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A quick color cast fix

From: Quick Fixes with Photoshop Elements 10

Video: A quick color cast fix

Sometimes you'll find that the color in a photographic image just isn't accurate to what you saw when you were taking the picture. This can happen for a variety of reasons. In this case there was a bit of overcast light and so the glacier really wasn't picking up as much color. This is a photo I captured of a glacier in Alaska, the sky was a bit overcast and so the colors don't quite have the punch that they really would have had under sunny skies. But also the colors look a bit drab and brown and its mostly because the color seems shifted instead of the cyan's we're seeing a lot more of the sort of yellowish tones.

A quick color cast fix

Sometimes you'll find that the color in a photographic image just isn't accurate to what you saw when you were taking the picture. This can happen for a variety of reasons. In this case there was a bit of overcast light and so the glacier really wasn't picking up as much color. This is a photo I captured of a glacier in Alaska, the sky was a bit overcast and so the colors don't quite have the punch that they really would have had under sunny skies. But also the colors look a bit drab and brown and its mostly because the color seems shifted instead of the cyan's we're seeing a lot more of the sort of yellowish tones.

Sometimes you'll find that a completely automatic adjustment for color will work very well. To try that approach you can chose Enhance and then auto color correction from the menu. I'll chose this option and you'll see that the color has shifted a bit, there's a little bit more contrast in the image. Overall, it's certainly an improvement, but not a great result. So, in this case, the auto-adjustment didn't quite give us what we were looking for. I'll go ahead and click the Undo button, and we can look at a slightly less automated approach to correcting color. And I do mean slightly, this approach is actually also quite automated. You basically just need to click in the image in order to correct the color. To get started, we'll choose Enhance and then Adjust Color followed by Remove Color Cast.

When you choose this option, a dialog will appear that is, all things considered, quite simple. In fact, really, most of the dialog contains instructions on how to work with this control. But it's actually incredibly simple. All you need to do is click on an area of the image that you think should be neutral. In other words, in an area that should have no color at all and instead should appear as a shade of gray. Elements will then adjust the image automatically based on that pixel to make the pixel that you clicked on perfectly neutral.

Correcting the overall color for all of the remaining pixels at the same time. So for example, if I were to click on a relatively cyan area, I would get a very red result. But if I click on an area that should be reasonably close to neutral, I'll get a better result. For this image, I think the sort of yellowish brown area up at the top left probably represents the biggest problem. So, I'm going to click on that area and sure enough, I end up with an image that looks much, much closer to what I actually observed.

With the overcast sky, the image appears a little bit cool, meaning the colors are predominantly blue's and cyan's. And that represents a much better overall color for this image. It's much more accurate for what the scene would have really looked like. If need be, I could continue clicking around the image trying to find just the right spot to click on. But here, I think we found a good fix very quickly. I'll go ahead and click the OK button and that color correction is finalized.

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Quick Fixes with Photoshop Elements 10

35 video lessons · 467 viewers

Tim Grey
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