Using Levels to Warm Up Your Photos {Plus a FREE Action!}

One of the quick ways to warm up a ‘cool’ (too blue) photo in Photoshop is to use a Levels adjustment layer.  Here is the before and after (and there is a simple FREE action at the end of the tutorial):

warming up photo with levels


To warm up our photo, we are going to add Red (which reduces Cyan) and reduce Blue (which increases Yellow).  Open your photo and add a Levels adjustment layer…

add levels


…so your layers palette now looks like this…

added levels


Go to the Red channel of the Levels layer, and move the middle slider to the left to increase red until your photo looks about right…

red channel levels


…then go to the Blue channel and move the middle slider to the right to decrease blue until your photo looks about right…

blue channel levels


And that’s it!  Again, here is our before and after…

warming up photo with levels


I’ve created a simple FREE ACTION using this method, and you can download it here.  It can be run multiple times and/or at a reduced opacity for the desired effect.

Now go warm ‘em up!

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12 Responses to Using Levels to Warm Up Your Photos {Plus a FREE Action!}

  1. Pingback: Get Warm, Creamy Skin in Photoshop with Color Balance | Polished Picture

  2. Elizabeth Angel says:

    i would love to learn how i can get does nice looks at my pictures..!! Im learning how to become a photographer bearly taking classes…but this will help me alot..!!

  3. Elizabeth Angel says:

    Would love to learn these new styles..Im taking some courses but nothing like this..!!wow!

  4. the bookness says:

    Hi I just found my way through your blog, but non of your action links work.
    Can you help me? I would really like to have this one .

  5. amilyshurtz says:

    I’ve read some article says that there are a number of picture styles which can be used when shooting in modes such as manual, aperture and shutter priority. The creative control modes can only be used as their own independent modes, but you can increase or decrease the level of their affect

  6. Kaman says:

    Thank you! Easy and effective!

  7. Sue says:


    This looks great, and I would love to duplicate this effect in my photos. What is the equivalent of “Levels” in Lightroom? Is it Tone Curves? I’m still a novice, so appreciate your perspective.


    • Angie says:

      Hi Sue!
      Tone Curves in Lightroom would probably be the closest thing to levels in Photoshop… although I’m not familiar enough with them to tell you which kind of adjustment to make in order to duplicate this! That is what I would play around with, though. :)

  8. Paryal says:

    HI EVERy badi i like the waptirk

  9. Awesome tutorial here.How easy it’s to change photos color Levels adjustment and take only short time to do that.thank you shearing your tutorial..

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