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Removing a color cast

From: Photoshop Elements 8 for Windows Essential Training

Video: Removing a color cast

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.

Removing a color cast

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.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Photoshop Elements 8 for Windows Essential Training
Photoshop Elements 8 for Windows Essential Training

106 video lessons · 8551 viewers

Jan Kabili
Author

 
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  1. 10m 20s
    1. Welcome
      1m 13s
    2. Using the exercise files
      1m 35s
    3. Launching the Welcome screen
      3m 12s
    4. Touring Elements
      4m 20s
  2. 29m 45s
    1. Working with catalogs
      3m 16s
    2. Getting photos from your hard drive
      2m 49s
    3. Changing thumbnail display options
      4m 35s
    4. Getting photos from a camera or card
      9m 43s
    5. Getting photos from a CD/DVD or an external drive
      4m 46s
    6. Getting photos from a scanner
      4m 36s
  3. 43m 15s
    1. Touring the Organizer interface
      5m 44s
    2. Viewing photos
      5m 11s
    3. Selecting photos
      2m 58s
    4. Rotating photos
      2m 39s
    5. Renaming photos
      2m 7s
    6. Fixing photo dates
      2m 0s
    7. Hiding and deleting photos
      5m 24s
    8. Stacking photos
      8m 9s
    9. Moving files
      4m 43s
    10. Backing up catalogs
      4m 20s
  4. 52m 4s
    1. Applying keyword tags
      8m 33s
    2. Finding photos by keyword tags
      3m 41s
    3. Finding photos with the Keyword Tag Cloud
      1m 56s
    4. Applying Smart Tags
      4m 29s
    5. Automatically tagging people in photos
      7m 54s
    6. Applying star ratings
      2m 48s
    7. Organizing photos in albums
      4m 10s
    8. Organizing photos in Smart Albums
      6m 44s
    9. Finding photos with Text Search
      4m 31s
    10. Finding photos from the Find menu
      5m 10s
    11. Finding photos in the Timeline
      2m 8s
  5. 29m 18s
    1. Working with photos in Full Screen view
      11m 12s
    2. Viewing slideshows in Full Screen view
      4m 10s
    3. Comparing photos
      5m 22s
    4. Using Date View
      3m 41s
    5. Mapping photos
      4m 53s
  6. 56m 46s
    1. Applying Photo Fix options in the Organizer
      8m 22s
    2. Touring the Quick Fix workspace in the Editor
      6m 12s
    3. Applying Quick Fix controls
      11m 10s
    4. Using Quick Fix tools
      11m 2s
    5. Working in Guided Edit in the Editor
      4m 45s
    6. Fixing group shots in Guided Edit
      5m 57s
    7. Applying the Scene Cleaner in Guided Edit
      9m 18s
  7. 1h 12m
    1. Opening files in Full Edit
      2m 13s
    2. Touring the Full Edit interface
      5m 5s
    3. Working with tabbed documents
      6m 57s
    4. Using tools
      6m 11s
    5. Setting editing preferences
      4m 22s
    6. Adjusting color settings
      4m 18s
    7. Using Undo History
      5m 56s
    8. Zooming and navigating
      6m 30s
    9. Creating a blank file
      5m 58s
    10. Photo resizing and resolution
      9m 59s
    11. Using the Recompose tool
      3m 8s
    12. Enlarging the canvas
      3m 49s
    13. Saving files
      7m 47s
  8. 17m 36s
    1. Understanding layers
      3m 28s
    2. Working in the Layers panel
      4m 51s
    3. Combining images with layer masks
      9m 17s
  9. 19m 54s
    1. Understanding selections
      2m 27s
    2. Manual selection tools
      7m 6s
    3. Automatic selection tools
      6m 27s
    4. Modifying and saving selections
      3m 54s
  10. 1h 0m
    1. Cropping and straightening
      3m 49s
    2. Applying a Shadows/Highlights adjustment
      2m 54s
    3. Applying adjustment layers
      7m 53s
    4. Adding a Levels adjustment layer
      4m 12s
    5. Merging multiple exposures
      6m 33s
    6. Adding a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer
      3m 54s
    7. Adjusting with Color Curves
      3m 39s
    8. Removing a color cast
      3m 21s
    9. Correcting skin tone
      2m 34s
    10. Reducing digital noise
      4m 4s
    11. Sharpening photos
      7m 42s
    12. Working with raw photos
      9m 52s
  11. 24m 50s
    1. Using the Smart Brush tool
      7m 52s
    2. Using the Detail Smart Brush tool
      4m 26s
    3. Dodging and burning
      2m 18s
    4. Healing wrinkles and blemishes
      5m 17s
    5. Removing content with the Clone Stamp tool
      3m 41s
    6. Removing red-eye
      1m 16s
  12. 31m 3s
    1. Applying filters
      5m 8s
    2. Adding effects
      3m 16s
    3. Running automated actions
      1m 51s
    4. Using layer styles
      6m 6s
    5. Using shapes
      8m 12s
    6. Using the Cookie Cutter tool
      3m 13s
    7. Converting color to black and white
      3m 17s
  13. 9m 29s
    1. Creating text
      5m 8s
    2. Editing text
      2m 59s
    3. Warping text
      1m 22s
  14. 38m 50s
    1. Making a photo book
      8m 26s
    2. Making a photo collage
      9m 0s
    3. Creating a slideshow
      11m 25s
    4. Stitching a photo panorama
      4m 3s
    5. Preparing images for the web
      5m 56s
  15. 33m 54s
    1. Printing photos
      2m 58s
    2. Printing contact sheets and picture packages
      4m 58s
    3. Sending photos by email and Photo Mail
      5m 57s
    4. Burning photos to CD/DVD
      1m 17s
    5. Ordering prints and books
      1m 59s
    6. Signing up for Photoshop.com
      3m 15s
    7. Sharing photos online at Photoshop.com
      7m 40s
    8. Backing up and synchronizing online
      3m 40s
    9. Getting inspiration from Adobe.com
      2m 10s
  16. 26s
    1. Goodbye
      26s

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