Use Your Image Editor to Replace a Color in a Photo

Sometimes reality just isn't good enough. In fact, that's the basis for most photo editing. Whether you're applying the to make your subject glow or accenting your subject by from the rest of the photo, there are a lot of ways to make dramatic changes to a photo after it has been taken. But sometimes the change you're looking for is a lot more subtle. What if you only want to change a single color, like the shade of someone's clothing or your subject's eye color? This week, let's see how that's done.

I'll show you how to change a color in your photo using Adobe Photoshop Elements, but if you use a different photo editing program, don't sweat it: The process is almost exactly the same in any modern program. That's because most photo editors feature a useful little gadget called the Color Replacement tool (though the name will vary from program to program).

The Color Replacement tool lets you paint over one color with a different color, and it relies on a tolerance adjustment to know which shades of that color to replace. With a little practice, you can wield the tool well enough that no one will suspect you changed someone's eye color from brown to blue, or painted your house a different color.

To get started, begin by opening a photo in Photoshop Elements. Then select the , which you can find in the toolbar on the left side of the screen, 17 cubbies from the top. It shares a space with some other brush tools and the pencil tool.