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Yet another way to make a color correction to an image is to balance the color in each channel using the Color Balance adjustment. First we're going to go to the bottom of our Layers panel, select the Create a new fill or adjustment layer icon, and select Color Balance. Even though an image is in RGB or red, green, blue color, mode, that doesn't mean that red, green, and blue are the only colors present in the image. Where the primary colors overlap in an image, just like on the color wheel, you get new colors.
Likewise, if you subtract a color, you get a new color. If you take red from blue and green, you get a mixture called cyan. Subtract green from blue and red--you get magenta. Red and green make yellow. Red, green, blue, cyan, magenta, and yellow--these are the six colors that make up the Color Balance adjustment. Color Balance is all about adding and taking away colors to adjust the image. First thing you want to do in this dialog is keep the Preserve Luminosity box checked.
Then you'll go to each tone in turn--the default is Midtones, but we're going to check Shadows first--and move your sliders, looking at your preview image over here, to see how this is going to look. This is a very green image. We want to take some of the green out, so we'll go more toward red. If we add more green, it gets very green. Let's go toward magenta, see how blue looks. We don't want to go toward yellow, because it is a green/yellow cast. Once you find the place you like, click on your next tone, in this case Midtones, and move your slider from side to side to see which has the best result for you, and just continue along these lines.
You can get it a very cool effect if you go more toward your blues. You can bring a little bit of your greens back in if it gets too cool, keep away from your yellows and go to your greens. You can just do whatever you like. Now let's move to the Highlights and add some red back in. Cyan makes it a little too blue. Let's see, green or magenta we want to keep away from the reds. Keep that one more toward the middle, moderate. See what yellow does. Move it over to the blue. Just go through and move your sliders and kind of eyeball how it's going to go.
If you don't like the result completely, you can always go, as we often do, and let's add a new fill or adjustment layer, put a Curves adjustment on top of it, see if that brings out any more of your colors. It may be to your liking, and it may not. It could be a good starting point in Color Balance. In this case I actually like the Color Balance result better. Don't limit yourself to just a few color-correction methods.
Color Balance is another one of the under-appreciated and little-used adjustments in Photoshop. By adding and taking away colors in the color channels, you can correct many color problems, lessening the colorcast and bringing out the tones that you didn't even realize were there.
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