Correcting Color
In Photoshop Elements

There is an automatic feature for correcting color in Photoshop Elements but it don't work particularly well with this image.

elements color correction original

What it did was make the green color cast darker and that is not particularly good, is it?  Maybe the auto feature will work with some images but what is one to do with an image like this that appears to be immune to the auto feature?

Easy - do the color correction manually and you know something - it really isn't particularly difficult.

Correcting Color
With The Average Filter

This is a simple five step procedure to eliminate a nasty color cast like the one in this image ...

Step One

Duplicate the background layer
elements color correction layer 1
Step Two

Go to Filter > Blur > Average.  

There are no settings for the Average filter so it will be applied immediately.

What you will notice is that the duplicated background is now a really ugly green color.  This is the overall color of the image which makes sense because of the color cast of the original.  

Step Threeelements color correction layer 2

On your keyboard press Ctrl-I (Windows) or Cmd-I (Mac) to invert the color of the Background Copy layer. This creates quite a dramatic color shift on the Background copy.

This happens because the original color cast has been replaced by its inverse - the color that is missing in the image.

It may seem strange but stay with it - it will all work out in the end ...

Step Four

Change the Blend Mode of the Background copy layer to Color.  If you are not sure about Blend Modes you can check them out here.

Anyway - now the image is visible with a new color cast - blue and here it is ...

elements correcting color blue

Step Five

Lower the Opacity of the Background layer until the you are happy with the new look of the image.  I have found that it starts to change at around 40% opacity.

elements correcting color

This is a big improvement but the image is lacking some punch ...

Tune Up

Here is the Histogram for the adjusted image.  The Histogram is squished toward the shadow end with very few highlights however it is a vast improvement over the original Histogram, isn't it?

If you are not sure about the Histogram then click here.

elements correcting color elements correcting color
Original Histogram Histogram After Correcting The
Color With The Average Filter

With Elements the best method to expand the Histogram is with the Levels command.

Step Six (Optional - but a good idea)

elements correcting color layersAdd a Levels Adjustment Layer above the Background copy layer.  (Click here if you need to brush up on Levels).

When the Levels dialogue appears move the Highlight slider (the one on the right) to the left until it is just below the point where the Histogram starts to rise.

As you move the slider the image will become lighter and the Histogram will stretch to the right.

Keep an eye on the Histogram - what you want to avoid is clipping the highlights (a tall spike appearing on the right end of the Histogram).  If you see a spike starting to climb up the right side back off a bit.

Clipping is not good because it means you have pixels that are pure white with no detail at all.

Here is the final image after Levels have been applied to the image.

elements correcting color

It may be necessary to back to the Background copy layer and fuss about with the Opacity again if the Levels adjustment causes any color shifting.

If you are satisfied then simply flatten the image and your correcting color procedure is done.

Now isn't this an easy and straight forward technique for correcting color?


The correcting color video was competed with Photoshop, however it works exactly the same with Photoshop Elements.  

Rather than using a Levels Adjustment Layer with the Photoshop technique, a Curves Adjustment Layer was used and Curves Adjustment Layers are not available with Elements.

Average Filter Color Correction

Page Links

Average Filter

Tune Up


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