Color correction in Photoshop

Color correction in Photoshop

Color correction consists of changing the colors and tints, saturation, brightness, and other parameters of the image related to the color component. In this article, we will talk about this operation and give a couple of examples

Color correction in Photoshop

Color correction may be necessary in various situations. The main reason is that the human eye does not see exactly what the camera does. The hardware only picks up the colors and tones that actually exist. Techniques cannot adjust to the intensity of light like our eyes. Because of this, photos often don't look the way we want them to. Another reason to correct color is defects in the photo, such as excess lighting, haze, low (or high) contrast, or lack of color saturation.

Tools for image color correction are widely available in Photoshop. They can be found in the menu Menu «Image - Correction»..

The most used are. Levels (invoked with the hotkey CTRL + L), curves (keys. CTRL + M), Selective color correction, Color tone / saturation (CTRL+U) and Shadows / Lights..

Color correction is best learned with practical examples.

Example 1: "wrong" colors

The "unevenness" of the colors is determined subjectively, based on the general idea of ​​the photo, or by comparing it with real specimens. Suppose we have a cat like this:

The lion looks quite passable, the colors in the photo are lush, but there are too many shades of red. It seems unnatural. We are going to correct this problem with the help of "Curves"..

  1. We press the key combination CTRL + Mand then go to Red color: and bend the curve roughly as shown in the screenshot below.

  2. As you can see, shadowed areas have appeared in the image.

    By not covering curves, go to the channel. RGB and lighten the photo a bit.

Result:

This example tells us that if any color is present in an image in such an amount that it appears unnatural, you should use curves to correct the photo. Not only can red (blue or green) be removed, but the desired shade can also be added.

Example 2: Dull colors and reduced contrast

Another photo of a cat in which we see muted tones, haze, reduced contrast and, therefore, little detail.

Let's try to correct it with Levels (CTRL + L) and other color correction tools.

  1. Open the panel "Levels".. You can do this by pressing the key combination CTRL + L or through the menu «Image - Correction». On the right and left of the diagram, you can see the empty areas (without black bursts), which must be excluded to eliminate the haze. Move the sliders as in the screenshot.

  2. We have removed the haze, but the image has become too dark, and the kitten almost blends into the background. Let's lighten it up. Let's select the tool. "Shadows / Lights".

    We set the value of the shadows. In this case it is 20%.

  3. Again a lot of red, but how to reduce the saturation of a color we already know. Let's remove something red, as in the example of the lion.

  4. The color correction work is practically done, but don't leave it that way. Let's add some clarity. We are going to create a copy of the layer with the original image (CTRL + J) and apply a filter (the copy) «Contrast of colors».

  5. Adjust the filter so that only fine details are visible. However, it depends on the size of the image.

  6. Next, we change the blending mode of the filter layer to "Overlap"..

We can stop there. We hope that in this tutorial we have managed to convey to you the meaning and basic principles of color correction of photos in Photoshop.

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