Approach to Color Correction


New users often have a hard time when color correcting or enhancing images. They generally lose sight of the goal: making the image look better and believable. Many users go "too far" in their quest to fix images. If the image starts to look fake or too altered, it will be distracting. While getting it "right" will require some practice, here's some advice on getting started:

  • Identify what's wrong: Before you can fix a picture, be sure you have decided what's wrong. Is it too dark? Is the sky washed out? Has the picture faded over time? Make a list and prioritize the issues you find in each image. It's easier to fix one problem at a time, and if you identify those problems, you'll know when to stop twiddling with the image.

  • Work with a copy of the image: Before you start to color correct an image, you should duplicate it. This way you can return to an original version if you make a mistake or go too far in your image touch-up. After opening your file, choose File > Save As and give the version that will be corrected a new name. Color correction is often a destructive process, meaning that you cannot revert to the original state at a later time. By preserving an original version, or employing adjustment layers, nondestructive editing is possible.

  • Edit with adjustment layers: Adjustment layers allow you to apply most of the image correction commands as nondestructive effects. They are added as a layer above the actual image, and the adjustment layer can be blended, masked, or deleted at any time. Additionally, if you double-click the adjustment layer's thumbnail, the Image Adjustment dialog box comes back. The same modifications are available in both the Adjust menu and Adjustment Layers. You should work with an adjustment layer whenever possible as its flexibility will be important for future revisions.

  • Get a fresh opinion: It's not a bad idea to step back and examine your work. Open up the backup copy and compare it to the image you've been working on. This comparison, literally a before-and-after, can be very useful. If you've got a fresh set of eyes nearby, ask another person for her or his opinion.



Understanding. AdobeR PhotoshopR. Digital Imaging Concepts and Techniques
Understanding Adobe Photoshop: Digital Imaging Concepts and Techniques
ISBN: 0321368983
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2004
Pages: 129

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