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How to Change Hue and Saturation of One Layer in Photoshop

Published: 12/06/2023

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Hue and saturation are essential to a real estate image because they affect a color's intensity. The Hue/Saturation feature in Photoshop allows you to make corrective and creative color changes to any image. Learn how to change the hue and saturation of one layer in Photoshop by following a few simple steps.

How To Change Hue and Saturation of One Layer in Photoshop

To change a single layer's hue and saturation values, you first need to select the target layer and create a new Hue/Saturation layer. From there, use a Clipping Mask to use the Hue and Saturation sliders in your target layer.

Photoshop's Hue and Saturation sliders let you make color adjustments to only a specific area by affecting one layer in Photoshop. Colors in real estate photos can either distract or attract potential homebuyers.

Hue and Saturation in Photoshop

Step 1: Select the Target Layer

Before proceeding with the editing, you must ensure that one layer you want to change is selected in the Layers panel. 

  1. You can find the layers panel in the bottom right corner of your Photoshop interface. If it’s not visible, go to Windows and click on Layers.
  2. Once your layers panel becomes visible, click on the one layer you want to edit. Once you choose just one layer, the one layer becomes highlighted with a shade of grey, and the thumbnail gets a white border around it.

Step 2: Create a New Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layer

After selecting the target layer, it's time to add new hue/saturation adjustment layers. 

Selecting Hue/Saturation from the New Adjustment Layer cascading menu
  1. Go to the menu bar present at the top of your Photoshop interface. Click on Layer. This will open up a drop-down menu.
  2. From the menu, navigate to New Adjustment Layer and select Hue/Saturation from the cascading menu to create a hue/saturation adjustment layer.
  3. Alternatively, you can click the New Adjustment Layer icon at the bottom of the layers panel to create a hue/saturation adjustment layer. This icon looks like a half-filled circle. 
  4. As you click on that icon, a pop-up menu will appear. From the menu, click on the Hue/Saturation option.
  5. As you click on the Hue/Saturation option, the adjustment layer will be created above the single layer. The changes you make to the adjustment layer will be applied to all the layers present below it. 

Step 3: Create a Clipping Mask

You would have to create a clipping mask to restrict the changes to only one layer.

Creating an adjustment layer after clicking on the hue/saturation option
  1. To create a clipping mask, select the Create Clipping Mask button at the bottom of the properties box of the Hue/Saturation layer. The Create Clipping Mask button looks like a square with a downward arrow beside it.
  2. A small downward arrow will appear right on the Hue/Saturation layer as you click on the button. This arrow demonstrates that the changes you make to the hue/saturation will only affect the one layer directly below.
  3. Experiment with the Hue and Saturation sliders in your selected layer. The changes will only affect the one layer you targeted. The other areas of the entire image will remain the same.
Selecting the ‘Clipping Mask’ button at the bottom of the properties box of the hue/saturation layer

Step 4: Troubleshoot

This part applies if the area you want to edit still needs to be present in one layer. In this case, you will have to create one layer for it before proceeding with any of the steps explained above.

Clipping mask button
  1. Open up your image in Photoshop.
  2. Now, go to the toolbar present on the left side of your Photoshop interface. 
  3. From the toolbar, pick the Quick Selection tool. This tool looks like a paintbrush with a dotted circle drawn over it.
  4. Now, highlight the area you want to edit using the quick selection tool.
  5. Once the required area is selected, go to the Layer, expand New, and click on Layer via Cut.
  6. As you click on Layer via Cut, Photoshop will create a new layer for your selected area.
  7. Now, follow steps one to three to change the layer's hue and saturation.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Does the Hue Slider Do?

The Hue slider lets you set your image's hue (color) as you need. When you slide it, the value of the color varies across the color spectrum. You can move it left or right as per your requirement and stop when you get your desired results.

What Does the Saturation Slider Do?

The Saturation slider allows you to set the color intensity of your image. As you shift the slider to the left, the strength of the color will reduce. The colour's strength will increase when you move it to the right.

How Can I Use the Preset Values for Hue and Saturation?

You can use the preset values through the drop-down menu present at the top of the property box. It can also help you reach a certain color value from where you can make further adjustments more easily.

Small downward arrow will appearing right on the Hue/Saturation layer


If you want to adjust the color settings of an isolated layer of your image, then using the hue/saturation adjustment layer in Photoshop is the best way. It works with a Clipping mask to help you easily get the desired color in any targeted area of your image.


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