Color correction is a crucial part of photo editing, and Photoshop has a range of tools and techniques to help you achieve the perfect result. In this guide, we’ll show you how to use Levels, Curves, Hue/Saturation, Color Balance, Selective Color, and more to get the best color for your images.
Note: the screenshots used in this tutorial are generated from Photoshop 2022. If you have an older version of Photoshop, you might find the menu layout slighly different. Otherwise, the tools themselves remain largely the same.
The Levels Tool
One of the first things to consider when correcting color in an image is the tonal range. The tonal range refers to the range of light and dark tones in an image. The Levels tool in Photoshop allows you to adjust the tonal range by adjusting the shadows, midtones, and highlights. To access the Levels tool, go to Image > Adjustments > Levels:
The Levels tool has a histogram that shows the distribution of tones in an image. The left side of the histogram represents the shadows, the middle represents the midtones, and the right side represents the highlights. By dragging the sliders under the histogram, you can adjust the tonal range of the image.
The Curves Tool
The Curves tool is similar to the Levels tool, but it gives you more control over the tonal range of an image. It allows you to adjust the tonality of the image by creating a curve. To access the Curves tool, go to Image > Adjustments > Curves.
The Hue/Saturation Tool
The Hue/Saturation tool allows you to adjust the hue, saturation, and lightness of an image. The hue refers to the color, the saturation refers to the intensity of the color, and the lightness refers to the brightness of the color. To access the Hue/Saturation tool, go to Image > Adjustments > Hue/Saturation.
The Color Balance Tool
The Color Balance tool allows you to adjust the overall color balance of an image by adjusting the amount of cyan, magenta, and yellow. To access the Color Balance tool, go to Image > Adjustments > Color Balance.
The Selective Color Tool
The Selective Color tool allows you to adjust the color of specific colors in an image. For example, you can use the Selective Color tool to adjust the color of the reds in an image without affecting the other colors. To access the Selective Color tool, go to Image > Adjustments > Selective Color.
The Color Lookup Tool
The Color Lookup tool allows you to apply color grades to an image using predefined lookup tables. Lookup tables are pre-made sets of color adjustments that can be applied to an image to give it a specific look or feel. To access the Color Lookup tool, go to Image > Adjustments > Color Lookup.
More Color Correction Tips
In addition to these tools, there are also a few other techniques you can use to correct color in Photoshop. For example, you can use the Eyedropper tool to sample a color from your image and use it to correct the color of another area. To use the Eyedropper tool, select it from the toolbar or press the “I” key on your keyboard. Then, click on a color in your image to sample it.
You can also use the Match Color tool to match the color of one image to another. To use the Match Color tool, go to Image > Adjustments > Match Color. In the Match Color dialog box, select the image you want to match and adjust the settings as needed.
To get started with color correction in Photoshop, open an image and choose the tool you want to use from the Image > Adjustments menu. Make your adjustments as needed and then fine-tune the results using the sliders or by manually adjusting the colors.
Remember, the best method for color correction will depend on the specific needs of your image. Experiment with different tools and techniques to find the best.