Photoshop Tutorials - Basics of Color Correction. Color Balance.
Basics of Color Correction. Color Balance.
The complexity of the color correction lies in the fact that changing one color leads to the change of other colors. And there are no objective criteria. Principles of tonal correction are simple because you influence only selected part of the range, for example highlights or midtones without influencing the rest of the tone range.
The specificity of working with the colors is that the change that influences one color component influences the other ones. For example, changing the red color component will reflect the others. Therefore, you should keep in mind that the base of any color correction is the change of the color balance and not the selected color. Additional trouble appears from the principle of the color balance: there are many ways to reach the same result.
For an easy understanding of the color components interaction, you need to look at the simplified diagram of the color circle. This diagram displays the interaction of RGB and CMYK color models, and on the other side gives you the visual understanding of interdependence of the color elements.
In the scheme below the RGB and CMY colors are interdependent: each color is situated opposite to its complementary color; and it is located between the colors used to create it. For example, mixing green and red creates the yellow color; therefore it is located between these two colors.
To intensify some color you need to weaken the complementary color (the one that is located opposite to it in the color circle). For example, to change color scheme so that the Cyan colors would be enforced you need to decrease the amount of red colors in it. You can directly decrease red colors to intensify the cyan colors, but you can also combine this with intensifying the blue and yellow color components, that will also let you preserve the saturation of the image.
Before influencing the color balance, you should think about how this will affect the whole color field. You need to take into consideration the rules that follow from this scheme. These rules result in two methods of influencing the color balance:
Method 1: Colors that are opposite to each other in the color circle above are interdependent: decreasing the amount of one color increases the amount of the other one. For example, increasing the content of the Cyan color you will decrease the Red color, while decreasing the content of Cyan color you will intensify the Red color.
Method 2: The content of certain color can be changed due to influencing the colors next to it. For example, to intensify the Cyan color you can intensify both Green and Blue colors or you can decrease the amount of both Magenta and Yellow colors.
You can combine the first two methods. To intensify certain color you can reduce the amount of colors that are next to the opposite color. Alternatively, you can do it vice versa.
For example, to intensify the Red color it is enough to decrease the amount of Green and blue colors, or to intensify the Cyan color it is enough to decrease the amount of Magenta and Cyan colors.
Please note, that in all examples above when it was meant to influence one color we influenced almost all colors.