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Sometimes after a colorcast has been removed it seems like all the color has been removed, except for maybe a hint here or there. Take this photo for instance. Everything is faded almost to a gray tone, except the two large flowers. In a case like this, you may just want to get a little of a color back and make it a little more exciting. One way to do that is to paint the color back in. The original colors in this image were predominantly green, so the first thing we need to do is get some vibrant greens back in.
Add a new blank layer by going down to the bottom of your Layers panel and clicking on the Add New Layer icon. Now we're going to change the Layer Blend mode to Soft Light. Let's go over to our color picker and choose a green tone. Let's get something pretty vibrant, click OK, and fill the layer. Since it's your foreground color, you'll use Alt+Backspace or Option+Delete. And now we're going to add a layer mask and invert the mask using Ctrl+I or Command+I. We're going to go and we're just going to choose our Brush tool.
You can adjust your brush size with the open and close bracket keys and begin painting the green in. That's obviously just a wee bit bright. We'll take care of that shortly. Now this isn't tinting a photograph from scratch. Obviously, we're enhancing the colors that were already there. It's just picking things back up again.
Obviously, I'm not being as careful as I could be. Let's go up to Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur and soften the work we just did at the edges. Click OK and bring down the Opacity. You'll see that that just greened things up just a little bit. We're not going for a painting job here, a new paint job. There are some instances, like this house back here, maybe it's a bit boring and you want to add some color.
You can do a color that maybe wasn't there. Let's add a new blank layer, and let's go for yellow. Let's give us a yellow house. Fill in using Alt+Backspace, or Option+Delete, add a layer mask, invert it-- Ctrl+I or Command+I--and let's paint in the house. Adjust your brush again, open and close bracket keys. Let's change our Layer Blend mode. Soft Light is good because the color comes through.
Nice transparent color. That's just going to add a little color in the background and keep a pretty monotone image. Give it a little bit of excitement of the yellow house. Go to Filter, and we'll use the last setting of Gaussian Blur that we did and then lower our Opacity. So I'd continue with the sky and the flowers and wherever you'd want more color.
This method also works when tinting black-and-white images.
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