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Advise on Extreme Color Cast Correction

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  • Advise on Extreme Color Cast Correction

    I have a series of photos I am trying to restore, but am having challenges with correcting the extreme red color cast due to aging. Tried a number of the tutorials & suggestions to no avail (relatively new member, probably more out there.) Any advise would be appreciated. Thanks in advance for your help.

    Paul Rettberg
    Attached Files

  • #2
    You might be able to use this as a starting point, i just real quickly adjusted the curves on the red channel, then tweaked the whole image with some adjustment layers, hue/saturation, curves, and color balance. it's not perfect but it's a start
    Attached Files


    • #3
      What I tried:

      1. Levels adjustment layer - adjust Red, Green and Blue channels individually. Looking at the individual histograms, Red is squished up on the right, Green on the left, and Blue in the middle.


      2. Hue/Saturation adjustment layer - boost saturation by 15

      3. Curves adjustment layer - minor tweaks just to boost the contrast a little

      Step 1 is the one that made most difference - the others were largely a case of looking at it and making minor tweaks.

      I dithered about whether or not to also use a Color Balance layer to tweak towards cyan, but ended up not doing it. Still not sure if that was right or not.
      Attached Files
      Last edited by Leah; 03-17-2004, 03:01 PM.


      • #4
        A method that I have found to be fast (after the first couple of times you do it) and will usually give you a pretty good idea of what you can do with the image is here

        Its called the 90% method, so depending on the image you may have to tweak a little after you run it. I have never heard of anybody saying that they had a perfect method of doing this.



        • #5
          Hi Paul,

          Welcome to RP!

          Llike Leah, I started off by using the Levels on each Channel individually until I had minimized the Color Cast.

          I added:
          • a Selective Colors Adjustment Layer to correct the colours individually.
          • a Hue/Saturation and a Color Balance Adjustment Layer to correct the overall colour of the picture.
          • new empty Layers (Blending: Color and Overlay) to emphasize color and contrast, particularly on the girl's face.

          Finally, I cleaned the picture a bit and fixed the cat's eye...

          Attached Files


          • #6
            Very well done Flora!!


            • #7
              Flora, I'm always amazed at what you can do with PS. When I first looked at the original, I could not believe there were any colors there except for the color cast.

              After playing around with levels, setting white and black points, colorizing layers, cloning/healing the outside edge, saturation, etc, I came up with the attached.

              Selective Color looks so confusing to me. So many variables. Can you point us to some resources to learn that? For this image in particular, can you take us through your thought process to get the colors right?

              Thank you,
              Attached Files


              • #8
                Big Al, Scott,

                ...thank you so much four your feedback!!!


                You did very well!!!

                When correcting Colors, one of the first step I take is the Selective Colors Adjustment which, in my opinion, is one of the best and powerful Tool of Photoshop for that purpose.
                It allows you to influence/change the intensity that different colours have on each individual colour of your image .... example: if only the reds and/or the blues in your picture present a strong magenta cast while everything else looks just fine, Selective Colors "selectively" lets you correct that and only that, without changing anything in the other colours....

                For this picture, starting with your version, (hope you don't mind ... I think it's easier to see exactly what I changed...),I did the following: (Image 1)
                • Added a Selective Color Adjustment Layer. (In this case I had to tweak everything to get where I wanted).
                • Added a Color Balance Adjustment Layer.
                • Created a new empty Layer (blending > Color).
                • Created a new empty Layer (blending > Overlay).
                • Stamped Visible.
                • Duplicated the Stamped Layer and:
                  * Ctrl+U > increased the overall Saturation;
                  * run a light Gaussian Blur (radius > 0.3);
                  * used the Custom Filter to lightly sharpen the picture;
                  * corrected some points by creating a Layer Mask and erasing what I wanted to bring back from the underlying Layer.

                You can see the changed values for Selective Colors and Color Balance in the attachments....

                Hope this could help...

                Attached Files


                • #9
                  Very educational. Thanks Flora..


                  • #10
                    Thanks so much

                    Wow, you guys are awesome. Thanks for all the assistance.


                    • #11
                      Flora, so **how** do you determine what adjustments to make to the image via selective color? What is your thought process as you go through the steps?



                      • #12
                        Hi Scott,

                        All I read about 'Selective Colors' came from the Photoshop Help File. ....

                        Selective color correction is a technique used by high-end scanners and separation programs to increase and decrease the amount of process colors in each of the additive and subtractive primary color components in an image. Even though Selective Color uses CMYK colors to correct an image, you can use it on RGB images as well as on images that will be printed.

                        Selective color correction is based on a table that shows the amount of each process ink used to create each primary color. By increasing and decreasing the amount of a process ink in relation to the other process inks, you can modify the amount of a process color in any primary color selectively--without affecting any other primary colors. For example, you can use selective color correction to dramatically decrease the cyan in the green component of an image while leaving the cyan in the blue component unaltered.

                        All I learnt about 'Selective Colors' was by 'playing' with it again and again ....

                        How do I "determine what adjustments to make to the image via selective color? What is my thought process as I go through the steps?"

                        The answer to your questions is one and the same .... by looking at the picture ..... meaning .... are the colours flat? .... Does it still have a color cast? Are the colours very 'pale'?

                        If the answer to any of these questions is "Yes" for the overall picture... then I rather go for 'Color Balance'.... If it's "Yes" for parts of the image or for one or more colours only .... then I go for 'Selective Colors' .... The rest is just trial and error .....

                        Let me explain this using your version of the picture .... (hope you are not going to hate me....) where you managed to bring out the original colours very well ... but .... looking at it (my opinion only or my monitor maybe), I thought that the girl's face was a bit 'pale' and her skin had a light cyan cast... her arm was a tad too yellow in comparison with the rest of the skin colouring and also had a light cyan cast like the cat's face, ears and paws .... that's when I decided to use 'Selective Colors' as the first step ....

                        Still talking to me?

                        Last edited by Flora; 03-19-2004, 07:29 AM.


                        • #13
                          Gary, Paul,

                          Thank you very much for your feedback!!!

                          Last edited by Flora; 03-19-2004, 03:11 PM.


                          • #14
                            I'LL NEVER SPEAK TO YOU AGAIN!

                            just kidding...

                            Your description is great. However, my feeble mind may need a long time to fully grasp the concept. Thanks for taking the time!



                            • #15
                              I'm very late to this party, and I'm no Flora, but here's my go at it...

                              My steps were:

                              Levels adjustment layer, working with each channel, to get rid of the overall color cast (per Katrin Eismann's technique).

                              Selective Color adjustment layer to very slight adjustments for removing a bit of green that resulted from the levels adjustment layer.

                              Hue/Sat adjustment layer (also with settings for individual colors)to bring out the colors.

                              It was a bit dark, so I copied the luminosity, inverted that selection to get the darker areas selected, copied that into a new layer, and set it to Screen blending mode. That brought out some of the details in the shadow areas.

                              Attached Files


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