How to Brighten Orange Colors in a Photo

This tutorial only applies to photos with a specific color in them: orange. However, this is an editing process that I quite enjoy doing when I get the chance to. I typically take most of my orange photos during the fall season when the leaves have changed, but haven’t quite fallen from the trees yet- they make for a nice landscape shot or a great pop of color behind a subject. Fall may be the best time of year for orange-toned photos, but it isn’t the only time. Sunsets, particularly in the summer, often have great orange tones to them. Keep an eye out for orange plants, objects, insects, etc. that will add a warm tone to any photo.

In this guide, I will show you how to brighten the orange colors in certain photos. I will again be using, a website that is free to use and was also featured in my guide to editing an overexposed photo. First, upload a photo from your computer by clicking “Get Started,” followed by “Edit a Photo” and “Open.” The first photo I will be editing using this process is of a sunset from this past summer. I remember the sunset being more orange in person, however, on camera it turned out like this:

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It’s a nice photo, but I personally would prefer the orange tones to stand out more. That is where BeFunky comes in handy. Look to the far left of the screen and make sure you are in the “Edit” tab. Next, scroll down to the “Color” tool, located below “Beautify” and above “Vibrance.” There are 3 colored bars here: Hue, Saturation, and Temperature. The bar that will be of most use here is Temperature. Move the Temperature slider to the right and watch as the photo becomes more orange. Be careful- you don’t want to go too overboard and make the photo look unrealistic. I would recommend turning your computer’s brightness up so you have a better view of the edit. You could also move the Saturation slider slightly to the right as well, but I usually only use the Temperature bar. Click the blue check mark to apply the changes to your photo. I moved the Temperature slider to 11 and this is the updated photo:

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Sometimes the orange colors you want to brighten in a photo are only in a certain section of it, such as the background. In this case, you wouldn’t want to apply the orange edit to the entire photo- especially if the subject in the foreground is a person. Luckily, BeFunky has a “Paint” feature built into pretty much all of the editing tools. Upload your photo to the site and click on the Color tool again. Above the Hue bar, you will see two options: “Adjust” and “Paint.” By default, the Adjust option will be selected, which will apply the changes to the entire photo. Move the Temperature slider until you reach the tone you want, then click on the Paint option. The bars will change to “Brush Size,” “Brush Hardness,” and “Brush Strength.” Adjust the brush size to an appropriate size for the subject you will be coloring (not too big but not too small), then drag it over the subject. Color over the entire subject so they return to their original tone. When coloring over the outer edges of the subject, zoom in using the slider at the bottom of the screen and make the brush size smaller to avoid smearing the original color onto the updated background. For this example, I will edit a photo of my brother that I took for his senior photoshoot. Here is the original:

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When I move the Temperature slider to the right, the whole photo becomes more orange, giving him an unnatural skin tone. However, once I use the Paint tool and color over his entire figure, his skin tone looks normal again. The leaves in the background now look more vibrant, but the photo doesn’t look like it has an obnoxious filter slapped over the entire thing. Here is the updated photo:

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That’s all there is to it! I usually just stick to the Temperature tool, but feel free to experiment with the other sliders as well. But most importantly, make sure your photo looks realistic and not overly edited.

Note: WordPress only allows a certain amount of media to be uploaded to the site. Since I have exceeded that limit, I have to host my images through Imgur from now on- please bear with me.

44 Comments on “How to Brighten Orange Colors in a Photo

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