I’ve used Photoshop for decades. I’ve taught Photoshop for almost as long. Yet, there are still old and new features to learn. This is one of them.
You probably learned this trick years ago, but I only discovered it last week: You can instantly correct color casts in Photoshop with a single mouse click! (I mean… who knew???)
HOW IT WORKS
Open your image in Photoshop. In this example, I have a seriously green plane.
NOTE: I found this tool is very selective because it samples a very small area. If you don’t get the correction results you expect, Cancel the Levels window, then try again.
HERE’S ANOTHER EXAMPLE
This photo, taken by Juliana Stein, isn’t bad, but it leans green. The skin lacks vibrancy.
Using this same technique, open Levels, click the middle eyedropper, then look for something gray or white in the image.
Hmm… there isn’t anything… except, the whites of her eyes. So, I’ll click there.
Poof. Instant fix.
NOTE: Well, actually, while this corrected the color it also oversaturated the image. So I manually lowered the saturation using Image > Adjustments > Hue/Saturation.
I’m not suggesting this technique replaces color grading in your NLE. The NLE does more and provides scopes to measure your results. Still, this can easily fix problems when you need something adjusted quickly.
Here are two more tricks that are very helpful when adjusting levels; especially when you want to actually see what you are adjusting.
Press and hold the Option (Alt in Windows) key while dragging the highlights slider (red arrow).
Photoshop displays only the highlights you are adjusting.
Press and hold the Option (Alt in Windows) key while dragging the shadows slider (red arrow).
Photoshop displays only the shadows you are adjusting.
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