Photography tips – Color casts and b&w

There are times when you just don’t have the white balance correct on your camera and you get a “color cast”.  Instead of natural looking skin you may get tones of blue or gold or orange.  Not pretty.

Photoshop has a tool to help you add different saturations of colors to fix those color casts until the colors are natural.

Sometimes, there just isn’t a fix.  Take this photo below.  No, my daughter was not abducted by aliens and turned green…they were sitting in a little pop-up tent and it was green.  Add a little sunlight, and boom!! my child turned green.  Since one is in the tent and one has natural light on him I really can’t fix the color, because fixing one would change the other.  Believe me I tried.  It was just too cute to throw away, so I had to take another route with it.

Green color cast

The best thing for these types of pictures is to just turn it into a black and white image.  Voila, no more color issues to deal with!



Screen layer at 50%, flatten

2 soft light layers at 100% for contrast, flatten

Virtual Photographer – BW filter

Layer Mask – Brightness (+10)/Contrast (+20)

Erase blown areas in the layer mask, flatten


Here is the effect (there is a few problems with this fix, but I did it fast…and it’s late…sorry it’s not perfect):

bw fix - PSE

This is what I did first using a free black and white action in CS2, which I LOVE.  I think I got pretty close to matching the two.  Just play with them. VP has several different types of BW conversions, too.  I will usually use the BW filter first and then on a new layer try the other filters until I get an effect I like.  I can adjust the top layer to as little or as much of the effect I want.

fix in CS2

4 Replies to “Photography tips – Color casts and b&w”

  1. ahh, b&w, the most wonderful of fixes! I’m a color kind of girl, so usually if you see a b&w from me I’m attempting to salvage a photo. I’m going to try the steps you listed above and see what results I get.

  2. I hope this tutorial was helpful and thanks for the comments! Yeah, I couldn’t toss this one…I just love Anya’s smile in this one. 🙂

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