Set black and white points using the Eyedropper tools

Keep in mind that using the eyedroppers undoes any previous adjustment you made in Levels or Curves. If you plan to use the eyedroppers, it’s best to use them first and then fine-tune your adjustments with the Levels sliders or Curves points.

  1. Apply a Curves or Levels adjustment.

  2. In the Properties panel, do any of the following:

    • Double-click the Set Black Point eyedropper tool to set the black point.
    • Double-click the Set White Point eyedropper tool to set the white point.
  3. In the Adobe Color Picker, determine the values you want for the darkest and lightest tones in the image:

    • To set the black point value to pure black, type 0 for R, G, and B.
    • To set the white point value to pure white, type 255 for R, G, and B.
    • To specify a shade of gray for either the black or white point, type identical values (between 0 and 255) for R, G, and B. The lower the values, the darker the gray. The higher the values, the lighter the gray.
  4. Do one of the following to adjust the tonal areas to the black or white points you specified in Step 2:

    • With the Set Black Point eyedropper, click an image area that represents the black point (area with the lowest tonal values).
    • With the Set White Point eyedropper, click an image area that represents the white point (area with the lightest tonal values).

Color correct using the eyedroppers

You can use the eyedroppers in the Levels or Curves adjustment to correct a color cast such as an unwanted tint from an excess of color (red, green, blue, or cyan, magenta, yellow). It’s easier to color-balance an image by first identifying an area that you want to be neutral and then removing the color cast from that area. Depending on the image, you can use one or all three of the eyedroppers. The Set Gray Point eyedropper works best on images that don’t require large adjustments and have easily identified neutrals.

Keep in mind that using the eyedroppers undoes any previous adjustment you made in Levels or Curves. If you plan to use the eyedroppers, it’s best to use them first and then fine-tune your adjustments with the Levels sliders or Curves points.

Note:

The eyedropper tool that sets the gray point is used primarily for color correction and is unavailable when you work with grayscale images.

  1. Before applying an adjustment, identify an area in the image that you want to be neutral gray. For example, a paved road.

    Note:

    Use a color sampler to mark a neutral area so that you can click it with an eyedropper later.

  2. Click the Levels or Curves icon in the Adjustments panel.

  3. In the Properties panel, double-click the Set Gray Point tool .

  4. In the Adobe Color Picker, verify that the currently selected color has identical R, G, and B values for a neutral gray (for example, 128,128,128). If necessary, type the identical values for R, G, and B. Photoshop asks whether you want to save the new target color as a default.

  5. With the Set Gray Point eyedropper tool, click the neutral area that you identified in Step 1. This should reset midtones and remove the color cast from the image.

  6. (Optional) Make final Levels or Curves adjustments in the Properties panel.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License  Twitter™ and Facebook posts are not covered under the terms of Creative Commons.

Legal Notices   |   Online Privacy Policy