If you’re an active Photoshop user, you certainly know that there are a countless number of selection methods, which can help you in your projects. While some are more suited than others in certain situations, if you’re looking to select a specific color in your image, Color Range, found under the Select menu, may be your best bet.
This feature allows you to sample the color(s) you are looking to select, then use the Fuzziness slider to increase or decrease the amount of similar tones that will be included in the final selection.
In Photoshop CS5, we saw the addition of Localized Color Clusters and the Range slider. This gives you the option to confine the sampling to a much smaller area. A smaller Range value will confine the end result to a much smaller radius around your initial sample.
Now, in Photoshop CS6, we have 2 new additions to Color Range. Skin Tones, and Detect Faces. When dealing with images that contain people, if you need to select the skin tones of the people in the photo, you can now select the Skin Tones option from the drop down. You’ll notice that Photoshop will automatically select skin specific tones, however, because not all skin tones will be detected, and because you may find Color Range selecting tones outside of the face, you also have the Detect Faces checkbox. Photoshop will do it’s best to detect the faces in your photo, and confine the sampling to those areas. And of course, the Fuzziness slider is at your disposal if you want to increase or decrease the similar tones that are being included in the selection.
From here, pressing OK will create a selection based on the conditions you set within Color Range. If any areas were included that you didn’t want selected, you can simply use the many selection tools available in Photoshop to subtract those areas. Once your selection is complete, what you do is up to you! You can add Adjustment Layers, put your selected face on someone else’s body, or simply make minor changes to enhance the skin.