Touch-Up Tuesday: Removing Color Cast
Note – Google Reader is still not working for me, so if I haven’t visited your blog and you’d like me to come visit, PLEASE leave a comment and I’ll hop on over!

Keshia of Domestic Photographic contacted me the other day with a request to remove the color cast from her adorable son’s body. I decided that these shots would be great for Touch-Up Tuesday because color casts can so easily be corrected if you know how to do it!
day199 080 before and after

I essentially performed the same steps (minus a few variations including the crop on the second photo) on each of the photos using Adobe Camera Raw and Photoshop Elements 7:
  • Started in Adobe Camera Raw to adjust white balance. You can do this by using the eye dropper and clicking on an area of the photo that should be white, black or gray (we’ll use this same technique when removing the color cast).
  • Adjusted the exposure, fill light, blacks and contrast (this varied in each photo so just adjust accordingly). 
  • I then opened the photo in PSE7 and duplicated my background layer (ctrl J).
  • To remove a color cast, go to enhance, remove color cast and click on something that should be white, gray or black – I used the cake. This altered the photo just a little more from my previous white balance correction. 
  • I merged those layers (ctrl, shift, E) and ran Amy McMaster’s Squeaky Clean (with a few tweaks). I understand that this is no longer a “free” action, but it is my favorite tool for quick processing.
  • I merged those layers and opened a Saturation adjustment layer. In that layer, I basically turned the yellow off. I filled a layer mask black (this keeps the yellow in tact) and used a soft white paint brush at 30% opacity to paint off the yellow on his arms and face. Honestly, this is probably the best technique for removing color casts.
  • Finally, I ran Amy McMaster’s Berries N’ Cream action (because it’s another favorite and freebie). For these edits, I turned off the cream and berry layers, and then turned the raw sugar layer’s opacity down to 15%. I suppose I could have just done the remaining steps manually, but I’m lazy.
day199 127 before and after
So, what questions do you have? I know that sometimes when I walk through my editing process, it sounds as if I’m speaking a foreign language…so, if you want to perform the same steps and don’t understand something, just let me know and I’ll walk you through it. 

By the way, I resize and sharpen ALL of my photos before I bring them over to the web. There are some freebie actions out there that will resize and sharpen for you (I think Amy McMaster offers one or two of them) – I prefer to run mine manually so I can control the size. If you want to know more, let me know. 
Now, with all that said, go see my friend Karli for more Touch-Up Tuesday entries!


    Love the tutorial and loved the edit!!!

    P.S. You’re blog made my suggested reading list for Photo Blogs! LOVE IT!

    What a cutie! What a mess! Nice tutorial —- thanks…. I am not so good at editing.

    I really love the 2nd edit.. what a cutie!

    Awe he is a cutie. Great job on the edit. Thanks for listing your steps!

    This is an AWESOME tutorial! Great job – you got all that yellow off his arms in such a natural way. You would never know it was corrected. (I really appreciate your contributions to TUT; I’m sure a lot of my readers are peeking at your blog too, and your steps are very helpful. In fact, I’m going to come back to read thru your step again a little later when I can really concentrate. Phineus and Ferb is playing in the background and I’m about to lose my mind!!

    And as for the 2:41…MAJOR points for you girl! And BTW, that was actually 1:41 on my end of the world, so extra bonus points for you! LOL!

    Do you know what is included in that Squeaky Clean action you use? I’m wondering how it compares to my basic workflow. (Mine is similar to CoffeeShop’s Little Perk – I’ve found thru experimenting), but I do it myself, for whatever reason. You always start with Squeaky Clean and I always start with my exact same method too. Mine is a curves adjustment and soft light…ok now I’m rambling and cluttering up your comments. I’m getting ready to link up to your urban post… See ya!

    Such an adorable child! I use MCP’s Reflected Color Cast Vanisher. CoffeeShop’s retouching tools with the red skin remover also works well to get rid of color casts.

    Thanks for posting the step-by-steps!

    Awwww, your comment was so sweet (the Karli fix) – LOL! Sending you an e-hug right now. Did you get it? HA! :-)

    Yeah, the hubs about freaked out, so I’m not allowed to go alone again. And I wouldn’t want to – ugh that was so scary. I did a lot of crazy stuff when I was single, but when you have kids there’s a whole other level of responsibility. Can you imagine if their mom went out to take pictures and never came home? Scary!

    love the steps I will really have to try that out I never thought about doing that to my photos. now I will have to give it a try.

    Love the tutorial! I’ve always wondered how to do that. Cake smashes are the best, he’s just so cute and looks like he’s having so much fun!

    Great tutorial! I can’t wait to get home and see it on my good monitor (this laptop always looks washed out), and to try the tutorial steps. I really struggle with color cast. I have a photo from a couple weeks ago that needs serious help and I’ve just not been able to get it right. I’ll try this tonight! You are so generous to provide all these great tutorials!!

    Beautiful job with removing the color cast!

    Thanks Ashley. Great job :)

    He’s so cute! I recently borrowed a digital camera to take pictures around and I’ve only gotten to the stage where I’m figuring out settings on the camera, except that the camera just ran out of batteries.

    Hi Ashley,
    I’ve had such a great time looking at your blog. The tutorials are excellent and I love your urban shots. I grew up in Chicago, but have lived in Wisconsin for almost 20 years. The first time I saw a turkey run across the street, it blew me away. Not only did it not look like the turkeys in the grocery stores, but it looked prehistoric. I’m looking forward to visiting here again!

    I’m loving your blog!! I have a photography blog also. Cant wait to stop by again!

    Love your posts, you explain things so well and I always love to learn new ways to edit. I’ll have to try some of your tricks and will definitely be back! :)

    Hey I came back after the nice comment you gave and took the time to look around your blog (while little man is asleep.) and I have to say I have seen your blog through all of the blog hops ( i remember some of the photos. )and never really took the time to sit and read it and i am ashamed I didn’t because GOSH! I would have be a follower a LOOOOOOOOONNNNNNGGGGGGG time ago. I LOVE LOVE all your photos and the easy steps you take the time to write out. I am glad I came back and I am now a follower. and thanks for following me ;)

    Awesome – what a cute little guy! How long does it typically take to retouch a photo like this? Patience is not usually my virtue (I’m workin’ on it!).

    What a lovely child! I love those pics!

    What an adorable little guy! Your edit looks great. It really is high time I start using Photoshop more often.

    What a great tutorial, thanks for sharing!