Photo Filters to the Rescue | Photoshop Tutorial

Photoshop Tutorial
Photo Filters to the Rescue
How often have you picked up your photos from the photo finisher only to be unhappily surprised by the color? You think back to the scene and don’t remember the shadows being blue or that the room light was orange while you were taking the pictures. Your eyes see light as neutral, i.e. they balance all light to white. But color film can’t adapt to the light—it captures the light as it really is. For example, on a bright sunny day the shadows will turn out blue (as seen on the left side of picture 1) or in pictures taken in fluorescent light everything will look green (as seen on the left side of picture 2). Professional photographers use color conversion and light balancing filters while taking color photographs to compensate for undesired color casts that working at certain times of day, at higher altitudes, or in artificial lighting situations may cause. Additionally, photographers use warming or cooling photo filters to subtlety enhance a photo’s mood or color rendition.

1.Which filter to use and when.
The Image Adjustment layer Photo Filters in Photoshop mimic the filters that professional photographers use to correct for color temperature contamination and shifts. The two primary types of color compensation filters are warming and cooling. The warming filters are orange to amber in color and subtract blues and cyan. The cooling filters are blue in color and subtract red, green, and yellow. 
The 85 filter is a warming filter. Amber in color; use it to accentuate the warm rendition of a sunset or sunrise and to enrich skin tones.
The 81 filter is a milder warming filter. Pale amber in color; use this filter to remove blue tones in photos taken on overcast days or to clear up bluish shadows in sunny scenes. It is also ideal to add warmth to portraits.
The 80 filter is a cooling filter. Blue in color; use it to correct pictures with strong yellow to orange color casts created by taking the picture in tungsten or candlelight.
The 82 filter is a milder cooling filter. Use it for waterfalls or snow scenes to turn them slightly blue, emphasizing the coolness of the subject.

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2.Make the shadows neutral.
The picture of the Portuguese church was taken on a bright, fall afternoon and as you can see the shadows are too blue and unattractively cool. To compensate for this I used the Photoshop Photo Filter Adjustment layer.
Click Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Photo Filter. Click the Filter radio button and select Warming Filter (81) to neutralize the blue shadows. Adjust the density slider—in this example I used a density of 20%.
Changing the layer blending modes can accentuate the color correction effect and by changing the blending mode to overlay, softlight, or hardlight you can achieve excellent results very quickly as seen here.
From left to right—no correction, 81 with 20% density, and 81 with 20% density set to softlight blending mode.

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3.Correct fluorescent lighting.
Pictures taken in office environments or museums often turn out green, which is caused by the fluorescent light. You can create your own custom Photo Filters to correct for problem lighting.
Sample the offending color (in this example, the green color). Create new document of 10 pixels by 10 pixels and fill it with the sampled color.
Choose Image > Adjustments > Invert. Return to the color contaminated image and choose Layer > New Adjustment
Layer > Photo Filter. Click the color radio button, click on the color square, and use the Color Picker to sample the inverted color from the 10 by 10 pixel file and then click OK.

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4.Conclusion.
All in all, the Photoshop Photo Filters offer a subtle power to improve images. Since the Photo Filters are Image Adjustment Layers you have the additional advantage of being able to adjust their strength with the layer opacity, layer blending modes, and control where the corrections take place with layer masks. We’re not suggesting that you take bad pictures on purpose—but now you will be able to improve those photos that didn’t turn out the way you expected.
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