Change Background Color in Photoshop the Simple Way This tip is worth its clicls in gold

In this short video, Photoshop expert Jesús Ramirez (from the Photoshop training channel) shares a simple way of changing the background color of an image while preserving all details and textures.

Background color changes in a few clicks

Like a lot of things in Photoshop, there are many ways of changing the color of the background in your images inside the software.

This time around Ramirez is demonstrating a super simple method that uses the power of some of the relatively recent updates to Photoshop. First, use the select>subject (which uses the Adobe Sensei AI technology to automatically select a subject or subjects from your image). Fine-tune your selection with shift/alt (or use a different tool like the quick selection to add/subtract from your selection).

After you made sure that your selection is accurate create a group in the layers panel (folder icon on the button right corner) and add a vector mask to the group layer (two icons to the left of the group).

Now you only need to invert the mask which you can do with one click in the properties panel and you have your background selected (you can also create the mask inverted by clicking alt when creating it).

Now we are going to change the color of the background. Go to the new adjustment layer and choose hue/saturation. In the properties, panel click on “colorize” which will let you change the color.

One more tip based on our experience using this. If your background is black move the lightness bar in the properties tab to around 20 or so, otherwise you will not see any change to the background color of your image.

If you want more control of the color you can add a levels adjustment layer and put it under the hue/saturation layer (just drag it down). Now you can play with the center gamma point on the histogram on the properties panel and move it left or right until you are satisfied with the results that you are getting.

If you also want to add some blur to the background without ghosting just duplicate the background layer. Select the background layer and hit ctrl J and move the new layer that was created into the group we created before. Now choose filter> blur>surfece blur – choose the right amount for your image (you can experiment) and you are done.

As a final note. We would actually like to see Adobe adding a specific one-click action in Photoshop that would allow users to pick the subject and change the background color or pattern (or add a background from an image) in a one-click action.

More on changing colors in Photoshop

Over the years we have published many videos and articles on color matching and color changing in Photoshop here on LensVid including: “How to Match colors in a Composite Image in Photoshop” with Colin Smith as well as a similar video by Glyn Dewis.

We also covered “How to Change the Color of Anything in Photoshop”, “3 Ways of Changing Makeup Color In Photoshop CC” as well as “Changing Color in Photoshop with… a B&W Adjustment Layer (Under 1 min)” by Smith and if you are interested in working with colors in general check out this page on LensVid.

More recently we also covered “How to Add a Colored Background to a Portrait in Photoshop” and “Two Ways of Matching Clothes to Any Color Background in Photoshop“, both by Aaron Nace from Phlearn

You can find many more Photoshop video tutorials on LensVid’s Photoshop section and you can also find more videos we covered of Jesús Ramirez here.

Iddo Genuth
Iddo Genuth is the founder and chief editor of He has been a technology reporter working for international publications since the late 1990's and covering photography since 2009. Iddo is also a co-founder of a production company specializing in commercial food and product visual content.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *