There are several ways to color correct your images in Photoshop and Lightroom. In this video, Jesús Ramirez of Photoshop Training Channel gives you a tip that will speed up this process significantly. He teaches you how to set Photoshop’s algorithms in only a few seconds, so you can change the white balance in a single click next time you need it.
For starters, you can use either Curves or Levels adjustment layer, but Jesús is demonstrating the technique using a Curves layer. Basically, you’ll make use of this layer’s Auto mode, but you’ll tweak it so it fixes your photo’s white balance in a couple of clicks.
If your photo has a color cast you want to correct, when you click on the Auto button you may notice that Curves layer adjusts the contrast instead of white balance. To tweak this, hold the Alt/Option key and click on the Auto button. This will bring up the Auto Color Correction options.
In this window, you get to choose between four different algorithms. Photoshop selects “Enhance Brightness and Contrast” by default, and instead of this, click on the “Find Dark and Light Colors.” According to Jesús, this gives the best results in most cases. Also, check the “Snap Neutral Midtones” checkbox, and you can save these settings as default by checking the “Save as defaults” box.
How does it work?
What this algorithm does is what you can also do manually. When you open the Curves adjustment layer, you can open one channel at the time to correct the colors. If the histogram is displayed within the Curves layer, drag the black point until you hit the data on the histogram, and do the same with the white point.
Basically, this is what the algorithm does with your images. So, if you make it default, you will be able to color correct your images with a single click. However, it doesn’t always work perfectly, and Jesús explains what to do when it happens.
What if doesn’t work?
If this technique doesn’t give you the ideal result, Jesús suggests some additional tweaking. When you apply the Curves adjustment layer and click on the Auto adjustments, there’s one more step to take. Click on the grey point eyedropper within the Curves layer and click anywhere in the image where it should be natural grey. The photo should look much better.
Personally, I’ve never used this technique, and I generally don’t use anything automatic in Photoshop or Lightroom. But it could come in handy and speed up your workflow. Do you take advantage of the Auto mode within Curves to color correct your photos? Or you prefer to do it step by step on your own?
[Easy ONE-CLICK Color Correction in Photoshop | Quickest Way To White Balance a Photo | Photoshop Training Channel]