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Removing a color cast

From: Photoshop Elements 6 for Mac Essential Training

Video: Removing a color cast

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.

Removing a color cast

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.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Photoshop Elements 6 for Mac Essential Training
Photoshop Elements 6 for Mac Essential Training

84 video lessons · 5404 viewers

Ted LoCascio
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 2m 22s
    1. Welcome
      1m 2s
    2. Using the example files
      1m 20s
  2. 12m 1s
    1. Understanding Photoshop Elements
      2m 10s
    2. Using the Welcome screen
      2m 33s
    3. Importing photos from a digital camera
      7m 18s
  3. 1h 1m
    1. Viewing and selecting images
      2m 1s
    2. Creating and saving a custom workspace
      5m 29s
    3. Rotating images in Bridge
      3m 20s
    4. Renaming images in Bridge
      5m 34s
    5. Adding keywords to images
      7m 38s
    6. Applying ratings to images
      5m 17s
    7. Labeling images
      5m 17s
    8. Searching for images
      6m 38s
    9. Creating Collections
      2m 50s
    10. Sorting images with the Filter panel
      6m 36s
    11. Using image stacks
      7m 2s
    12. Hiding images
      4m 6s
  4. 31m 55s
    1. Opening images from Bridge
      2m 24s
    2. Working with palettes and the Palette Bin
      4m 53s
    3. Using the Project Bin
      6m 44s
    4. Zooming and scrolling
      8m 1s
    5. Fixing mistakes with Undo and Redo
      5m 3s
    6. Saving versions
      4m 50s
  5. 49m 38s
    1. Opening and viewing images in the Quick Fix mode
      6m 8s
    2. Understanding Auto Color and making tonal adjustments
      8m 50s
    3. Using the Lighting sliders
      5m 19s
    4. Using the Color sliders
      7m 1s
    5. Applying Auto Red Eye Fix
      3m 31s
    6. Applying Auto Sharpen
      4m 25s
    7. Using the Guided Edit mode
      6m 19s
    8. Processing multiple files
      8m 5s
  6. 10m 22s
    1. Understanding image resolution
      3m 23s
    2. Resizing images
      6m 59s
  7. 17m 8s
    1. Applying Auto Crop and Auto Straighten
      6m 22s
    2. Using the Straighten and Crop tools
      4m 10s
    3. Changing the canvas size
      6m 36s
  8. 30m 32s
    1. Why make selections?
      6m 3s
    2. Using the Quick Selection tool
      8m 37s
    3. Using Refine Edge
      7m 15s
    4. Saving and loading selections
      8m 37s
  9. 25m 58s
    1. Working with the Layers palette
      9m 45s
    2. Using adjustment layers and masks
      8m 37s
    3. Applying transparency and blend mode adjustments
      7m 36s
  10. 40m 56s
    1. Removing a color cast
      5m 53s
    2. Correcting skin tone
      3m 38s
    3. Enhancing color with Hue/Saturation adjustments
      6m 37s
    4. Balancing contrast and color with Levels adjustments
      7m 10s
    5. Correcting dark or light areas with Shadow/Highlight Adjustments
      5m 17s
    6. Improving images with Color Curves adjustments
      5m 55s
    7. Converting color images to black and white
      6m 26s
  11. 54m 14s
    1. Using the Red-Eye Removal tool
      8m 1s
    2. Using the healing tools
      7m 42s
    3. Whitening teeth and eyes
      6m 20s
    4. Cloning to remove contents
      8m 14s
    5. Adjusting perspective and correcting camera distortion
      6m 10s
    6. Using Photomerge Group Shot
      6m 17s
    7. Using Photomerge Faces
      6m 4s
    8. Using Photomerge Panorama
      5m 26s
  12. 16m 1s
    1. Creating a clipping mask
      7m 25s
    2. Creating collages with gradient blending
      8m 36s
  13. 22m 15s
    1. Reducing noise
      8m 7s
    2. Sharpening with Unsharp Mask
      7m 16s
    3. Sharpening with Adjust Sharpness
      6m 52s
  14. 17m 54s
    1. Understanding Camera Raw
      1m 46s
    2. Opening Camera Raw images from Bridge
      6m 37s
    3. Applying tonal and color adjustments in Camera Raw
      6m 23s
    4. Saving raw images
      3m 8s
  15. 40m 41s
    1. Painting with the Filter Gallery
      8m 7s
    2. Creating a pencil sketch
      7m 40s
    3. Customizing images
      7m 59s
    4. Adding artwork with the Content palette
      9m 39s
    5. Building and saving a multi-page photo creation
      7m 16s
  16. 37m 5s
    1. Creating a slideshow
      6m 58s
    2. Creating a photo book
      9m 1s
    3. Creating a photo collage
      6m 58s
    4. Creating a greeting card
      6m 31s
    5. Creating a web photo gallery
      7m 37s
  17. 31m 6s
    1. Choosing color settings
      7m 1s
    2. Printing to an inkjet printer
      8m 13s
    3. Using Picture Package
      4m 33s
    4. Saving for the web
      5m 55s
    5. Attaching images to emails
      3m 6s
    6. Burning to CDs and DVDs
      2m 18s
  18. 56s
    1. Goodbye
      56s

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