Join Richard Harrington for an in-depth discussion in this video Using Match Color with two photos, part of Nondestructive Exposure and Color Correction with Photoshop CC (2014).
- Another command that's useful in a highly specialized situation is the Match Color command. This is particularly useful if you have the same object shot by different cameras or under different lighting. It allows you to select the object in both images and then apply the adjustment to make the two areas match. In this particular image, the green of the coconut is a bit strong. I'll make an easy selection with Select, Color Range. This allows me to click on the subject.
By adjusting the fuzziness slider, it's easier to grow that selection. Additionally, you could use the plus eye dropper to add to the selection. And it's quite simple to drag through the image or click on the mask itself to add. As you see, the greenish tint on the water is beginning to become active. You can adjust that either with the fuzziness slider or by taking the minus eye dropper and clicking on areas that you want to ignore.
This can also be done by simply using the Shift key to add with the existing eye dropper, and the Alt key to subtract. I'll often combine this with localized color clusters to make it easier to target a particular area or subtract from another area. Once that's done in the first image, click OK to load an active selection. You can now switch to another image to select a target. In this case, I'll choose Select, Color Range again.
You'll note that the greenish value is still used and it carries over from one image to the other. Holding down the Shift key, I could add to select a bit more of these two coconuts, or the Alt key to remove. When I click OK, I now have an active selection in both images. Don't be confused that if not all of the pixels show as selected. Sometimes Photoshop won't highlight everything. This is due to the 50% rule which has to be achieved in order for a selection to show as active.
You can now select the image that you want to use and choose Image, Adjustments, Match Color. Now, you choose which two images you want. For example, I could say that I want to match from the image 2. I'll use Match2 as the target. You'll note that it automatically previews the change. Toggling that on and off, it's pretty quick. In the thumbnail viewer, you see the reference image loaded to help guide your choices.
Now it's just a simple adjustment of refining the luminance, which will change the overall darkness of the color, the intensity, which acts much like a vibrance adjustment, and boost the new color. And fade to blend between the two results. Using these three sliders, it works fairly well. Now, if the overall color balance is off, you can ignore the selection and have it affect everything in the scene.
In this particular case, it looks pretty good actually. And you'll note that the wood and everything else is shifting to match the change in color. Additionally, the Neutralize option can remove color spill. But in this case, it's a bit strong so I'll leave it off. Now that this is done, I can simply click OK to load that. And you'll see that the change has been made. As we toggle between the two images, the green in both images now accurately matches.
This match color command is quite useful. Although it's not a bad idea to duplicate the layer first if you'd like to work non-destructively.
- Performing image-correction triage
- Cloning to an empty layer
- Using adjustment layers and blend modes
- Opening a raw file as a Smart Object
- Making selective adjustments
- Recovering the detail in skies
- Using graduated adjustments
- Fixing exposure
- Saving time with Auto Tone and Auto Contrast
- Adjusting hue and saturation
- Limiting adjustments
- Adjusting shadows and highlights
- Converting an image to black and white