One of the new features in DxO PhotoLab 7 is the addition of HSL adjustments to the local adjustment tools. Now, when you create a mask with a control point, control line or other local adjustment tool, you can change the hue, saturation and lightness of specific colors within that masked area.
This sounds like it ought to be rather useful. Previously you could make HSL adjustments to targeted colors, but it would affect the whole image. Now you can confine your adjustments to masked areas.
But then I spent a very long time trying to find images where this was something I would actually need to do, and it was a lot harder than I expected. I finally settled on this example, where I can modify the colors in this man’s shirt in a controlled, localized way. It’s not essential for this photograph, but it does at least show how this feature works – and it’s not entirely what I expected.
So let’s say I want to change the cyan color of this man’s shirt in one particular area while leaving other areas and other colors unaffected. I can start by adding a control point to a blue/cyan area of the shirt and, if I check the tools in the right sidebar I can see that there is indeed a new HSL panel for color adjustments.
However, it does not automatically target the color I clicked on. This had me fooled for a while. It used the clicked-on point to create the mask, but you still have to manually select the colors you want to alter.
So in this case, the cyan swatch above the color wheel in the HSL panel looked the closest match, so I selected that. Now I can drag the hue ‘handle’ on the color selection segment around the color wheel to change the hue, and you can see the difference now between the new blue color on the left side of the shirt and the original cyan color on the right.
I can also play around with the Saturation and Luminance sliders below and, if I think the color selection is not properly targeted, I can drag the whole color selection segment around the color wheel to change the targeted color range.
Once you understand what you need to do, the new HSL local adjustments work perfectly well, but given how hard I had to look for an image where I could demonstrate it properly, I’m not sure how useful I would find it.
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