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In Photoshop Elements 6 for Mac Essential Training, Ted LoCascio teaches casual photographers how to organize, edit, and share their digital image libraries using this powerful software package from Adobe. He tours the included Adobe Bridge application, used for importing and organizing photographs, and explores every feature of Elements itself. He demonstrates how to navigate the Elements workspace, which is used to correct and improve images, combine them into projects, and produce slideshows, photo books, web galleries, and more. Ted also explains how to get the most out of each editing mode, and shares tips for correcting, retouching, and sharpening photographs. Example files accompany the course.
Some of your images may contain a predominant color known as a color cast. While this can sometimes be used to create an effect, it's usually considered undesirable. With this movie I would like to show you how to remove an unwanted color cast using the Remove Color Cast feature available in Elements. I'm in Bridge right now and I'm viewing our exercise files folders. So what I would like to do is navigate down to the Chapter 10, Making Tonal Corrections folder. Double-click on that and in here we have a folder named Color Cast.
Let's go ahead and double-click that as well. In here we have our image, Enzo on Easter morning. Let's go ahead and double-click this to open it up. What I would like to do is remove the cast that's in this particular image. Notice that the image has a predominant blue tint to it. Notice that the carpet, which actually should be beige, has a bit of a blue cast in it. Same with the couch area back here and the areas that are white behind here, even the walls, my son's skin, everything has this bluish cast to it. That is not a desirable effect.
This can often happen when you don't have the white balance setting set up properly on your camera. If you have it set up to shoot for outdoors or perhaps for fluorescent lighting, something like that, and then you shoot in a different environment than what it's set to, you can wind up with these types of color casts. Again, it's a pretty easy thing to correct here in Elements. I would like to show you how to do that. The first thing we want to do is go under the Enhance menu and we're going to choose Adjust Color and we're going to choose Remove Color Cast. The top option right here. That brings up this dialog box.
A great thing about this dialog box is it tells you a little bit about how to use this tool. It says to correct a color cast, click on a part of the image that should be either gray, white or black. Elements will adjust the photo based on where you click. Again, it gives you a little eye dropper icon here. So if we hover over the image we can see the eyedropper appears and we can click in an area that should be either gray, white or black. Now, if you should click in an area that should be black, you may not get the results that you want. Same thing if you click in an area that's white.
A lot of times when you do that, it will just shift the color cast around the color wheel and give you a different type of cast. Your best results usually come if you find an area in the image that's maybe not necessarily gray per se, but of medium brightness. So let's go ahead and try this. We will in an area like this that should be black, maybe the darkest area here inside of the chalk board, and we do that and it creates this yellow cast, which is not exactly what we want. We still have a cast; it's just of a different color. So we can click somewhere else in the photo. We don't have to undo or reset or anything like that.
Let's just click in a different area of the photo. This time I'm just going to click over here in the white trim of the wall. That should appear white. Click on that. That creates a bit of a magenta color cast as you can see in here. It's better than we had and better than the blue cast. It's still little closer to what we might want, but not exactly right. I think a better thing to do would be find an area in the photo that's of medium brightness. I think that would be this area at the end of the couch. Although this is a beige couch, there is obviously some shadow creeping in over the couch and that makes it a type of gray. So let's go ahead and just click over here. I think that gives us the best result.
His skin tones are now looking a lot more natural. The colors in the background are looking more natural. Keep in mind this is shadow area in back of here anyway. So it doesn't need to be very, very clear or concise, but we want it to look more natural than it did, the forefront object especially. His shirt, his skin, his face, everything is looking much more natural now. So we're able to remove the color cast by clicking in an area of medium brightness and that's the gray. You will find that usually that's when you get the best results. Finding something in the image, that's great.
If you don't get it the first time, that's okay. Keep clicking. Nothing is going to happen to your photograph. It's not going to damage your image if you continue to click in different areas until you find one that does the trick. So we can click OK. That applies the color cast removal and now we can print the image if you want. Rather than do that though, I want to click Undo and show you one other thing. There is another way that you can remove a color cast. That's very similar, just using a different tool. If we do over here in the Layers palette, we can choose an adjustment layer, and I'm going to choose Levels. That's right here. We bring that up. It's going to bring up the Levels dialog box and create the adjustment layer for us over here above the background layer, which means that any adjustment we make in here in this dialog box is going to affect the imagery underneath it in the Layers palette.
So what I want to do is focus on these eye droppers over here. We have a black point, a white point and of course, neutral gray. So the same sort of concept here except not using the Remove Color Cast feature, using Levels this time. Click on that center eye dropper. Locate an area in the photograph that's of medium brightness or your gray point. Click on it to remove the color cast. You get the same results, same sort of idea. Only this time, if I click OK, it's done nondestructively in an adjustment layer, which means I can turn this off or I can edit the adjustment at any time. Maybe click over in a different area of the photograph, if I don't think I got it right the first time. This option is a little bit more flexible.
That's why you might want to consider using this as opposed to the Remove Color Cast option under the Enhance menu. So those are the two different ways that you can remove a color cast using the Levels Adjustment Layer, which I think is sometimes the better way, little bit more flexible, or also, you remove a color cast option under the Enhance menu.
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