Do you have any photos that have spots and splotches of color on them that was never part of the original photo? Fellow NAPP member Bob Byington had such a photo and asked me if I could help him to get rid of the spots, yellow stains which, as he said, “looked like mustard.” Bob was kind enough to let me use his question, and his photo, today. Thanks Bob!
With this particular photo, the first thing I did was a color correction. Yes, you can do it without, but the color cast is yellow, so it can disguise the spots. If you correct the overall color, you’ll be more apt to see all the problem areas that will just show up when you do finally correct the color. I did a Levels Adjustment to correct the color, adjusting each color channel (Red, Green and Blue) separately by moving the shadow and highlight (black and white) sliders until they’re within the histogram.
Now the discolorations should stand out more and will no doubt be in more places than you thought.
Take your Eyedropper color selector tool and sample an area next to a discolored area.
Make a new blank layer. Change the Layer Blend Mode of the layer from Normal to Color. Paint in the discolored area nest to where you made your selection. If the area you’re painting starts to look to bright, or too gray, use the Eyedropper and select a color closer to that area. Keep painting. If the layer was set back to Normal Layer Blend Mode, it would look a little like “My First Paint By Number”, but that’s okay!
When you think you’re done, take a look at the overall color of the photo. In this instance, I loved the rosy skin color on the right of the little girls face, but the left side wasn’t so rosy. I sampled some of the rosy skin color and painted over the areas I thought needed a little pinking up on a new blank layer. I changed the Layer Blend Mode to Color and lowered the Opacity to 40%. This also helped to blend any more little discolorations on the face.
Keep an eye out for any more discolorations as you work on the rest of the photo. Some will be small enough to take care of with the Healing Brush, Clone Stamp or Patch tools, but don’t hesitate to sample and use the Color Layer Blend Mode as much as you need to.
Author Disclaimer: No one technique is ever “the best” for every situation. Every photo is different and different methods should be explored to find which the best in that particular situation is. That being said, let it be known that I attempt to try and teach many different ways of doing things. If I employ one way and it seems to you, the reader, that another way may have worked as well or better, rest assured that the techniques being used are done so in the interest of creative exploration, not nescient omission. ~JS
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