How to change the background color of a photo

March 18

2 min. to read

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Using Luminar’s color tool and masking to quickly change the background color of a photo.

Selecting a background color for a portrait isn’t always easy. Sometimes you don’t have a choice and are forced to use what’s on hand. In cases like there, here's how to use Luminar’s Color tool to target a specific color enabling you to change it.

Step 1: Change the color of the background by selecting the Color tool.

How to change the background color of a photo Image1

Select red (the background color) and adjust the Hue Shift until you get the desired color you want. Notice how it also changes the color of the subject’s skin. Don’t worry, we will address this next.

How to change the background color of a photo Image2

Step 2: Apply a tool mask to remove the effect on the subject. Select brush from the dropdown menu.

How to change the background color of a photo Image3

Change the mask settings to Erase and set the opacity to 100 percent.

How to change the background color of a photo Image4

Mask out the effect on the subject. Use the left and right bracket keys to adjust the size of the brush. Use keyboard shortcut X to switch between Paint and Erase.

How to change the background color of a photo Image5Click the Done button to apply the mask.

How to change the background color of a photo Image6

How simple was that! By targeting a selective color, we were able to change it. This tool is also useful when you want to make selective colors more vibrant or to tone them down.

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Written by

Robert Vanelli

Photographer, Educator and Author

Vanelli is a working sports and portrait photographer, educator, and author living in Florida. After a successful career as a three-time, Triple Crown Karate champion, Vanelli turned his attention to teaching the visual arts. As an experienced educator, Vanelli has created videos for LinkedIn Learn, has written hundreds of articles, taught at major photography conferences and has developed many photography and digital workflow programs including Click for Kids. Currently, he is the Director of Education at Skylum Software, teaching workshops, writing for Photofocus and creating tutorials for the Vanelli and Friends series.

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