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Photoshop has become an indispensible tool for photographers, designers, and all other creative professionals, as well as students. Photoshop CS4 Essential Training teaches a broad spectrum of core skills that are common to many creative fields: working with layers and selections; adjusting, manipulating, and retouching photos; painting; adding text; automating; preparing files for output; and more. Instructor Jan Kabili demonstrates established techniques as well as those made possible by some of the new features unique to Photoshop CS4. This course is indispensable to those who are new to the application, just learning this version, or expanding their skills. Example files accompany the course.
Sometimes an image has an overall colorcast like the one that you see here. There are lots of ways to correct a colorcast, some more complicated than others. In this movie I'd like to show you a few quick ways to try to eliminate a colorcast in a photo. None of these are guaranteed and they don't always work on all images but they're certainly worth a try. The first one is the Auto Color command. I'm going to go up to the Image menu at the top of the screen and there I see 3 Auto commands: Auto Tone, Auto Contrast and Auto Color.
Auto Color is the one to try to remove a colorcast. I'll select it, and that is the result on this particular image. So that you can compare this to the original, I'll press Command+Z on a Mac or Ctrl+Z on a PC. There's the original and I'll press that shortcut again to show you the current version, quite a bit better. Now there is more to do to this image for sure, but at least I've removed that glaring yellow cast. Let me undo that again to talk about a completely different method, and that is the Average Color Method.
I'm going to make a copy of the single layer in the file by Ctrl+Clicking on the layer on a Mac or right-clicking on a PC and choosing Duplicate Layer. I'll say OK. With that duplicate layer selected I'm going to go to the Filter menu at the top of the screen and choose Blur and Average. That averages all the colors in the layer and gives me this kind of muddy brown. Now what I need to do is to get the complement of this color. To do that I'll go to the Image menu and down to Adjustments, and over to Invert or I could have just pressed the shortcut, Command+I on a Mac or Ctrl+I on a PC.
So the compliment of the muddy brown is just rather nice blue. Notice in the Layers panel that I have my photo on the Background layer and then I have that light blue on the layer above. I'm going to use a layer blending mode to blend the light blue with the photo. So with the light blue layer selected I'll go to the Layer Blending Mode at the top of the Layers panel and I'm going to go down and choose Overlay. And that's the result. I don't think it looks too bad. It's not perfect, but it's certainly better than the original.
I'll show you how that look to remind you by turning the Eye icon off next to the Background copy layer here. That was the original and this is the result of the Average method. If it's too much I can try a different blend mode like Soft Light, which brings back a little of the yellow and I can also vary the opacity of the Background copy layer. But for now I'm just going to take that Background copy layer and drag it to the trashcan at the bottom of the Layers panel, so I can show you one more quick and dirty method to remove a colorcast and that is to use the Gray Eyedropper that you'll find in both the Levels Adjustments panel and the Curves Adjustments panel.
So I'll go to the Levels icon here and click to open the Levels Adjustments panel and add a Levels adjustment layer in the Layers panel. There are 3 eyedroppers here as there are in Curves. I'm going to click the black eyedropper and with that I'm going to click on the area of the image that I want to be the darkest. I think that's right here and when I do that, that particular color is both turned to pure black and neutralized, so that it doesn't have any cast in it. I'm going to click the White eyedropper right here.
Now this is a little trickier and I may have to click a few different times but I'm going to try to click right on this white crack there and that's pretty close. So that removes any cast in the highlights, and if there's still a cast in the mid-tones, although there isn't much anymore, I'll get this gray eyedropper and I'll find an area that I think should be gray, perhaps somewhere over here. I'll have to click a few times to get just the look that I want but that just about does it. So now if I come back to the Layers panel and I click the Eye icon to the left of the Levels adjustment layer, you'll see how the image was and how it is now after applying the Black and White eyedropper to set the black and white points and neutralize those and then the Gray eyedropper to remove any color cast in the mid-tones.
So those are three quick and dirty methods for reducing colorcast in your images. I hope you give them all a try.
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