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Resolving a strong color cast

From: Quick Fixes with Photoshop Elements 10

Video: Resolving a strong color cast

If you ever work with old family photos, there is a good chance you'll find some that have faded in such a way as to create a very strong color cast. And of course, there are a variety of other situations where you might have a strong color cast in an image. And I'm going to show you a couple of possibilities for removing that color cast. The first will be a quick and easy adjustment. I'll go ahead and choose from Enhance menu and then under Adjust Color choose Remove Color Cast. I can then click in an area of the image that should be neutral and the color will be corrected automatically.

Resolving a strong color cast

If you ever work with old family photos, there is a good chance you'll find some that have faded in such a way as to create a very strong color cast. And of course, there are a variety of other situations where you might have a strong color cast in an image. And I'm going to show you a couple of possibilities for removing that color cast. The first will be a quick and easy adjustment. I'll go ahead and choose from Enhance menu and then under Adjust Color choose Remove Color Cast. I can then click in an area of the image that should be neutral and the color will be corrected automatically.

In this case, however, you can see that I'm not getting the best result even when clicking on areas of the image that should definitely be perfectly neutral with no color. In that case, I can apply a different adjustment. I'll go ahead and click the Cancel button, and what I'm going to do is create a copy of my Background Image layer. So, I'll click on the thumbnail for the Background Image layer on the Layers panel and drag that thumbnail down to the blank sheet of paper icon. The Create New layer button at the bottom of the Layers panel.

This will create a background copy that I can use for this technique. First, I'll choose Filter and then Blur followed Average. This will blur the image so much, that the only color we'll see will be the average color of the entire image. You can see there's a relatively strong magenta color cast here, so I would assume the average color in the image is something in the magenta range. And choosing the Average Blur option you can see that's most definitely the case. Of course this is the color I want to remove from the image, and so I actually need the opposite color so that I can apply that to the photo. I'll go ahead and choose Filter > Adjustments, and then Invert in order to get the opposite color.

To apply this color to the image, I'll go to the Layers panel, making sure that my background copy layer is the layer that's active. And then I'll choose the Color Blend mode from the Blend mode popup at the top left of the Layers panel. Doing so, will cause this background copy layer to only affect the color of the underlying image. You can see that I've counteracted the magenta color cast. But now I have an even stronger green color cast. I've applied too strong in adjustment. All I need to do is reduce the Opacity, using the control at the top right of the Layers panel.

By reducing the Opacity of the Background Copy layer, I will reduce the effect of that color correction. And as you can see that will give me a good result in terms of the overall color. I'll still likely need to increase Saturation and Contrast for the image, but at least this gives me a much better starting point in terms of the overall color. To finalize the effect, if I'm going to save the image back in its original file format, I can simply choose Layer and then Flatten image to produce a flattened result.

So that this image can then be saved as the JPEG file that it already is, and I can continue applying additional adjustments as needed.

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Quick Fixes with Photoshop Elements 10

35 video lessons · 448 viewers

Tim Grey
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