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In this lesson, I'm going to share with you a technique for quickly resolving what I refer to as color contamination in an image. This is common in situations where some sort of object has protruded into the scene between the lens and the subject. But it's so close to the lens that it's rendered completely out of focus. So out of focus that you can actually see through that object. That happened here, and you can see that whatever this green object is, I'm able to see through it and see the texture of the donkey below. In other words, all I need to fix is the color, not the tonal variations, in this area of the image.
To get started, I'm going to choose the Brush tool from the toolbox, and then I'll check my settings on the Options bar. I want to make sure that I'm painting with a soft-edged brush, so I'll click the Brush pop-up and choose one the Soft edge options. And then I'm going to adjust the blend mode for the brush. Right now, I have it set to overlay, because I was recently dodging and burning painting light and dark areas into an image. But in this case, I want to adjust the color. So, I'm going to change the blend mode for the brush to color.
I'll adjust the opacity setting all the way up to 100% because I want to have a complete effect on the color within the image. Finally I need to choose which color I'm going to paint with. Obviously I have some green color contamination that I need to get rid of and I want to replace it with a shade of brown. Specifically a shade of brown that matches the donkey and to make sure that the color will match I can actually choose a color from within the image.
I'll hold the Alt key on Windows or the Option key on Macintosh and while holding that key, I'll click on the image. That will sample the color underneath my brush, because when I hold the Alt or Option key the Brush tool temporarily changes to the Eyedropper tool. And you can see that I now have a shade of brown as my foreground color. And that shade of brown was taken from the image itself so I can feel confident that it will match very well. I'll adjust the brush size, pressing the left square bracket as needed to reduce the brush size, or the right square bracket key to increase the brush size.
And then I can simply paint over this area of the image. One thing to keep in mind as you're painting is that the color you selected might not work for all areas. For example, this color is a little bit too red for portions of the donkey, so I'll go ahead and sample a different color, I'll choose this slightly more chocolatey brown color. And then I'll paint with that color, in the darker areas, of the donkey. I can continue selecting additional colors, as needed, so that I can paint in, a variety of colors, and produce a better correction.
But as you can see, by simply using the Color Blend Mode, in conjunction with the Brush tool, we can correct color contamination, preserving the texture of the original image.
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