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Photoshop CS6 One-on-One: Fundamentals is a concise and focused introduction to the key features in Photoshop, presented by long-time lynda.com author and Adobe veteran Deke McClelland. This course covers the image editing process from the very beginning and progresses through the concepts and techniques that every photographer or graphic designer should know. Deke explains digital imaging fundamentals, such as resolution vs. size and the effects of downsampling. He explains how to use layers to edit an image nondestructively and organize those edits in an easy-to-read way, and introduces techniques such as cropping, adjusting brightness and contrast, correcting and changing color, and retouching and healing images. These lessons distill the vast assortment of tools and options to a refined set of skills that will get you working inside Photoshop with confidence.
Photoshop offers several different methods for correcting color cast and I'll walk you through a few of them over the course of the next few movies. Then I'll show you an even more reliable method for correcting color cast inside Camera Raw. I'm looking at an image called Color cast demo.psd, in which I've repeated that photograph of my sons on four different layers. We'll start things off by taking a look at the behavior of the Auto commands here in the Image menu, and those are the commands that I introduced you to in the previous chapter.
As you may recall, Auto Tone and Auto Color correct the image on a channel by channel basis, and as a result, the color cast can't help but be modified, whereas Auto Contrast affects the composite image. So it's not going to do us any good. As you can see here on the Layers panel, the top Layer auto tone is selected, and that's that image on the left-hand side of my screen. So I'll go up to the Image menu and choose the Auto Tone command in order to modify it, and that is definitely a more neutral looking image.
Whether that's the best take on the image however is yet to be seen. Next, I'm going to select the auto color layer here inside the Layers panel and then I'll go up to the Image menu and choose the Auto Color command, and we get this take on the image. As you can see, Photoshop has cooled down the image dramatically. Now what do I mean by that? I'll press Ctrl+Z or Command+Z on the Mac to bring back the warm image. When you hear folks talk about warm images, they mean images that are trending toward warm tones, such as reds, and oranges, and yellows, whereas a cool image; think icy cool, is going to be trending more toward blue.
Now let's get a sense of whether we'ver made the image neutral or not. I'll go ahead and grab the Eyedropper here in the toolbox, but before I click on the pillow, I want to try your attention to those HSB values in the Color panel. This is that color that I sampled in the previous movie. You now know a Hue of 32 degrees indicates orange. The value I want to try your attention to is this S value which stands for saturation. The saturation of a color is its intensity. Right now it's set to 27%. We'll come back to that in a moment.
But I want to show you if you crank that value down to 0 percent, you end up getting an absolutely neutral gray, regardless of the hue value. If you take that value up all the way to 100%, you get the most vivid version of that color possible. In our case, a vivid orange. I'm going to dial that back down to 27, because that's what we had, which is relatively low saturation value. So as you can see in this foreground color swatch, we have a grayish looking orange. However, 27% is still a heck of a color cast.
Now let's see what happens if I click and hold on that pillow. The color at the bottom of the circle is the old pillow color and the color at the top of the circle is the new color. And just eyeballing it, you can tell that it's a much more neutral gray. Now let's check out the HSB values. That Hue value of 298 degrees, you can check that out in the Hue locator, 209 isn't too far from 210, which is a shade of blue. Let's switch back to the demo file. The thing is, that Saturation value, in my case, is down to 4% which is quite neutral indeed.
Anything between 0% and 5% qualifies as neutral. So in other words, the Auto Color command has done a great job of neutralizing this color cast. The problem is, that's not always going to be the case. The behavior of the Auto Tone and Auto Color commands varies like crazy from one image to the next. So there are times you'll get the result you want, many other times you won't. In the event you don't get the results you want, that's when you apply a manual correction using the Color Balance command and I'll show you how that works in the next movie.
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