1 image in 4 different ways over 4 weeks.”  Every Monday Robyn posts a new version of her photo and challenges us to do the same each week.

This week my goal was to change the color of the stuffed elephant.  You might call this one my blue period…


I’ve been trying for several weeks to change the color of the stuffed elephant by fiddling with various adjustment layers to no avail.  The elephant had light shining through its ear causing a strange glow and the adjustment layers never looked good.

Once again, my bookshelf came to the rescue.  I was flipping through one of my books called, The Hidden Power of Blend Modes in Adobe Photoshop by Scott Valentine.  I was trying out various techniques that looked interesting when I came across one that made a light bulb go off in my head… “It’s so crazy it just might work!”.

I’m going to try to keep the how-to simple this week, last week’s tutorial got away from me and became huge.


I took last week’s image and removed two layers… the gray layer that made it black and white, and the hue/saturation layer that changed the colors to wild.  Leaving me with three curve layers that forced the viewer’s eyes to go where I wanted.

stage1Then I combined those into one layer [ctrl-alt-shift-E].  stage1-photo

Next I created a layer and mottled it with various shades of blue, for the wall.  I changed the blend mode to COLOR.  I used a mask to make the edges clean and to have more control…


Then I started working on the elephant.  I went through various shades of blue using the same technique as the wall.  A new layer filled with color and the blend mode set to COLOR. And a mask layer for control of what was visible…. but it just wasn’t quite right… the elephant always seemed to glow.


The problem was that I was fighting against the pink and the light going through the ear.  Then my husband asked if switching the elephant to grayscale would help…. Yes! That just might work!…


The grayscale layer also allowed me to remove some of the pink reflection that was on her paw and stomach.

When I turned back on the blue color layer… the elephant’s ear was much better, but the color was still not what I wanted…


So I started to play around with blend modes and found that MULTIPLY was the one that worked best.  I also fiddled around with opacity and fill percentages to get a blue I liked..


I then decided that the wall was too bright and changed that layer to MULTIPLY as well…


I thought it needed just a bit more cohesion and decided it needed an overall wash of blue… I created yet another layer of blue and played around with the blend modes until I liked it… this time it was COLOR DODGE… I changed the opacity to 51%…


My final layers looked like this…


Note that I’ve labeled each layer with which color mode I used.

I have a few ideas for next week… we’ll see if they actually work out!

Until next time…

8 thoughts on “One Four Challenge – December Week 3…

    • Thanks, Anita. I was trying to have that black and white feeling, but with blue… ie instead of shades of gray, shades of blue. I too think the blue wash brought it all together. Thanks for your feedback. 🙂

  1. Hi Nic, another fabulous and informative week 😃
    I really like this version – making the elephant blue, gives the whole image a harmonious feel.
    Ive been fiddling around with the black and white tute – it gives such wonderful control to the creator. Thanks 😃😃

  2. Great job, sounds pretty technical too. I loved the purple version but this blue one works so well, and I love how its a really diff shade of blue from the blankets.

    • Thanks, Stacey! It is a pretty purple (after the grayscale layer)… but I was going for all blue so I had to keep tweaking it. Thanks for your feedback! 🙂

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