Color Corrections

Usually, the colors we capture aren't the ones we want to see in our images, especially in the case of landscapes or other mood-based photos. We don't want to fake our colors, but we often want to produce warmer or cooler tones that fit better with the mood of the original scene. In the analog photographic world we used filters and different types of film to achieve the same effects. Color corrections usually consist of two steps:

1. Getting white balance right, so that there are no color casts and the basic mood in the image is well-defined. If you are processing RAW images, you will usually perform this step using your RAW editor. The examples we will describe here are Photoshop-based and apply mainly to JPEG or TIFF images.

2. Optimization of color, brightness, and saturation of selected portions of an image. These types of corrections are best applied to specific colors or areas, such as shadows. If you are correcting larger image areas, the best tools to use are layers and layer masks, as described in section 7.4, page 254.

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