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You may have heard someone describe an image as having a certain color temperature; it's warm or cool. So, typically, a warm image tends to look orange-y or yellow-y and some reddish tones, and that whereas a cool image will look more blue or cyan. So, here is an image where you might want to play around with a different temperature of the image. I'm not really worried about changing the contrast and adding black or white or pumping up the midtone contrast. I just want to change the overall color temperature of the image to make it either warmer or cooler. Now if you're a photographer and you have a camera bag with a bunch of lenses in it, you might actually have some photo filters in there as well that you typically would screw on top of your lens or at the end of your lens that changes how the camera interprets the light.
There's all sorts of different physical analog filters that you can buy for your camera. There is polarizing filters. There's color filters. There's filters for shooting underwater, and so forth. The cool part is that you actually have a full range of digital photo filters available to you in Photoshop, to do basically the same sort concept, but after you've already taken the shot. In the Adjustments panel, you'll see there's a little adjustment here called Photo Filter. It's got a little camera on it with a little circle that makes it look like an actual lens filter there. I'm going to go ahead and click on that icon, and that brings up the Photo Filter adjustment for this particular image.
It defaults always to the Warming Filter (85). But if I click on this list of filters, you can see there's quite a few filters that I can choose from. If my goal was to cool the temperature of this image, then I have three different cooling filters to choose from, and these are common filters, like if you were going to go buy a physical filter in a camera supply store, these would be what these are called. I need a Cooling Filter, or an 80 filter, or an 82, or an 85, or whatever. I'm going to go ahead and choose Cooling Filter (80), and you can see it dramatically changes the effect of the image. I'm going to go ahead and turn that on and off. Here's the Preview button, or the Visibility button.
I'm going to turn that off. There's before. And there's after. You can see I've really cooled off the sky and the sand of the beach there. I can choose from three different coolings, just to see which one gives me the result I'm looking for. It's completely subjective and up to you. Then to control how much of the Photo Filter effect is being applied, you have a Density slider. So, if I take that, the default value is 25%, if I want this to be dramatically cooler, then I can increase the density. It's probably not what I want on this particular image. If I just want to dial it down a little bit, the Density slider to the left.
So, you've got a lot of flexibility, even more flexibility than a physical filter that you would put in front of your camera. It kind of makes it pretty fun to just change color temperature, either stylistically to actually dramatically use it as a creative effect, or just to make subtle temperature changes. So, if I want to go back to the Warming Filter, maybe I'll choose Warming Filter (81) and increase the Density to make it really kind of have an orange cast to it. It's completely up to you. You can change the quality and temperature of light that the image was shot with by using these Photo Filter adjustment layers.
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