Basic Editing

Correct a color cast

Written by Digicamhelp Editor

Turn a photo with a color cast into one with more true-to-life colors.

When an image has colors that are not true to life, it is said to have a color cast. Poor white balance, particularly when taking photos inside with the camera white balance setting set to auto, is one of the most frequent causes of color casts. Color casts can be toned down or eliminated using image editing software.*

colorcastPrograms such Photoshop, Photoshop Elements and PaintShop Pro have built in tools for color correction. Some even have software filters that mimic the technique of attaching a colored filter to the camera lens to adjust the color balance.

Correcting color balance can be as simple as a single click on an “instant fix” button or using more sophisticated editing tools.

Free photo editing programs such as Picasa include tools that make color correction easy.

tuningThe above image was opened in Picasa.

Upon double-clicking the image, the editing window opens.

Click the tuning tab and then adjust the color temperature slider. As you move the slider to the right or left, you can watch changes take place as you make them. The red-eye was also fixed using the red-eye removal tool found under the basic fixes tab.

This simple method of color correcting a digital image is fine for most people. If you have a more sophisticated image editing program, check the help files for information about available tools for color balance, color cast and color correction.

* ideally you should adjust white balance settings in camera when taking photos inside or in difficult light…before taking a shot. If some of the white balance presets don’t work, do a custom white balance. Check your camera manual about how to do a custom white balance.