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I was browsing Instagram and accidently found this account (@utrechtalive), and wondered how to obtain this look in Photoshop? I can't really tell what's going on, but some desaturation and gradient maybe? Hope someone can help :)

Thank you in advance!

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Here's one method. There may be others.

It begins with a good choice of photograph.

You need an image which was taken during early evening, with a longish exposure, so that the lights inside the buildings can be seen shining through the windows. The image should be full colour, and well saturated with colour.

Here's an example I chose as a starting image

enter image description here

Open the image in Photoshop, and duplicate the background layer. Apply a Levels adjustment. Move the middle arrow slider to the right, and adjust the image so that you can really see those bright highlights. It should look something like this.

enter image description here

Add a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer. Choose the Colorize option, and move the Hue slider to the left until it looks orange/sepia coloured. It should look something like this.

enter image description here

Group the top three layers, i.e. the Background Copy, Levels, and Hue/ Saturation layers.

enter image description here

Select the Group, and change the blend mode from "Pass Through" to "Hue". The effect might be quite strong, so you can reduce the opacity of the group to something like 75%.

Here's the final result.

enter image description here

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    Again, cleverer than I would have come up with - though the starting point is more towards I what would have tried to actually photograph initially. – Tetsujin Jan 4 '19 at 17:49
  • Where did this photo come from? – Ryan Jan 4 '19 at 18:01
  • this one looks very good as well!! Thank you very much. I guess you are right about the time of the day/condition - all the pictures seem to have a grey/cloudy skye. – user1865820 Jan 4 '19 at 21:16
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Applying Photo filters to different layers and masking

enter image description here

Duplicating the original image:

Gray Layer

  • Menu Image > Adjustments > Desaturate
  • Menu Image > Adjustments > Photo Filter

Cool gray

Orange Layer

  • Menu Image > Adjustments > Desaturate
  • Menu Image > Adjustments > Photo Filter

orange

Make a mask to the Orange Layer and hide partial areas

end

Original image from unsplash.com

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    That's very neat - I wouldn't have known to go that way with it, I'd have at least started from something with not a lot of green in it ;) One other thing I did notice, though, is there's a definite 'crushed blacks' look to the OP's pics. A quick poke with my sampler would say there's nothing really below 40, 40, 40 sRGB, though at the other end there's some very close to 255's. – Tetsujin Jan 4 '19 at 12:40
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    I didn't mean desat per se, I meant crushing the bottom end of the blacks upwards, which gives it that kind of "filmic look" - example using your final image [with too much effect just to be really obvious] ... i.stack.imgur.com/Tjn4k.png – Tetsujin Jan 4 '19 at 12:52
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    I didn't know this term crushed black. It exists for colors in general: "crushed colors"? In Spanish we use broken colors. – user120647 Jan 4 '19 at 13:00
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    hmm... it seems you're right about the potential for confusion... creativemarket.com/blog/… but from your link, OK, lifted blacks ;) – Tetsujin Jan 4 '19 at 13:04
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    Menu Image > Adjustments > Photo Filter ?!?! Never heard of it, love your answers Danielillo since I invariably learn something new. – mayersdesign Jan 4 '19 at 21:27
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enter image description here

Photo by Pedro Lastra on Unsplash

  1. Change to Lab Mode.

  2. Make a Curves adjustment and flatten the A channel to 0,0

enter image description here

  1. Make a Hue/Saturation adjustment

  2. Reduce the Blue Saturation

  3. Shift the Yellow Hue

enter image description here

This easy two step (3 if you include changing the color mode) works on literally any photo. Here's another one using Photo by Scott Johnson on Unsplash

enter image description here

enter image description here

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  • I knew it would be you who takes up the Lab method – joojaa Jan 5 '19 at 9:05

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