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Using Color Variations

From: Photoshop Elements 9: Scanning and Restoring Photos

Video: Using Color Variations

Removing a color cast is like stripping paint off a piece of furniture. You are removing the top coat to reach the original color underneath. A feature of Photoshop Elements 9 that makes stripping the color cast easier is called Variations. Variations require you to eyeball the results, but it's not as hard as you might think. Variations isn't an adjustment layer, the changes happen on the photo itself. So be sure to duplicate the layer by using keyboard shortcut, Ctrl on a PC, Command on a Mac + J.

Using Color Variations

Removing a color cast is like stripping paint off a piece of furniture. You are removing the top coat to reach the original color underneath. A feature of Photoshop Elements 9 that makes stripping the color cast easier is called Variations. Variations require you to eyeball the results, but it's not as hard as you might think. Variations isn't an adjustment layer, the changes happen on the photo itself. So be sure to duplicate the layer by using keyboard shortcut, Ctrl on a PC, Command on a Mac + J.

Double-click on layer 1 and we'll rename our layer. I'll name this one Variations and click Next to it to accept the change. With your Variations layer selected go up to your Enhance menu, down to Adjust Color and in the pop-out menu go to the bottom where it says Color Variations and select. The Variations dialog contains a before and after image to gauge your progress and little thumbnails that show you step -by-step what increasing or decreasing certain colors will do to your photo.

There's also an area where you can select the area of the image to adjust, midtones, shadows, highlights or saturation, and you can also adjust your Color Intensity. Feel free to play with these settings to see what they do for you. For right now we'll stick with the Midtone adjustments and leave the Color Intensity at the default midrange setting, that's always a good place to start. Looking at the thumbnails see if you can tell by eyeballing them what colors you need to Increase and Decrease? In this it looks like maybe if we Increase the Blue and then perhaps Decrease the Red.

If at any point you don't like how your adjustments look simply press the Undo button over here at the right. What's nice about this is you can undo each change you've made individually, if you hit Undo once it takes away the last change you made, do it again and the one before that and now it's back to the original. That kind of liked what we did with that, so let's increase the Blue again and then Decrease the Red and select OK. Now to get a really great result you can do quick levels adjustment by selecting the Create a New Filler Adjustment layer icon at the bottom and select Levels.

Take your Black Eyedropper tool and find the darkest portion of your photo and here it looks like they are in the rosebush and then take your White Eyedropper and find a nice white area. I think we'll use this area in the little girl's skirt, and that came out really bright. So what you need to do is go over to your layers panel and lower the Opacity. We'll keep it down about 65%, looks good, and click on your Levels layer. Variations is an often overlooked but very useful tool for color correction and photo restoration.

With very little effort simply determining the color of the cast on your photo then decreasing that color can bring the color of your photo back. So let's take a look at our original image by hiding the Levels layer and the Variations layer and then we'll bring them back, here is our Variations layer and our Levels layer. Variations is an often overlooked but very useful tool for color correction and photo restoration with very little effort simply determining the color of the cast on your photo and then decreasing that color you can bring the color of your photo back.

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This video is part of

Image for Photoshop Elements 9: Scanning and Restoring Photos
Photoshop Elements 9: Scanning and Restoring Photos

40 video lessons · 6170 viewers

Janine Smith
Author

 
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  1. 1m 40s
    1. Welcome
      1m 1s
    2. Using the exercise files
      39s
  2. 13m 20s
    1. Identifying your media
      2m 45s
    2. Determining your equipment needs
      2m 24s
    3. Setting your scanner
      3m 26s
    4. Scanning negatives, slides, and film
      1m 11s
    5. Digitizing damaged and delicate photos
      3m 34s
  3. 10m 51s
    1. Importing photos into the Organizer
      3m 34s
    2. Adding captions and notes
      2m 47s
    3. Adding keyword and smart tags
      4m 30s
  4. 25m 11s
    1. Using Levels
      4m 7s
    2. Fixing fades with Threshold
      3m 22s
    3. Adjusting contrast using Color Curves
      4m 18s
    4. Darkening images with blend modes
      2m 12s
    5. Adjusting brightness and contrast
      2m 2s
    6. Using Quick Fix for lighting
      4m 12s
    7. Fixing automatically with Guided Edit
      4m 58s
  5. 18m 59s
    1. Using Levels to fix color
      3m 29s
    2. Correcting color automatically with Enhance
      3m 39s
    3. Correcting color with complementary colors
      5m 19s
    4. Using Color Variations
      3m 28s
    5. Using Quick Fix for color
      3m 4s
  6. 22m 37s
    1. Using the Clone Stamp tool
      5m 24s
    2. Using the Healing Brush
      5m 5s
    3. Working with newspaper and magazine images
      3m 12s
    4. Softening paper texture
      4m 40s
    5. Taming fingerprints
      4m 16s
  7. 42m 52s
    1. Repairing small rips and creases
      4m 22s
    2. Repairing large tears
      8m 22s
    3. Filling in missing pieces
      5m 36s
    4. Reassembling a photo from pieces
      10m 12s
    5. Fixing and replacing backgrounds
      5m 0s
    6. Using Photomerge with panoramas
      3m 59s
    7. Repairing documents
      5m 21s
  8. 22m 48s
    1. Creating a photo book
      6m 1s
    2. Making a calendar
      3m 52s
    3. Creating a personalized greeting card
      4m 26s
    4. Making a slideshow (Windows only)
      4m 22s
    5. Creating a flyer
      4m 7s
  9. 25s
    1. Final thoughts
      25s

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