Doing a Quick-and-Dirty Color Makeover: To Neutralize or Not to Neutralize (continued)

The histogram here tells a pretty clear story: You've got a specular highlight (the lights) in this image, which shows up as the small data peak on the far-right side of the histogram. It is this bright, blown-out area of the image that forces the remainder of the image into the three-quarter-tone and shadow tonal ranges.

2 Click and drag the Highlight slider to the left until it is directly under where the image data begins to bump up in the histogram.

Doing so brightens the image but retains the color cast.

3 Click and drag the Midtone slider until it just enters the steep slope of the main data peak in the histogram.

If you simply must have numbers, slide until you get around 2.0 in the midtone's Input Levels field — the middle one of the three fields.

4 Click the OK button to complete this adjustment.

Brightening the Image and Saying Adios to the Color Cast

Here you lighten the other image while reducing the color cast.

1 With the second copy of the initial image open, choose ImageoAdjustmentsoLevels.

In this example, you work on the individual channels (instead of the master RGB channel) to reset the highlight.

2 Choose Red from the Channel drop-down menu.

Doing so isolates the Red channel for adjustment.

3 Drag the Highlight slider to the left until the slider is directly under the first bump in the image data.

The middle figure here to the right gives you an idea where to stop.

4 Choose Green from the Channels drop-down menu.

Doing so isolates the Green channel for adjustment.

Q Drag the Highlight slider to the left until the slider is directly under the first bump in the image data.

Note how much farther left you have to drag to get to the Green channel's significant data than you do for the Red channel. And contrast this histogram with the one displaying the Blue channel. (See the next step for details.)

6 Choose Blue from the Channels drop-down menu.

Doing so isolates the Blue channel for adjustment.

O Drag the Highlight slider to the left until the slider is directly under the first bump in the image data.

Note that the beginning of the significant data in the Blue channel is way farther left than was the case in either the Red or the Green channel. Such offsets in the highlight data (seen here in these histograms) are the root cause of the color cast.

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