Fix Color Casts Fast And Pop Colors With Photoshop Actions
Sometimes color casts happen. Occasionally a white object gets close to blown out. Even if you shoot raw or try to get things right in camera, light can do some odd things in our photos. Also, in the editing process, sometimes we want to add some extra color pop, and even shift the tones. But the catch, they changes may not favor the entire image.
Enter… color correcting Photoshop actions. And also ones that aid in better exposure. MCP’s best action set for color and exposure issues is Bag of Tricks. While it may not be as glamorous as the fun Four Seasons actions or Fusion set, it really can help fix everyday photographer frustrations like color problems and nearly blown out highlights.
Here is a photo from Jessica Stockton taken with her Nikon D3100 & 50mm lens. She was at ISO1000, speed of 1/400, and aperture of 2.2. I grabbed this info from the “FILE INFO” in Photoshop. So, at quick glance it is easy to say she should have slowed things down a bit, and lowered the ISO a bit. It might have been nice to have the apple more in focus too. These were critiques she received when she posted the image for critique on the MCP Facebook Group (you are welcome to join us for CC on your images too).
This information surely will help her the next time, but editing can help now. Here was the edit she submitted. When I saw it, I liked it better but saw a few more things I could do to take it further. I’ll show those soon.
Her steps were:
- Started with the Spark action (selective detail finder) that comes with the Color Fusion set. Opacity at 100% and painted over the eyes. I love that it brings out the shine in her eyes and really defines the eye lashes.
- Color Fusion Mix & Match. “I love the One Click Color. It brightens the image just enough and I find sometimes that’s all an image needs to bring it to life.” In the One Click Color folder she set Edge to 100% opacity to darken the color of the tree in the corner and bring out the natural bokeh. Then she turned on Passion which she said “is one of my favorites in the Color Fusion set.” She felt it brought out the color perfectly in this image. The opacity was set to 72%. Additionally she added Rustic to bring out her beautiful complexion and picked up the different tones in her hair.
What I did to add to this edit:
When she sent in the jpg files to me, I really liked them, but the color casts and nearly blown shirt still bothered me. So I played some more using Bag of Tricks Photoshop actions.
This will NOT help if there is no detail left, but in this case, just the blue channel was blown.) And I fixed the color casts on the shirt and highlights in the apple. Specifically here are the adjustments:
- Used Magic Recovery from Bag of Tricks at 68% to recover the white highlights – This will NOT help if there is no detail left, but in this case, just the blue channel was blown. If I had the raw image, I would have corrected this in Lightroom for even better results.
- Used Bleach Pen from Bag of Tricks – on the white shirt and on the highlights of apples to reduce cyan/blue color cast.
- One last fix… I used the patch tool on a duplicate layer to lightly reduce the creases under her eyes. I adjusted the layer to 30% – so very minor and barely noticeable… but just enough to make a difference.
And the results: