Advanced Options - Color Corrections

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Color matters - very small changes in color can create strong overall changes in your image. This is especially true for subtle colors, colors that are near to neutral gray and colors that complement each other within the image. There are lots of techniques for correcting color precisely within your images, yet often the final judge for the quality of the image is your own eye.

For any subtle color corrections, you need to depend on your monitor to show you your images accurately; make sure you have your monitor calibrated.

Look at images that have good color. I still often use the colors of other images to help me adjust my work. You can go to the website for any stock agency and search for images that are similar to your image. Adobe Stock Photos is built right into Adobe Bridge and Adobe Bridge makes it easy to copy accurate comps into Photoshop for comparison. Remember, good color is not necessarily accurate color; good color serves your design goals. But be careful, modern photographic design includes some fairly unusual color casts; usually, stock images either have accurate color or very unusual colors.

I have listed several adjustments that I commonly use to fix color in my images. I seldom use the Color Balance tool provides in Photoshop. I think the most useful is using the Auto Color options within a Curves adjustment layer - learn this technique, it is quick and easy, and it usually creates acceptable color in one adjustment. Experiment with the other technique in the section, they are each useful for various problems with editing color.

The Tasks for Using Auto Color and Color Correcting by the Numbers can both be performed using a Levels or a Curves adjustment layer. I use curves for the first technique and levels for the second.

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