Apply the Color Balance adjustment

The Color Balance command changes the overall mixture of colors in an image for generalized color correction.

  1. Make sure that the composite channel is selected in the Channels panel. This command is available only when you’re viewing the composite channel.
  2. Do one of the following:
    • Click the Color Balance icon  in the Adjustments panel.

    • Choose Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Color Balance. Click OK in the New Layer dialog box.

    Note:

    You can also choose Image > Adjustments > Color Balance. But keep in mind that this method makes direct adjustments to the image layer and discards image information.

  3. In the Properties panel, select Shadows, Midtones, or Highlights to select the tonal range in which you want to focus the changes.

  4. (Optional) Select Preserve Luminosity to prevent changing the luminosity values in the image while changing the color. This option maintains the tonal balance in the image.
  5. Drag a slider toward a color that you want to increase in the image; drag a slider away from a color that you want to decrease in the image.

    The values above the color bars show the color changes for the red, green, and blue channels. (For Lab images, the values are for the A and B channels.) Values can range from ‑100 to +100.

Change the color balance using the Photo Filter command

The Photo Filter adjustment mimics the technique of placing a colored filter in front of the camera lens to adjust the color balance and color temperature of the light transmitted through the lens and exposing the film. Photo Filter also lets you choose a color preset to apply a hue adjustment to an image. If you want to apply a custom color adjustment, the Photo Filter adjustment lets you specify a color using the Adobe Color Picker.

  1. Do one of the following:
    • Click the Photo Filter icon  in the Adjustments panel.

    • Choose Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Photo Filter. Click OK in the New Layer dialog box.

    Note:

    You can also choose Image > Adjustments > Photo Filter. But keep in mind that this method makes direct adjustments to the image layer and discards image information.

  2. In the Properties panel, choose the filter color, either a custom filter or a preset. For a custom filter, select the Color option, click the color square, and use the Adobe Color Picker to specify a color for a custom color filter. For a preset filter, select the Filter option and choose one of the following presets from the Filter menu:

    Warming Filter (85 and LBA) and Cooling Filter (80 and LBB)

    Color conversion filters that tune the white balance in an image. If an image was photographed with a lower color temperature of light (yellowish), the Cooling Filter (80) makes the image colors bluer to compensate for the lower color temperature of the ambient light. Conversely, if the photo was taken with a higher color temperature of light (bluish), the Warming Filter (85) makes the image colors warmer to compensate for the higher color temperature of the ambient light.

    Warming Filter (81) and Cooling Filter (82)

    Use light-balancing filters for minor adjustments in the color quality of an image. The Warming Filter (81) makes the image warmer (more yellow), and the Cooling Filter (82) makes the image cooler (bluer).

    Individual Colors

    Apply a hue adjustment to the image depending on the color preset you choose. Your choice of color depends on how you’re using the Photo Filter adjustment. If your photo has a color cast, you can choose a complementary color to neutralize the color cast. You can also apply colors for special color effects or enhancements. For example, the Underwater color simulates the greenish blue color cast in underwater photos.

    Make sure that Preview is selected to view the results of using a color filter. If you don’t want the image darkened by adding the color filter, be sure that the Preserve Luminosity option is selected.

  3. To adjust the amount of color applied to the image, use the Density slider or enter a percentage in the Density box. A higher density results in a stronger color adjustment.

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