Many photographers really miss the smooth saturation an deep colours they could achieve with Fuji Velvia and although we can’t do an automated action or plugin to give us an out of the box match to that desired film stock, we can get you close.

There are various ways to do this. This way does generate some noise under certain conditions, so double check the final usage before you finalize your image. The flipside is that you have a lot of colour control over al the various colour channels, so fine tuning the effect is a bargain! Also, because we will be using an adjustment layer, you can mask the effect infinitely.

Original image from RAW was converted totally neutral in CaptureONE without any adjustments. The image is from a Canon 5D (mark 1)

Original boat image

Here are the steps:

NOTE: If your Image is not in RGB, Switch to RGB color mode.

Start by adding a new “Channel Mixer” adjustment layer.


add channel mixer adjustment layer



At this point you want to start adjusting the different colour channels seperately. Start on the Red Channel (Set

[Output Channel] to Red in the channel mixer dropdown in the dialogue box)

Now, you will notice that the red channel adjustment, can be changed by adjusting a Red, Green and Blue “Source Channel”. The same with the green and the blue channels. It is important to note that:

a. Adjusting a “Source Channel” for the colour channel in question (ie, red or blue or green) requires that you need to balance the other source channels as well. Your colours must always be balanced, whatever you add in the red channel, you need to subtract in green and blue channels. The total adjustment MUST ALWAYS BE a total of 100%

Adjust Channels
Source Channel Adjustment

b. If you adjust one “Output Channel”, you need to adjust the other Output Channels as well. in order to have a total colour balance. At this point, you can do a similar adjustment on all output channels, but if you need to remove a colour cast, you can do it by making a different adjustment to the separate Output Channels.

For any Output Channel you adjust (for this type of Velvia Adjustment) The “Source Channel” matching the “Output Channel” must be the positive adjustment. So, If you are working in the RED “Output Channel” then the RED “Source Channel” must be your positive adjustment.

Output Channel adjustments

So the basic starting adjustments will be as follows:

RED Output Channel:

Red Source Channel: +150%
Green Source Channel: -25%
Blue Source Channel: -25%

GREEN Output Channel:

Red Source Channel: -25%
Green Source Channel: +150%
Blue Source Channel: -25%

BLUE Output Channel:

Red Source Channel: -25%
Green Source Channel: -25%
Blue Source Channel: +150%

To get slightly more contrast, you may want to adjust your levels at this point, but be careful that you do not push it too far. at this point, it’s easy to block the more saturated colours in the lower end of the light spectrum.

Original vs adjusted


by Sean Nel
Sean Nel
All images Copyright – Sean Nel

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