Exercise- Managing Colour

Find two or three images that have what you judge to be a significant colour cast, as the main purpose of the exercise is to ‘correct’ it. Make sure that at least one image contains a surface that is ‘known’ to be grey. Use your preferred processing software. First examine the image and make a judgement on the colour cast. Next use the following approaches to attempt to correct this;

– ‘Grey dropper’, a tool which you click on an area of the image and which then shifts the entire colour of the image so that it becomes neutral grey.

– If the image could benefit from this then next use a local correction. To do this make a selection, and then use any of a number of controls such as Curves, Levels, Photo Filter or Hue/Saturation.

I chose this image from a recent photoshoot I captured for part 1 of DPP. This photo had a significant orange colour cast which gave the two children an orange glow. Obviously this wasn’t the only problem- as there was also slight image blur which is why this image didn’t make the final set in the previous exercise; Your Own Workflow.



I opened the image in Photoshop and used the colour sampler tool to mark the grey area of the boys jumper. This worked as a neutral colour, and enabled me to then create a curves layer and use the grey dropper tool to select this area. The result is the image below. The image has still retained the orange colour in the leaves, but has removed the unrealistic colour cast of orange throughout. This tool worked well and I was happy with the finished result. I will definitely use this technique in future!

10.jpg grey dropper (2)

I chose this next image as it also had this awful orange colour cast throughout. I couldn’t see as large a mass of grey in this image, but upon further inspection I found a tiny amount in the rug which I was able to used, and it worked superbly well. This showed me that it is not necessary to have a large mass of obvious grey colour for this method to work. I followed the same steps as the previous image, but also set white and black points to add a boost to the image.


The orange colour cast has now gone, and the main difference in this image is shown in the little girl’s face and hair, which is now a neutral accurate tone.

19.jpg grey dropper (2)

Another very insightful exercise in which I learnt a simple yet very effective technique on fixing colour cast in an image.


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