Join Richard Harrington for an in-depth discussion in this video Removing a color cast from a photo, part of Enhancing Images with Photos for OS X.
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- Sometimes a photo taken under different lighting conditions can pick up a color cast. Maybe it's the environment. Light reflecting off of a wall onto the subject. Or maybe your camera was in the wrong white balance setting. In any case there is different ways to remove color cast. We'll tackle white balance next. But sometimes it's very subtle, where one color bleeds into another, or the lighting conditions are just adding an unwanted tint to the scene. In this case we're gonna pick this image that has some shade and what we're getting is different types of lighting conditions.
Let's open that up and go to Edit Mode. Now with our basic Adjustments I'll just choose an Auto Adjustment for Light, and lift the Shadows up a little more, and recover the Highlights. And pressing the M key for before and after, you see we have a better balance. But what's happening here is that we have the lighting conditions inside mixing with the outdoor light. And the color of the walls is not exactly right. By adjusting the Cast here, notice how we can shift the lighting.
Cooling down the scene, or warming it up. In this case I'm gonna cool it down just slightly, and increase the total Saturation of the image. If you look at the before and after, you'll see that the lighting conditions have been changed. Let's take another example. And in this case we'll work with a subject that's under mixed lighting. Let's Edit this photo and start with a simple Crop to remove mom from the scene.
We'll pull that edge in a little bit, and use those rule of thirds compositions to place a eye at one of those intersection points. It's looking pretty good. I'm gonna pull a little bit from the left here. And nudge that over just slightly so that she has a little more look room. Alright, that looks good. I'll click on over to my Adjustments here. And choose an Auto-Adjustment for Light, and in this case while the skin tone looks pretty good there is a small problem with Color Cast.
Notice as we roll this how her skin tones change, cooling down or warming up. Depending upon the mood I'm trying to go for this can really change the time of day. In this case I like putting a slightly warmer Color Cast and lifting the Saturation. That's feeling pretty good, and I'm gonna bring up the shadows just a bit so we don't lose her face. And recover some of the Highlights. Now that we've got that about right, let's pop a little bit of Sharpening, and put some Selective Definition in.
Don't overdo Definition on skin tones or it starts to make faces look a little gritty. A small Vignette at the edges works nicely. Press the M key for the before and after, and you see that the Color Cast Adjustment was a subtle adjustment that just warmed the scene and brought out a feeling of a late afternoon rather than a cool morning. Using the Color Cast can be both a stylistic adjustment or a corrective one.
- Applying and removing effects
- Reading the histogram
- Working nondestructively
- Making primary color and exposure adjustments
- Reusing image adjustments
- Enhancing images with advanced adjustments
- Recovering shadows and highlights
- Creating and manipulating black-and-white images
- Styling photos
- Adding and combining filters