DxO PhotoLab 3 has just launched, and with it come some very exciting new features — the most colorful one being the new HSL (Hue / Saturation / Luminance) tool! In this article I’m going to show you just what it can do.

The New DxO PhotoLab 3 HSL Tool

Before getting into using the new DxO PhotoLab 3 HSL tool, let’s have a look at what it is! Here’s a tour of the interface.

  1. Color channel selector (white selected) — When it’s white, you’re manipulating all. Notice how Luminance and Uniformity are disabled, as well as the hue range selector.
  2. Color channel selector (red selected) — When you choose a color chip here, that corresponding color range is selected on the hue wheel. This is the color range you will be manipulating. Note that each of these “chips” are presets, but each can be adjusted.
  3. Primary hue selection range tool — These two inner selectors define the range of color you will be manipulating.
  4. Feathered edge of the hue range — By moving these dots, you are expanding or contracting the extent of feathering of the color range.
  5. Hue rotation slider — This rotates the hue through the color wheel. When the “white” channel is selected (left screenshot), this will rotate all hues. When a color range is selected (right screenshot), this will adjust only the selected hue range.
  6. Saturation slider — Increase or decrease the Saturation of the selected hue range.
  7. Luminance slider — Increase or decrease the Luminance of the selected hue range.
  8. Uniformity slider — Compresses or expands the colors in the range selected, making the more alike or more different. This is generally used to even out skin tones, and make skin appear more uniform in color.
  9. Reset button

Selective Color Enhancement: A little saturation goes a long way

Let’s put it to work! We’ll start with something simple; just adjusting the saturation of a color range. Let’s make the purple flowers more saturated. Here is the original image:

To adjust the purple, it’s as easy as selecting the purple chip in the HSL tool, and increasing the saturation slider, like this:

Notice that I also lowered the Luminance a little bit, to make it darker and more realistic.

Selective Color Shifting

Next, using the same photo, I’ll rotate the hue. I’ll start by simply dragging the hue rotation towards blue:

Notice that I also reset the Saturation and Luminance sliders, by simply double-clicking the slider handle.

I think it’s important to have a closer look at the image though. Zoomed out like this, if the color shift wasn’t perfect, it’d be easy to miss. So let’s see it up close, at 100%:

This looks amazing, but if I pan over a little bit, you’ll notice that there is a tiny bit of purple from the original flowers still poking through. It’s not much, so a little expansion of the feathering slider and a slight expansion of the hue range should take care of it. Here’s a comparison of the previous adjustment vs a little extra feathering:

And just like that, the flowers are blue instead of purple!

Selective Colorization

Here’s another effective use of the new HSL tool. If you’ve ever wanted to selectively color an image, there has probably never been an easier way! I’ll start with this photo here, of a woman wearing face paint.

What I want to do is make only the face paint colored, while the rest of the image is black and white. What I could do is locate each hue in the image that’s not face paint (so the skin, lips, eyes, etc.) and desaturate those. But with the new DxO PhotoLab 3 HSL tool, it’s even easier than that.

I’ll start by desaturation the entire image, by taking the saturation to zero with the “white” (global) chip selected:

Then, by selecting the green color chip, and bringing the saturation slider up to 50 (half way), the original colors are restored! If you take the slider above 50, you’ll start to increase saturation from the original colors:

If you look closely at the paint around her eyes though, you’ll notice that the paint fades from green to grayscale too soon. Here’s a comparison of the adjusted vs the original image — notice what color range is not being selected:

 To include those blue colors, all I have to do is expand the range of the hue selection wheel to encompass that blue!

And that’s all there is to it! It’s remarkably clean and an excellent example of selective colorization.

For a more detailed tutorial on how to enhance your photo with the new HSL tool, you can watch our webinar “DxO PhotoLab3: the colorful innovation“. Another article will show you how easier it gets to work with a keyword support. 

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