Making Cool Effects with the Gradient Map Adjustment in Photoshop


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If you're looking for a really easy way to remove color from a photograph and replace that color with sort of a gradient (or solid) hue overlay, you've come to the right place. I actually just wrote a post on this topic on the blog and I thought I'd follow up here to remove all the fluff and give you the straight-up instructions. Basically, you'll be using the Gradient Map adjustment layer that's found in the Adjustments panel in Adobe Photoshop to do this. Applying this adjustment layer is just as simple as applying any other. You go up to the Adjustments panel and click the icon. That's it. Once that's done, you'll see an overlay on your image. Of course, it's most likely not the overlay you want, but it's one nonetheless.

Once the gradient is applied to the image, you'll need to adjust it to make it look good. Here are all the instructions below.

- Open an image in Adobe Photoshop.

- Apply the Gradient Map adjustment layer from the Adjustments panel.

- Inside the Properties panel that opens up, click the small down-facing arrow to reveal all the loaded gradients.

- If you'd like to load more gradients, click the gear icon that's in the upper right corner of the drop-down. Then, move to the bottom of the menu that appears and choose from any of the gradient sets in the bottom part of that menu. You may also load your own gradients by clicking the Load Gradients menu item.

- Click one of the loaded gradients from the available options to apply it.

- If you'd like to adjust the gradient you chose to customize it, click on the gradient bar itself (not the small arrow).

- When the Gradient Editor appears, move to the lower portion of it and then click to drag the sliders and then click once on the sliders themselves. Clicking on the sliders will open the Color Picker, where you'll have the opportunity to change colors, if you wish.

There are other things you can do to really customize your image as well. For those, I encourage you to read my full post. Thanks!