- Written by Mark Rainer
The Contrast Color Range filter within Color Efex Pro 4 is a very unique filter, and is perfect for fine tuning and enhancing color contrast within an image. It works by creating contrast between a selected color and its complement. Essentially, it will lighten objects of the selected color while at the same time darkening the complimentary color. When used, it can create stunning changes to your image.
Let’s begin by taking a look at the filter controls, and how we can use these to achieve the desired effect.
The Color slider allows you to select the color range of where you want to apply contrast. The selected color will become lighter, while the complimentary color will become darker. The Color slider will default at 0 allowing you to scroll to the desired color.
The Color Contrast slider controls the amount of contrast between the selected color and its complement. Moving the slider to the right will increase the contrast, while moving it to the left will decrease the contrast.
Brightness is a global control slider that will increase or decrease the lightness of your image.
Contrast is also a global control slider that will increase or decrease the contrast in all colors within the image. By default it is set at 25%.
For a more comprehensive look at the way the filter affects colors, we can apply the filter to the referenced colors in the Before and After images. Using a color chart, with a range of R G B C M Y colors, we can open the Color Contrast Range filter and specifically note the difference between the targeted color range (Red, representing the skin tones) and its complement (Cyan).
We begin with a base color chart and open it in Color Contrast Range. We then use the Color slider to select our color. We have also increased Color Contrast to 116%, Brightness to -6%, and Contrast to 50% to exaggerate the effect.
Side by Side comparisons:
Tip: Control Points can be used to give precise control of the targeted color ranges, without affecting the entire image. Placing a (+) Control Point will apply the full effect of the filter to areas where the change is desired. Using (-) Control Points will remove the filtered effect from areas where you do not want a change.