Balancing Colors

As you adjust settings, such as hue and saturation, you might create unwanted imbalances in your image. You can adjust colors to correct or improve an image's appearance. For example, you can decrease a color by increasing the amount of its opposite color. You use the Color Balance dialog box to balance the color in an image.

FIGURE 28

Sharpen filters

FIGURE 28

Sharpen filters

TABLE 1: Blending Modes blending mode description

Dissolve, Behind, and Clear modes

Multiply and Screen modes

Overlay mode

Soft Light and Hard Light modes Color Dodge and Color Burn modes

Darken and Lighten modes Difference and Exclusion modes

Color and Luminosity modes

Hue and

Saturation modes

Dissolve mode creates a grainy, mottled appearance. The Behind mode paints on the transparent part of the layer—the lower the opacity, the grainier the image. The Clear mode paints individual pixels. All modes are available only when the Lock transparent pixels check box is not selected.

Multiply mode creates semitransparent shadow effects. This mode assesses the information in each channel, then multiplies the value of the base color by the blend color. The resulting color is always darker than the base color. The Screen mode multiplies the value of the inverse of the blend and base colors. After it is applied, the resulting color is always lighter than the base color.

Dark and light values (luminosity) are preserved, dark base colors are multiplied (darkened), and light areas are screened (lightened).

Soft Light lightens a light base color and darkens a dark base color. The Hard Light blending mode creates a similar effect, but provides greater contrast between the base and blend colors.

Color Dodge mode brightens the base color to reflect the blend color. The Color Burn mode darkens the base color to reflect the blend color.

Darken mode selects a new resulting color based on whichever color is darker—the base color or the blend color. The Lighten mode selects a new resulting color based on the lighter of the two colors. The Difference mode subtracts the value of the blend color from the value of the base color, or vice versa, depending on which color has the greater brightness value. The Exclusion mode creates an effect similar to that of the Difference mode, but with less contrast between the blend and base colors.

The Color mode creates a resulting color with the luminance of the base color, and the hue and saturation of the blend color. The Luminosity mode creates a resulting color with the hue and saturation of the base color, and the luminance of the blend color.

The Hue mode creates a resulting color with the luminance of the base color and the hue of the blend color. The Saturation mode creates a resulting color with the luminance of the base color and the saturation of the blend color.

FIGURE 29

Brightness/Contrast dialog box

FIGURE 29

FIGURE 30

Shadow/Highlight dialog box

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Adjust brightness and contrast

1. Click Image on the menu bar, point to Adjustments, then click Brightness/Contrast to open the Brightness/Contrast dialog box.

2. Drag the Brightness slider until +15 appears in the Brightness text box.

3. Drag the Contrast slider until +25 appears in the Contrast text box. Compare your screen to Figure 29.

You adjusted settings in the Brightness/Contrast dialog box. The image now looks much brighter, with a higher degree of contrast, which obscures some of the finer detail in the image.

Correcting shadows and highlights

The ability to correct shadows and highlights will delight photographers everywhere. This image correction feature (opened by clicking Image on the menu bar, pointing to Adjustments, then clicking Shadow/Highlight) lets you modify overall lighting and make subtle adjustments. Figure 30 shows the Shadow/Highlight dialog box with the Show More Options check box selected. Check out this one-stop shopping for adjustments!

Work with a filter, a blending mode, and an opacity setting

1. Click Filter on the menu bar, point to Sharpen, then click Sharpen More.

The border and other features of the image are intensified.

2. Click Edit on the menu bar, then click Fade Sharpen More to open the Fade dialog box, as shown in Figure 31.

3. Drag the Opacity slider until 45 appears in the Opacity text box.

The opacity setting softened the lines applied by the Sharpen More filter.

4. Click the Mode list arrow, then click Dissolve. The Dissolve setting blends the surrounding pixels.

6. Save your work, then compare your image to Figure 32.

You applied the Sharpen More filter, then adjusted the opacity and changed the color mode in the Fade dialog box. The image looks crisper than before, with a greater level of detail.

FIGURE 31

Fade dialog box

FIGURE 31

Fade dialog box

FIGURE 32

Image settings adjusted

FIGURE 32

Image settings adjusted

FIGURE 33

Color Balance dialog box

FIGURE 33

Color Balance dialog box

FIGURE 34

Image with colors balanced

FIGURE 34

Image with colors balanced

Adjust color balance

1. Switch to the Chili Shop image, with the Background layer active.

The image you worked with earlier in this chapter becomes active.

2. Click Image on the menu bar, point to Adjustments, then click Color Balance.

3. Drag the Cyan-Red slider until +70 appears in the first text box.

4. Drag the Magenta-Green slider until -40 appears in the middle text box.

5. Drag the Yellow-Blue slider until +35 appears in the last text box, as shown in Figure 33.

Subtle changes were made in the color balance in the image.

7. Save your work, then compare your image to Figure 34.

You balanced the colors in the Chili Shop image by adjusting settings in the Color Balance dialog box.

What You'll Do

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