Doing More Complex Color Makeovers: Neutrals and Skin Tones (continued)

O Move your Eyedropper cursor over the light side of the collar and shoulder of the shirt (image-left) to measure the white highlight.

Note that the RGB values in the Info palette measure 241, 240, 255. We are looking for two things here: (1) equal RGB values, and (2) a highlight value of 242, which is the RGB equivalent of 5%.

The Red and Green values are okay here, but the Blue value is way high — a sure sign of a strong Blue color cast in the highlight area of the image.

5 Click and hold the Eyedropper tool in the toolbox until the "hidden" tools appear; then select the "hidden" Color Sampler tool.

The Color Sampler tool allows you to record the RGB values of up to four areas in the Info palette.

6 Using the Color Sampler tool, click the white shirt's collar.

The Color Sampler tool records the RGB values (240, 241, 255) in the lower portion of the Info palette and gives it the label of #1.

7 Still using the Color Sampler tool, measure and sample the RGB values in a darker area of the shirt.

Try sampling just to the image-right side of the collar. Note that the RGB values here are approximately 156, 141, 190.

Here, the Red and Green values (156 and 141) are not as close as they were in the highlight, but the Blue value is still significantly higher (190) than both of them — indicating that the blue color cast does indeed extend throughout the image.

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8 Click with the Color Sampler tool to record this RGB value as well.

You now have two sampled points.

9 Using the Color Sampler tool, click the right (image-left) side of the woman's face and capture the current RGB values.

We'll need these values to evaluate the skin tone.

Note: This sampled area will initially be sample #3 but will become sample area #2 after you remove the temporary #2 sample location you create.

0 Choose ImageoAdjustmentso Curves.

The Curves dialog box makes an appearance.

! In the Curves dialog box, choose Blue from the Channel drop-down menu.

Doing so isolates the Blue channel for correction. (You've isolated the Blue channel because the Blue value is the one most in need of correction.)

@ While watching the #1 sample in the Info palette, click and drag the Highlight (right end) of the Blue channel curve downward until the Blue value is about 241.

The idea here is to change the Blue highlight value to equal the Red and Green highlight values. (You color-correct the highlight by neutralizing it.)

Taz's Take: Neutralizing the highlight is a critical makeover adjustment, because the human eye is particularly sensitive to seeing colors in bright white areas.

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