Steps Applied

To help in practicing color correction, I have provided a tutorial image and scenario where it is useful to make a levels correction. The image used in making the tutorial is available so that you can experiment with the process and results. Please download that image here: Color Correction ImagePhotosphere, 1998).

The Scenario

The example image was taken on a bright, hazy, somewhat overcast day. This shifted the color of the entire scene a bit toward blue and diluted the contrast.

 

The Steps

1. Open the tutorial image in Photoshop.

2. Press (Cmd-Opt-X)[CTRL+ALT+X] to open the Extract function. The Force Foreground box should be unchecked.

3. Use the Highlighter to highlight the entire edge and outline of the flower petals. See figure 1.

Click here for Figure 1

Download Edge Highlighter movie

Download Eraser movie

Download Smart Highlighting movie

4. Fill the center of the shape created by outlining the flower with the Fill tool. See figure 2.

Click here for Figure 2

5. Click the [PREVIEW] button to see a preview of the extraction. See figure 3.

Click here for Figure 3

Download Fill and Preview movie

6. Zoom in and look at the edges of the extraction. Touch up as desired using the Cleanup (C) and Edge Touchup (T) tools.

Download Edge Touch Up movie

7. When you have completed the touchup, click the [OK] button to accept the changes. This completes extraction of the flower from the background.

8. Duplicate the extracted layer.

9. Press (Cmd-Opt-X)[CTRL+ALT+X] to open the Extract function.

10. Be sure the Force Foreground box is checked.

11. Use the Highlighter to cover the entire area which you want to extract the selected color from. See figure 4.

Click here for Figure 4

12. Use the Eyedropper to select a color to base the extraction on. In this case, a yellow from the center of the flower. To shut off the highlighting, uncheck the Show Highlight box in the Preview section of the Extract dialogue.

Click here for Figure 5

13. Preview the extraction by clicking the [PREVIEW] button.

14. Choose Black Matte from the Display drop list on the Preview section of the Extract dialogue. This will put a black matte behind the preview so that you can see the results better (Black is better for previewing the extraction of lighter colors). See figure 5.

15. Zoom in and look at the edges of the extraction. Touch up as desired using the Cleanup (C) and Edge Touchup (T) tools. (Hint, you shouldn't have to do much at all with the example.)

16. When you have completed the touchup, click the [OK] button to accept the changes.

The final result of following these steps should be 2 layers. One layer should have the flower extracted from the background, and the other should contain the lighter portions of the center of the flower. For more about the corrections you might do after completing the extractions, see the Forward and Back section.

  Copyright © Richard Lynch 2001