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Learn Photography

Photoshop Elements >

Color Picking >

2 - From the Photograph

If you want to select a color that's in the photograph, use the Color Picker tool.

Do the following.

1) Select the Color Picker tool.


2) In options bar/Tool Options, select one of the three choices for how much to sample.

Most often, select Average (5 x 5).

This choice averages the color of twenty-five pixels near where you clicked.


3) Position the Color Picker tool cursor on your photograph over the color that you want to select.

• To change the foreground color, click.

• To change the background color, press and hold Alt, and click.

More About the Three Choices

One Color

When you need a particular color, select Point Sample.

The sample size is one pixel.

An Average of the Colors

Often, an area on your photograph looks like a single color.

However, it may consist of several colors.

For example, a cheek on a portrait may be pink.

If you select just one of the pixels on the cheek, you may get an orange or a red.

Therefore, set the Color Picker tool to average the color of a larger area.

3 by 3 averages the color of nine pixels, and 5 by 5, 25 pixels.

You can select colors from outside Photoshop Elements.