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Learn Photography

Photoshop Elements >

Photo Filter Adjustment Layers >

1 - Introduction

You can use a Photo Filter adjustment layer to adjust the color of a photograph.

Example

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Original

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A Cooling Filter Reduced the Warmth of the Color

Three Uses

Use #1 - Change the Mood

The mood of a photograph can be changed by adding or subtracting from the warmth of the color.

Above, the dead-bird scene was made more morose by using a cooling filter.

Use #2 - Correct for

Tungsten & Fluorescent Lighting

If the wrong white balance was set, you can correct the color with a filter.

Use #3 - Add a Tone

Use the Sepia filter, or other filters, to tone black-and-white photographs.

Twenty Choices

When you you create a Photo Filter adjustment layer, you can choose from twenty filters.

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The Five Most Used Filters

Filter #1 - Add Warmth

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A scene illuminated with an overcast sky, shade, or flash, is often blue or cyan (blue/green).

Use the Warming Filter (81) to reduce the blue color.

Filter #2 - Reduce Warmth

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The Cooling Filter (82) reduces the warmth of the color in a scene.

This is the filter that was used in the dead-bird scene above.

Filters #3 & #4 - Correct for Tungsten & Fluorescent

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The Cooling Filter (80) corrects for orange of tungsten lighting.

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The Magenta Filter corrects for the green of fluorescent lighting.

Filter #5 - Tone

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The Sepia Filter is used to tone black-and-white photographs.

Go to Toning.

Beginners may want to skip ahead to an example.

Chart

The chart below describes the filters in more detail.

The most useful filters, described above, are in bold face.

The values in the Red, Green, and Blue columns are luminosity levels (0 to 255).

A change in one luminosity level is equivalent to a change of about .4% in a color.

When a value is negative, its positive value equivalent is given as well.

For example, -6 red and +6 cyan are equivalent.

The filters are at 25% Density with Preserve Luminosity selected.

Filter

Uses

Red

Green

Blue

Warming Filter (85)

Correct for using tungsten white balance (Light bulb icon) with daylight

+5

-2

Same as +2 magenta

-7

Same as +7 yellow

Warming Filter (LBA)

Stronger version of the above filter

+7

-2

Same as +2 magenta

-7
Same as +7 yellow

Warming Filter (81)

Warms up the color

+4

-1

Same as +1 magenta

-7

Same as +7 yellow

Cooling Filter (80)

Correct for using daylight white balance (Sun icon) with tungsten lighting

-6

Same as +6 cyan

0

+19

Cooling Filter (LBB)

Slightly different from the above filter

-4

Same as +4 cyan

-1

Same as +1 magenta

+19

Cooling Filter (82)

Cools down the color

-15

Same as +15 cyan

+3

+24

Red

 

+8

-3

Same as +3 magenta

-3

Same as +3 yellow

Orange

 

+7

-2

Same as +2 magenta

-5

Same as +5 yellow

Yellow

 

-12

Same as +12 cyan

0

-10

Same as +10 yellow

Green

 

-5

Same as +5 cyan

+3

-5

Same as +5 yellow

Cyan

 

-6

Same as +6 cyan

+2

+5

Blue

 

-2

Same as +2 cyan

-1

Same as +1 magenta

+9

Violet

 

+2

-3

Same as +3 magenta

+8

Magenta

Correct for using daylight white balance (Sun icon) with florescent lighting

+6

-4

Same as +4 magenta

+6

Sepia

Toning B&W photographs

+2

-1

Same as +1 magenta

-3

Same as +3 yellow

Deep Red

 

+12

-6

Same as +6 magenta

-4

Same as +4 yellow

Deep Blue

 

-2

Same as +2 cyan

0

+8

Deep Emerald

 

-4

Same as +4 cyan

+2

-2

Same as +2 yellow

Deep Yellow

 

+4

0

-10

Same as +10 yellow

Underwater

 

-5

Same as +5 cyan

+2

+1

Let's look at an example.