Basic Color Correction in Photoshop: An Introduction

"Color correction" is a phrase that is often used loosely to describe several different things. When it comes down to it, it simply mean to change the color of an image. For the purposes of this article, color correction is the adjustment of color in photographic images to get the most realistic results.

Not all images need color correction; some are fine just the way they are. However, many (or most) images can be improved with a little correction–either to enhance the image generally or to enhance it for its specific use. For example, it is possible to get better color in print by correcting images to make the most out of the CMYK printing process, a process that visibly limits the color potential of the RGB images. It is also possible to alter color to adjust for the color of lighting, underexposure and overexposure, and tendencies in film or photographic method.

There are some very simple steps to make in general correction for color images that can help even a novice get significantly better color. These corrections can often work near-miracles on images in just a few moments. The basic steps are simple, and often very effective. Although they work most of the time, this is really just a starting point and a quick way to obtain generally acceptable color results. This will not completely correct every image, and other techniques may need to be used to properly prepare an image for optimal output.

This article will show you how to follow an easy set of assembly instructions in RGB to fix most of your color woes. For the sake of this article, it is assumed that you have calibrated and tested your monitor and output, so that what you see on screen is as close as possible to what you get in print.

  Copyright © Richard Lynch 2001