Applying Auto Contrast and Auto Color

The "I'm Feeling Lucky" button tries to fix both color and contrast problems in your photo, but sometimes, well, you don't get lucky. Sometimes you only need one or the other of these fixes and you're the best one to decide which to use. Mabye the colors in your photo have an odd color cast to them; for example, everything may be too yellow. You need a color adjustment. Or perhaps the colors blend together in an indistinct musheverything is the same tone, and there are no light and dark variations. You need a contrast adjustment. If you already tried the "I'm Feeling Lucky" button and didn't like the results, you'll want to apply the Auto Color and Auto Contrast buttons independently of each other.

In the Basic Fixes panel, Picasa takes an all-or-nothing approach to color and contrast problems. It's easy to apply and to undo these fixes, so feel free to experiment. Try one, undo, and then try the other. For example, if the colors in your photo don't seem true, click the Auto Color button. It may make your blues a better blue and your reds look right. If you like the result, then you're done. If you don't like the result, click the Undo button at the bottom of the panel. The Auto Contrast button works exactly the same way, except that it doesn't change the hues in your imageit contracts or expands the light-to-dark range within your photo. If these one-click fixes don't do the job, use the tools in the Tuning panel, as discussed next.

Note: Confused about the difference between the Fill Light control and the Auto Contrast button, and when to use which?

You're not alone. In a nutshell, use the Fill Light control to brighten the shadows in your picture. Use the Auto Contrast, if you'd like to see more separation in the colors and tone of your picture.

Photoshop Secrets

Photoshop Secrets

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