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We’re just getting into that deep chill of real fall, come winter. November is characterized by those rich hues that take over the world once most of the leaves have fallen from the trees. Bringing those dark red and green tones to a picture can give any regular portrait a look of late fall.

This effect works great with outdoor portraits, especially ones with backgrounds that are already dark, like green plants or a brick wall. If you’re using a bright image, you might have to tweak the settings and colors to match the style of the picture and achieve an effect that works.

Start by opening your image in Photoshop. Create a new adjustment layer by clicking on the half white, half black circle in the bottom right corner. Click Solid Color and select a reddish brown tone. For this example, we’re using 5d3939. Once you’ve selected a color you like, click OK.

Change the blend mode to Lighten. You’ll already notice your image take on a drastic faded look. Bump down the Opacity to about 60 percent.

Create another adjustment layer and select Curves. Click on the bottom left corner of the diagonal line to create a point. Change the Input to about 22 and leave the Output at 0.

Create a second point, with the Input and Output both at about 65.

Make a third point with the Input at about 140 and the Output at about 160.

Make a fourth and final point with an Input around 215 and an Output around 220.

This should bring some brightness back into the highlights of the image, while still keeping the shadows faded.

Then create a third adjustment layer and click Selective Color. Select Red in the Colors drop down menu, and bump down the Yellow slider to about -15.

Then select Whites in the drop down menu and change Cyan to about +10, Magenta to about -7 and Yellow to about +12.

Then select Neutrals and change Cyan to about +11, Magenta to about +5 and Yellow to about -3.

Finally, select Blacks and change Cyan to about -7, Magenta to about +3 and Yellow to about -8. All of these settings are going to differ from image to image so play around with the sliders until you’ve achieved a nice maroon based hue that works for you picture.

Create another adjustment layer and select Solid Color again. This time, choose a blueish gray hue, then click OK. Change the blending mode to Multiply and bump down the Opacity to around 15 percent. If you don’t like the effect of the Multiply blending option, you can also try either Darken or Color Burn. You want this effect to give your image a more muted look.

Finally, create one last adjustment layer and select Vibrance. Bump down the Vibrance slider to about -5 to tone down some of the brighter colors even more.

You can drag and drop this effect onto any other image by clicking on the folder icon in the bottom right corner to create a group. Then highlight all of the adjustment layers and drag them into your new group folder. Now you can change the strength of the effect by tweaking the Opacity setting.

Now grab your friends and go have a fall themed photoshoot.


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