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Photoshop CS4's adjustment features offer unparalleled opportunities to correct and manipulate images. In Photoshop CS4: Image Adjustments in Depth, Jan Kabili explains how to use all the major Photoshop adjustment features. She shares the best techniques for adjusting image quality, and shows how to use the new Adjustments panel to streamline a photo correction workflow. Jan also demonstrates multiple ways to eliminate color casts, and explains how to use the new On-Image Curves control to adjust brightness and color. This course offers a detailed look at the techniques photographers and designers use to master image adjustments in Photoshop. Exercise files accompany the course.
A Photo Filter adjustment offers a simple way to counteract or neutralize a color cast in an image or to introduce a desired color cast. The Photo Filter adjustment simulates the effect of a colored filter on your camera lens. I can apply a Photo Filter adjustment either as a direct adjustment from the Image menu or as an adjustment layer which I prefer to do. So I'm going to click the Photo Filter adjustment icon here in the Adjustments panel and that adds the Photo Filter adjustment layer to the Layers panel.
In the Adjustments panel, I see that filter set to its defaults. There is a whole list of flavors of Photo Filter here in the Filter menu and I could just come to this menu and choose one of these flavors. The Warming filters add a gold look to the image, the Cooling filters a blue look and then there is a list of various colored filters here. If you don't see a color that you need or that you like in that list, you can create your own Photo Filter by clicking the Color button here. Then if you click in the Color Field, the Color Picker opens and from here you can pick a color of your liking.
The Density slider in the Photo Filter adjustments panel controls the strength of the adjustment. If I drag that to the right, I get a stronger Photo Filter look and if I go to the left, a less strong effect. It's also important to leave Preserve Luminosity checked to retain the total balance in the image. I'm going to make this Photo Filter adjustment layer temporarily invisible by clicking the eye icon at the bottom of the Adjustments panel. So you can see that there is a very slight green color cast in this image and you can see that most on this white wall here and here.
The compliment to green is magenta. So I'm going to try to add a subtle magenta Photo Filter to neutralize this green color cast. To do that, I'll go back to the eye icon at the bottom of the Adjustments panel and make the Photo Filter adjustment layer visible again. Then I'll go to the Filter button and select that and from the Filter menu, I'm going to choose Magenta as my Photo Filter. I'll go to the Density slider and I'll try moving that to the right slightly to increase the strength of this filter.
Now I'd like to see a before and after view. So I'm going to go back down to the eye icon at the bottom of the Adjustments panel and take a look at the image without this Photo Filter where I do see that green color cast and now with the Photo Filter, which pretty effectively neutralizes the green color cast. If you've got a really strong color cast in an image, you may not be able to neutralize it with this subtle adjustment. But in many cases like this one, it works well. It's also a good way to introduce a color cast. So let's say for example, I wanted to warm up this image, I might go up to the Filter menu and choose one of the warming filers. That adds a gold glow to the image.
So the next time that you're trying to neutralize a color cast that you don't want or introduce the color cast that you do want, give the Photo Filter adjustment a try.
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