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In this movie, I'll show you how to make a kind of fake, gray card and post. And use it to automatically correct the color balance of an image. I've gone ahead and restored the original version of this photograph. So, we have no levels adjustment layer at this point. What I'm going to do is make a copy of this image and average its colors. And I'll do that by pressing (INAUDIBLE) And I'll call this gray card and I'll click OK. Then what you want to do is go up to the filter menu, choose blur, and then choose average.
And that's going to find the average color throughout that entire photograph. Now then, go ahead and select some region with the rectangular marquee tool. I'm shift dragging to make it a square. And you want a small region, you don't need very much. Then, go up to the Select menu and choose the Inverse command, or press Ctrl+Shift+i, (INAUDIBLE) or Cmd+Shift+i on a Mac. And press the backspace key, or the delete key on a Mac, in order to get rid of the stuff outside the square. Now press Ctrl+d, or Cmd+d on a Mac, in order to deselect the image.
And I'm going to control drag or command drag this square a little bit out of the way, so I can keep an eye on what's going on. Now click on the black white icon at the bottom of the layers panel, and choose the levels command. And I'll go ahead and scoop my children over, so I can see him better. And then I'll get the gray eye dropper tool and I'll go ahead and click on this square. Now this is going to go way too far because we don't really want to completely neutralize the image. We don't want every bit of color to be just leached out of it, so go ahead and hide the properties panel for now and I'm going to turn off this levels layer for a moment, click on that gray card layer to make it active.
We need to leach a little bit of the saturation out of this card. So, go up to the image menu, choose adjustments and choose hue saturation, or you can press ctrl + u, or cmd + u on a mac. We're just going to, make this a static modification and the degree to which you need to reduce the saturation value frankly is going to depend on the image.O But a good place to start is at negative 50. You don't want to go all the way to negative 100 because then the gray card will be gray and there will be nothing to neutralize. So we need a kind of 50/50 split at least this is a good place to start.
So try negative 50, then click ok, then I'll go ahead and click on a levels adjustment layer to make it active. I'll turn it back on, and double click on this thumbnail. As you can see it suffers from an obvious color cast.
Then if I press Ctrl or Cmd Z we can see the corrected image thanks to our ability to fake a great card and post here inside Photoshop.
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