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Removing strong color casts

From: Photoshop CS6 Image Cleanup Workshop

Video: Removing strong color casts

It can be a lot of fun to pull out an old family photo album, but sometimes it can be a little frustrating by virtue fo the fact that very often albums will actually dsamage our photos, or we might run into a situation were the image has faded causing a little bit of a color shift along the way. When the color shift in an image is especially strong, you can use a quick and easy technique to compensate for that shift. In this case for example, I have an image that has a very strong color cast. It looks like a bit of a red to magenta color cast.

Removing strong color casts

It can be a lot of fun to pull out an old family photo album, but sometimes it can be a little frustrating by virtue fo the fact that very often albums will actually dsamage our photos, or we might run into a situation were the image has faded causing a little bit of a color shift along the way. When the color shift in an image is especially strong, you can use a quick and easy technique to compensate for that shift. In this case for example, I have an image that has a very strong color cast. It looks like a bit of a red to magenta color cast.

Let's take a look at just how quickly and easily we can reduce the appearance of that color cast In the image I'll start off by creating a copy of my background image layer. So I'll drag the thumbnail for my background image layer down to the create new layer button the blank sheet of paper icon at the bottom of the layers panel. That will create a background copy, a duplicate of our background image layer. I'll go ahead and rename that layer. I'll double-click on the layer name, and we'll just call this color fix since we're going to be correcting the color in the image as much as we can. I then need to determine the actual color of the color caste.

And with a very strong color caste we can figure out what that color is by blurring the image, and blurring the image so much that there is only one color left. A quick way to do that is with the average blur tool, I'll choose Filter from the menu and then Blur followed by Average. When I choose that option, the color fix layer will be changed to a single color that represents the average color for that layer. Of course, I don't want to apply this color to the image, I want to apply the opposite color in order to compensate for the strong color cast.

And so I can choose image, adjustments, and then invert from the menu in order to invert this color to its opposite. And since that color was somewhere around a red to magenta, we would expect somewhere around a cyan to green which is exactly what we get when we invert that layer. Of course at the moment, we simply have a color sitting over the top of our photo. To actually apply that color fix, I'm going to use the Color Blend Mode. So I'll change the blend mode for my Color Fix Layer to the Color Blend Mode.

That will cause this layer to only effect the color of the underlying image. Of course that certainly is effected the color. It's just effected it a little too much. I don't want to make the image appear green. I just want to compensate for the strong color cast. So I'll reduce the opacity using the control at the top right of the layers panel in order to reduce the strength of this color fix. When I do so I can fine-tune the adjustment to remove that colorcast leaving the colors looking a bit more natural.

Now, of course this is an old and faded photo, so I'm not going to have vibrant colors but I could always add for example a vibrance adjustment layer In order to boost the colors in the image. Then I could even apply additional corrections as needed, for example enhancing contrast with curves or applying other changes in order to really optimize the appearance of the photo. But by simply making use of that average blur filter along with the color blend mode for that color fix layer, with an inverted version of the average blurred layer, we're able to very quickly apply a correction for strong color casts.

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Photoshop CS6 Image Cleanup Workshop

30 video lessons · 1765 viewers

Tim Grey
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