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Photoshop Elements >

Color Correction >

Two Local Color Correction Methods

The two methods below were adapted from Digital Restoration from Start to Finish by Ctein.

Darken & Lighten Blank Layers

You can use the Darken and Lighten blending modes when retouching.

Do the following.

1) Create two blank layers.

2) Rename the two layers as Darken and Lighten.

3) Change the blending mode of each layer From Normal.

Blending Mode?

At the top of the layers stack, look for the unlabeled Blending Mode box.

It's to the left of the Opacity box.

q

If you're new to blending modes, go to Blending Modes.

The blending mode for the Darken layer is Darken, and Lighten, for the Lighten layer.

Lighten

Darken

Background copy

Background

Darken Layer

Use the Darken layer when you need to make an area darker.

Because the layer's blending mode is Darken, only lighter areas will be affected.

Let's say you're retouching glare on a face.

Do the following.

1) Make sure the Darken layer is active (highlighted).

2) Select the Color Picker tool.

3) In options bar/Tool Options, select 5 by 5 Average.

4) Move the cursor to a position near the glare, and click.

5) Select the Brush tool.

6) In options bar/Tool Options, change the opacity of the tool to about 10%.

Don't change the opacity of the Darken layer.

You can vary the opacity of the Brush tool, in options bar/Tool Options, as you work.

You may want to click the airbrush icon in options bar/Tool Options.

Color will build up gradual when you press and hold your mouse button.

7) Click and drag on the glare.

If the Darken layer is only going to be used for the glare, you can fine tune the retouching by changing the opacity of the Darken layer.

When finished retouching, you may want to:

• Change the opacity of the Brush tool back to 100% in options bar/Tool Options.

• Deselect the Airbrush icon in options bar/Tool Options.

Lighten Layer

Use the Lighten layer when you need to make an area lighter.

Because the layer's blending mode is Lighten, only darker areas will be affected.

Let's say you're retouching a shadow on a face.

Do the following.

1) Make sure the Lighten layer is active (highlighted).

2) Select the Color Picker tool.

3) In options bar/Tool Options, select 5 by 5 Average.

4) Move the cursor to a position near the shadow, and click.

5) Select the Brush tool.

6) In options bar/Tool Options, change the opacity of the tool to about 10%.

Don't change the opacity of the Lighten layer.

You can vary the opacity of the Brush tool, in options bar/Tool Options, as you work.

You may want to click the airbrush icon in options bar/Tool Options.

Color will build up gradual when you press and hold your mouse button.

7) Click and drag on the glare.

If the Lighten layer is only going to be used for the shadow, you can fine tune the retouching by changing the opacity of the Lighten layer.

When finished retouching, you may want to:

• Change the opacity of the Brush tool back to 100% in options bar/Tool Options.

• Deselect the Airbrush icon in options bar/Tool Options.

Reduce Splotchy Skin Tones

With a Hue/Saturation Layer

You can use a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer to reduce splotchy skin tones.

Do the following.

1) Create a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer.

Make the adjustments described below.

2) Select Reds in the box that has Master inside the box.

3) Increase the hue by 9.

4) Select Yellows in the box.

5) Decrease the hue by -9 (minus 9).

6) Return the menu to Master.

Reds

Increase Hue by 9

Yellows

Decrease the Hue by -9

7) Make sure the Hue/Saturation adjustment layer is active (highlighted).

8) Press Ctrl + i.

A black mask is created, which blocks the above changes to the saturation.

9) Make sure the foreground color is white.

If you haven't already, go to Foreground & Background Colors.

White will allow all of the changes to saturation to be visible where you brush.

If you want less correction, reduce the opacity of the Brush tool in options bar/Tool Options.

Or, use shades of gray instead of white.

10) Select the Brush tool.

11) In options bar/Tool Options, change the opacity of the tool to about 10%.

Don't change the opacity of the Hue/Saturation adjustment layer.

You can vary the opacity of the Brush tool, in options bar/Tool Options, as you work.

You may want to click the airbrush icon in options bar/Tool Options.

The correction will build up gradual when you press and hold your mouse button.

12) Click and drag on the areas where you want to remove splotches.

If the Hue/Saturation adjustment layer is only going to be used for a small area, you can fine tune the retouching by changing the opacity of the Hue/Saturation adjustment layer.

When finished retouching, you may want to:

• Change the opacity of the Brush tool back to 100% in options bar/Tool Options.

• Deselect the Airbrush icon in options bar/Tool Options.