Adjusting Saturation with the Sponge Tool

You can also adjust saturation with the Sponge tool. The Sponge tool is very handy for working on small areas, but all that dragging gets old pretty fast when you're working on a large chunk of your image. For those situations, use Hue/Saturation instead.

To use the Sponge tool, drag over the area you want to change. Figure 12-14 shows an example of the kind of work the Sponge does.

1. In the toolbox, click the Sponge tool (or press O and choose the Sponge icon). Then, in the Options bar, choose the mode or flow settings you want.

Figure 12-13. The Hue/Saturation dialog box has a pull-down menu so you can adjust individual color channels. If only the reds are excessive (a common problem with digital cameras), you can choose to lower the saturation only for the reds without changing the other channels.

Figure 12-14. Here, the Sponge tool has been applied to the left side of the window frame and the roof beside it, increasing the color saturation in those areas. Approach the Sponge tool with some caution. It doesn't take much to cause degradation in your image, especially if you've made many previous adjustments to it. If you start to see noise (graininess), undo your sponging and try it again at a reduced setting.

Figure 12-14. Here, the Sponge tool has been applied to the left side of the window frame and the roof beside it, increasing the color saturation in those areas. Approach the Sponge tool with some caution. It doesn't take much to cause degradation in your image, especially if you've made many previous adjustments to it. If you start to see noise (graininess), undo your sponging and try it again at a reduced setting.

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Although it's called a sponge, the Sponge tool works like any other brush tool in Elements. The Sponge has a couple of unique settings of its own as well:

Mode. Choose here whether to saturate (add color) or desaturate (remove color).

Flow. Flow governs how intense the effect is. A higher number means more intensity.

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