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Photoshop Elements >

Color Correction >

Introduction

This section will guide you to the answers to your questions, and to the right tutorial.

Articles

Obviously, color is a big topic in photography, so there are lots of articles.

Additive v. Subtractive Colors

Avoid Color Correction

Batch Processing

Color Definitions

Color Relationships & the Color Wheel

Color Temperature & Mired

Make Color Correction Easier

Measure Color

Photoshop-Only Features

Plug-ins

RGB Color

Skin Tone Correction Guidelines

Skin Tone Samples

Why Is Color Correction Hard?

Strategies

Here are some guidelines about selecting the best method.

Easiest Method

Start with the Auto Color Method.

This method often works well, but not all of the time.

Little Understanding of Color

If you don't understand how color works in photography, do the following.

1) Go to Additive v. Subtractive Colors.

2) Start with the two methods below.

Auto Color Method

Adjust Color for Skin Tone Method

Some Understanding of Color

A method that requires some understanding of color, but not a lot, is the Color Variations Method (Not available in Photoshop Elements 12 and later versions).

While the example in the tutorial is about skin tone correction, the method can be used for any color correction situation.

Overall Correction, First

If there's a subject in the photograph which obviously needs color correction, correcting the entire photograph, before correcting only the subject.

Often, the color cast that's obvious in one part of a photograph, is also present in the entire photograph.

Of course, if the color of the light is different in distinct parts of a photograph, use the spot correction method described below.

Adjustment Layers

If you use an adjustment layer for color correcting, you can modify the correction later.

Three adjustment layer methods are described below.

Skin Tones

Beginners should start with the Adjust Color for Skin Tone Method.

Then, go to Skin Tone Color Correction Guidelines, and try some of the methods described below.

Methods

Auto Color

This method is easy.

However, it may also make other adjustments, such as contrast..

Go to Auto Color Method.

Remove Color Cast

This method is also easy, and it only changes the color.

Go to Remove Color Cast Method.

Adjustment Layers

You can use a Levels adjustment layers for color correction.

Color Chosen By? Advantages Disadvantages

• PSE chooses the color with the Gray-point Eyedropper Method.

• You choose the color with the Channels Method.

• Little experience of determining which color needs to be changed is needed.

• Conveniently, you can adjust color and contrast with one adjustment layer.

• By using an adjustment layer, you can modify corrections later.

• Changing one color also changes the complementary color.

You can also use a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer for color correction.

Color Chosen By? Advantages Disadvantages

• You choose the color with the Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layer Method.

• Little experience of determining which color needs to be changed is needed.

• Changing one color doesn't change the
complementary color.

• You need some understanding of how to determine which color needs to be changed.

Go to Measure Color.

Color Variations & Spot Correction

Although the following methods are described in the Skin Tone Correction section below, they can be used for any color correction.

Color Variations Method (Not available in Photoshop Elements 12 and later versions)

Spot Color Correction Method

If you need to correct color only in part of a photograph, use the above method.

Extreme Color Casts

Use LAB color, available only in Photoshop.

Go to LAB Color.

Skin Tone Correction

The chart, below, has four tutorials in which skin tones are corrected.

You can also use these methods, described above, as well.

Auto Color Method

The above method is similar to the Adjust Color for Skin Tone Method, but lacks three slider controls.

Color Correction with Channels

Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layer Method

Method Skin Tone Only? Advantages Disadvantages

Adjust Color for Skin Tone Method

Yes

• Easy

• Similar to Auto Color Method, but with three sliders for some control

• Photoshop Elements is making the decision.

• The color is being changed throughout the photograph, not just the skin tones.

However, this is not usually a problem:

1) Often, what is troubling a skin tone is also troubling the rest of the photograph.

2) Because skin tone corrections are usually minor, a slight change in color in the rest of the photograph may be acceptable.

Color Variations Method

 (Not available in Photoshop Elements 12 and later versions)

No

• More control

• Little understanding of how color works is needed.

• More work

R > G > B Method

Yes

• More control

• See for a discussion of how people often don't want accurate skin tones.

• More work

• Some understanding of how color works is needed.

Spot Color Correction Method

No

• More control

• The color is not being changed throughout the photograph.

For example, you can change the color on part of a face, such as warming the color of a bluish shadow.

• More work