2007 SLP Curriculum Guide #10 Color Balance
Curriculum Guide Index

The 'Color Balance' feature is another worthwhile feature to learn how to use effectively. In essence it works with the coloring of a photograph and can be well used to change color cast photographs into more natural looking photographs. The key is how to use the various options to both balance a photograph in terms of warmth/coolness and green/purple coloring.

COLOR BALANCE WINDOW

To activate the Color Balance feature use Adjust || Color Balance.

When the Color Balance Window pops up first click on the Default (arrow) to set all values to their default levels. Then Check the Advanced Options to view all options. There are two main areas: White Balance and Enhance Color Balance. Each of these options have a Temperature and Tint option with slides to manipulate the values.

EXERCISES

  1. Start with the White Balance Temperature and first move the slider to the extreme left, then right and note the color cast on your photograph. Return to default value of 5000.
  2. Repeat with Temperature for Enhance Color Balance. Note that the color cast at each extreme is the opposite of the White Balance slide. Return value to default level of 5000.
  3. Next, start with White Balance and move its Tint slider to extremes, then do the same with Enhance Color Balance Tint slider and note the colors and how they also are opposites. Return sliders to their default values of 0.
  4. Now for both Options, first slide the temperature slides to the extreme left, then the right and note there is no change in the basic photograph colors. Then return both sliders to their default values of 5000.
  5. Finally use both Options again and slide the tint slides to the extreme left and then the extreme right. Again note that no change in the original photograph colors occurs.
The purpose of the above exercises is to know how to ultimately balance the sliders between White Balance and Enhance Color Balance. When using the sliders of both options and moving them into extreme left or right positions and seeing no color changes occur understand that the balance basically between the blue/orange (temperature) and purple/green (tint) is going to produce a more natural result.

EXAMPLES

The illustration is a picture of my mother and her sister and shows a yellow/green color cast. I have very few pictures of both of them as at that time they lived far apart and mom's sister had come to visit mom. Thus, I wanted to fix and then preserve this picture.

As a rule I often try the Auto Fix first. Although the auto fix did lighten and partially sharpen the photograph, there still was a green cast to it. And, there were no settings that allowed me to fix that green cast.

Using the Color Balance and working with relatively small value changes, I was able to remove the green cast and achieve a more natural skin color. For the White Balance temperature option I moved the switch to a warmer (lower value) position. For the Enhance Color Balance temperature I also moved it to a slightly warmer value. For the White Balance Tint I move it to a slighter greater green value (positive value) and for the Enhance Color Balance I move the Tint value toward a more purple (negative) value.

To achieve the results I wanted I worked back and forth shifting each of the options until I finally achieved a result I thought would be ok. Thus, the Color Balance feature allowed me to fix the photograph to become a much more natural looking photograph.

Original
Auto Fix
Color Balance

COMMENTS

Starting with the Smart Select in the Color Balance dialogue box (window) is a good starting point. The same point is true with the Auto fix of starting with the Suggested Settings. Then one can make small changes to continue the process of refining the result to one that you like.

Also, I did not really like the background so I will just show you what I did to removed it and then add a mask and an inner bevel to create a very nice photograph. Also, once I removed the background I had to go back and do some fine tuning using both the auto fix and color balance features.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

  1. When completing a tutorial or series of tutorials, and having placed them upon your web page, post in the SLP Forum your completed work using this layout:
    • Name or Screen Name.
    • Web Site URL.
    • Version of PSP using.
    • List of Tutorials completed.
  2. Post your Work:
    • List what you did, feature, options used, values.
    • Indicate steps taken and results.
    • Indicate things you found interesting, worthwhile and any other comments.
  3. Comment on any particular techniques you used or discovered, any particular results you found perhaps by accident and any ideas you have for creating a particular result.
  4. Post any questions and comments in the SLP Forum.
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