If you invert the colors of a photo you make them the colours of their exact opposite and it usually creates this really nice effect. For example, in this tutorial, an image with browns and greens results in magentas and cyans. An original image of different colors would not produce the same magentas and cyans.

My question is: How can I give an image that same inverted colors effect, and at the same time result in a specific color pallette, say the same magenta and cyan, with an original image of any colors?

For example, I'd use an image with reds and yellows to give me the "inverted" effect with any colors I wish.

2 Answers 2


In Image > Adjustments > Hue/saturation you can play around with the hue to change the color scheme of an entire layer, changing all of the colors, but they'll each change according to where they were on the spectrum.

There are options to replace colors in Image > Adjustments as well, which may suit your needs.

You can also adjust Curves, in the same menu as above, to increase or decrease the saturation of different color channels.

If all else fails, you may want to duplicate the image layer, desaturate both of them. Go to Hue/saturation, check colorize, up the saturation and adjust hue and lightness to one of the colors you want. Repeat on the second layer, then use a mask, or just erase parts of the top layer with a smooth brush for where you'd like to see the color of the layer below.

I'm not aware of a perfect way of doing this, but what I've listed above, or some combination of those should give you the effect looking for.


The best way to make this is to use a gradient map adjustment layer; you can choose a color gradient to modify the original image based on the lightness of the original picture colors.

You can find the option in the layers panel right there where the ying yang circle is :)

Photoshop layers panel

You can achieve something like this:


Although not exactly the result you might wanted you can combine this with masking and other techniques to get the desired effect! :) good luck.

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