Easy-to-follow video tutorials help you learn software, creative, and business skills.Become a member
In this movie, I'll introduce you to the Color Balance command, which allows you to control the exact nature of your color correction, at the same time of course, it requires more work than choosing an Auto Command. I've saved my progress as Auto cast correction.psd and I'm now looking at the third image in, and that's the third layer down. Now Color Balance is available as an adjustment layer. So you can access it either by clicking on this black white icon at the bottom of the Layers panel, and there you see Color Balance about mid way down the list or I can bring up the Adjustments panel and click at that Color Balance icon which looks like a scale, and that will take me to the Properties panel and I can see my Color Balance controls.
Now what I'm seeing is my primary colors over here on the right-hand side; red, green, and blue, and their complimentary primary is over on the left-hand side; cyan, magenta, and yellow. So for purposes of using this command, you can think of red and cyan as being opposites, green and magenta are opposites and then blue and yellow are opposites. So you don't ever want to add a color, you don't want to think, gee whiz, I need more cyan in this image, rather you want to think in terms of the color you want to remove.
I want to remove red. So I want to send the slider towards cyan, and as opposed to dragging the sliders which you can, I think the easier way to use this command is to adjust the numbers. So if I click inside that first field and press Shift+Up arrow, you'll see that I'm adding red to the image which is exactly the opposite of what I want. Instead I want to remove cyan, so I'm pressing Shift+Down arrow, and I'll take that value, for now, down to let's say -30. And you should know it's very difficult to gauge one value by itself.
So you sort to have click around these values. Edit one, see how it works, edit another, see how it compensates. So my image is now looking too green. So I'll click in the second field and I'll press Shift+Down arrow to remove some of the green. Obviously, the image is too yellow as well. So I'll tab to the next value, and because I want to remove yellow from the image, I want to increase this value toward blue and so I'll press Shift+Up arrow a total of four times in order to increase that value to +40.
Now the image is looking too red again, so I'll click in that top field and I'll press Shift+Down arrow a couple of times in order to take the value down to -50. So, so far we've got a first value of -50, a second of -10, and a third of +40. Now, if you take a look at the Tone option right here, you'll see that we're modifying the midtones, that is the middle range of colors inside the image. Take a look at the TV in the background and you'll see that what ought to be a neutral black surface looks awfully darn blue.
So I'll switch the Tone from Midtones to Shadows, and then I'll click in that last field, because I want to remove blue. I want to send this slider toward yellow. So I'll press Shift+Down arrow once in order to reduce that value to -10, and you can see the black of the TV surface is less blue. Now all these reddish action that we're seeing in the boys' skin, that's happening in the highlight range. So let's change the tone from Shadows to Highlights and I'll remove some red by pressing Shift+Down arrow in this first field a couple of times in order to take that value down to negative 20.
Now we want to remove some more yellow from the scene. So I'll click in the third field and press Shift+Up arrow a couple of times in order to send that slider toward blue. So we have a first value of -20, a second of 0, we didn't change that one and the third of +20. Now I'm going to return to Midtones and I'm going to click in that first field and take it back up a little. So I'll press Shift+Up arrow to take the value to -40, and that looks like a pretty darn good adjustment. Let's test it out. I'll close the Properties panel and then switch to the Eyedropper tool once again and then I'll click and hold inside the pillow.
It looks like we had gray before and now we have gray again. But if you check out my values here inside the Color panel, I happen to have a Hue value of 269, you can check that out in the hue locator file, but that's violet by the way. But notice my Saturation value, it's declined to 1%, making that pillow at any rate more neutral inside this image than any of the others. The problem however vis-a-vis the previous correction, that is the correction that was applied using the Auto Color command, is that the colors over here in the color balance image are a little too saturated.
So for example, my boys end up looking a little too pinkish. On the positive side, if you take a close look at this image on the left, we've got some pretty bright highlights around my eldest Max's nose for example, and along his arm as well. So we're starting to lose some of that highlight detail whereas the highlights are looking great in the Color Balance image. One more thing that I want to note, I'm going to scoot the image over so that we can see that far right layer. Notice that it's being affected by the color balance layer. So if I turn the color balance layer off, both images go back to the bad color cast.
And if I turn it on, they're both corrected, and that's because an adjustment layer affects all layers below it. If you wanted it affect just the single layer, then you need to clip that adjustment by pressing the Alt key here in the PC or the Option key on the Mac and clicking that horizontal line between the two layers. That way the color balance photograph, that is that photograph on the left here inside my Image window, is serving as a clipping mask for the adjustment layer and the photo filter layer, which is this layer on the right, remains unaffected.
I'm going to make one more change. To make sure that this Adjustment layer is affecting just the colors inside the photograph and not the luminance levels I'm going to go up to the Blend mode pop up menu and change it from Normal to Color, and watch happens to the image over here in the left-hand side. The luminance level settled down a little bit and we don't get quite the harsh degree of contrast we had a moment ago. That's how you use a Color Balance command here inside Photoshop.
Get unlimited access to all courses for just $25/month.Become a member
120 Video lessons · 58256 Viewers
119 Video lessons · 67552 Viewers
84 Video lessons · 16846 Viewers
125 Video lessons · 29743 Viewers
Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.
Search within course videos and transcripts, and jump right to the results.
Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.
Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.
Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.