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Photoshop Elements 8 for Windows Essential Training highlights the important features of this comprehensive image organization and photo enhancement application. Photographer Jan Kabili shows how to use Photoshop Elements to organize and edit photos, build photos into projects like slideshows and photo books, and share photos with family and friends. Jan explains how to train Photoshop Elements 8 to recognize and tag faces, use the Smart Brush for targeted adjustments, and share photos using Adobe's online service, photoshop.com. She also dives deep into the application's editing tools, which rival those of the full product, Photoshop, in their ability to take snapshots and turn them into great photos. Exercise files accompany the course.
Depending on the light under which you shoot a photo, the photo can sometimes have an unwanted predominant color called a colorcast. For example, if you shoot in snow or in fog as you see in this photo, the result may have a bluish cast, or if you shoot under fluorescent lights, your photo may have a greenish cast. The Remove Color Cast command is the most direct way to correct a colorcast in the Full Edit workspace. Before I apply that command to this photo, I'm going to open another panel, the Info panel, which will help me to diagnose the colorcast.
From the Window menu I'll choose Info, and that opens the Info panel over here. Notice that it has four quadrants. Because this photo is an RGB color mode photo, I'm interested in this first quadrant right here. If I move my mouse over part of the image, notice the numbers that come up in that first quadrant. They tell me the relative amount of red, green and blue in that part of the image, and as I move the location of my cursor I'll see different numbers there. So right now with the cursor over the snow, I see that there is a predominance of blue over green and red, because the number to the right of the B is higher than the numbers to the right of the R and the G in that first quadrant of the Info panel.
So I know that I have a blue colo cast here and it's not one that I want to keep. So now to try to get rid of it, I'll go up to the Enhance menu at the top of the screen, and I'll choose Adjust Color and from there Remove Color Cast. That opens the Remove Color Cast dialog box. Here it tells you exactly what to do, which is just to move your mouse over part of the image that you think should be either gray, white, or black and click there. And Elements will try to remove the colorcast from the entire image. And as it says here the results will be different depending on where you click.
So in this image, I might try clicking here on the stonework under the bench, but that doesn't give me a result that I like. Everything is aqua colored. So maybe I'll try these bushes here. And that gives me a magenta result that I don't really like. Let me try clicking in the snow, and now I finally have the neutralized result that I was looking for. To preview the image before I applied this command, I'll go to the Remove Color Cast dialog box and uncheck Preview. So that's where I started with a blue colorcast, and that's where I ended.
Now this isn't the only adjustment I would make to this image. I would probably also add a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer to try to intensify the colors that are currently there. But at least I've minimized that blue colorcast that I started with. So I'm going to click OK. As you have seen the Remove Color Cast command can be pretty valuable, except that there is a little bit of trial and error. I just had to click around in areas that I thought should be neutral until I got the result that I wanted. If you shot a photo under less than ideal lighting conditions as I did here, then use the Info panel to check for a colorcast, but keep in mind that there's nothing inherently wrong with a colorcast.
If you have a colorcast that's appealing to you, then keep it that way. For example, if you have a sunset photo, there might be a nice golden cast that enhances the end of day mood in the photo and you might want to keep that. But if there's a colorcast that you find unappealing then do try to reduce it using the Remove Color Cast command.
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