Removing Color Cast
Color cast refers to a general shift of color
to one extreme or another: an image can be
said to have a yellow or red cast, for instance.
While sometimes introduced into images
intentionally (to create a certain mood or
effect), color casts are usually unhappy acci-
dents. They can result from any number of
circumstances, from a scanner in need of
calibrating to tired chemicals in a film devel-
oper’s lab. Even light from a fluorescent
bulb can create unwanted color shifts in
Thankfully, Photoshop Elements gives you a
couple of ways to deal with color cast: a won-
derful little automatic menu command, and
a dialog box that allows you to manually
color-correct your image by adding and sub-
tracting color values in small increments.
To remove color cast with the Auto
Color Correction command:
From the Enhance menu, choose Auto
Color Correction, or press Shift+Ctrl+B/
Shift+Command+B (Figure 3.36).
That’s it. Photoshop Elements does
some elegant, behind-the-scenes magic,
examining the images color channels and
histogram, then does a little math and
voilà—no more color cast. (See the color
plate section of this book for a full-color
example of removing color cast.)
I use this little feature all the time before
starting into any other image correction.
I’m constantly amazed at how well this
simple menu command works, and usu-
ally give it a try even if I don’t perceive a
color cast. It almost always offers some
degree of improvement to the color.
Changing and Adjusting Colors
Removing Color Cast
Figure 3.36 Choose Auto Color Correction
from the Enhance menu to automatically
remove color cast from your image.
To remove color cast with the Color
Variations dialog box:
1. From the Enhance menu, choose Adjust
Color > Color Variations.
Determine the color cast of your image.
As Elements doesn’t offer any help in
determining color cast, you’re pretty
much on your own here. Look for clues
to color cast in objects or areas you are
familiar with and can make good, edu-
cated guesses on. Ask yourself if that
bright blue sky is looking a little yellow,
or if those leafy greens have a little pink
tinge to them, then work from there.
In the lower portion of the dialog box,
click on the thumbnail with the descrip-
tion that most describes what you need to
do (Increase Red, Decrease Blue, and so
on) while referring to the After view in the
top half of the dialog box (Figure 3.37).
Continue to click any combination of
thumbnails, as many times as necessary,
until the After view looks the way you like.
Click OK to close the Color Variations
dialog box and view your corrected image.
To a large degree, using the Color Variations
dialog box a matter of trial and error,
and to a lesser degree a rather subjective
process. And as much as Id like to be able
to provide some little hints or formulas,
experience and experimentation are the
real keys to success with this dialog box.
If you find yourself completely lost, or
just want to start over, click the Before
thumbnail in the upper-left corner, or the
Reset Image button along the right-hand
side to reset the entire dialog box.
Figure 3.37 The core of the Color Variations dialog box
is the lower, thumbnail button area. Each time you
click a thumbnail you apply a slight color shift to your
image. The thumbnails can be clicked any number of
times and in any combination.
Chapter 3
Removing Color Cast

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