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Digital Color Cast and Cropping

Updated on September 24, 2015
LuisEGonzalez profile image

I enjoy photography and have been doing so professionally and independently for over 30 years.

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Public Domain | Source

Photographic editing software can be very useful in manipulating images. Anything from removing unwanted dirt and dust particles to changing an unwanted color cast from your images can be easily done.

Color casts refers to an usual or unnatural "tint" that appears in the image even though you did not notice it when you took the shot because our eyes adjusts to most colors and see beyond color casts, film nor digital have this latitude. Color cast usually occur when the lighting source casts a color on the image.

With fluorescent lights the cast is usually a "bluish" tone with sunlight, sometimes you can get a "yellowish" tone. If there are any colored surfaces near the subject that reflect light, then the subject can appear to reflect this color cast. The temperature of the light ( written as numbers followed by a K) can also have a color casting effect on your images. Sunlight has a temperature of 6500K and daylight bulbs 5500k with most household bulbs being 3200K.

Most editing software programs will remove the unwanted cast by using a white balance format. Here are some procedures for removing color casts or adding them from three main software editing programs.

Photoshop-select image-adjustments-variations from the menu-adjust fine/coarse slide-select the images that appear cast free-select current image for the change- select OK when done to save.

Photo Impact-format-color balance-choose the thumbnail that looks best-preview of the chosen image-click OK when done to save the selected image.

Paint Shop Pro-Select colors-adjust-red/green/blue-adjust colors individually-preview proofs-click OK when done to save changes.

If all this seems like too much work, then most software programs have automatic modes that will do the work for you. They are usually called automatic corrections. Keep in mind that if using film, the color cast can be created if the proper processing protocol is not followed, this is especially true for positive (slide) film.

There are also several filters made specifically for certain light sources that will block the color casts that are created by these lights , they come in blue, and yellow or amber, and some cameras have automatic color corrections modes that perform the same function.

If you want to be adventurous and decide to add a color cast, then most programs can do this by utilizing the colorization, hue or color saturation modes.

Image cropping can turn a bad photo into a good one. Sometimes in our rush to take the shot, we don't notice certain aspects that in the final image will distract the viewer from the central point or from your intended subject. These are usually tree branches, things that seem to grow from your subject's head, a body part from the person that crossed in back of your subject just before you pressed the shutter etc. Most programs will let you crop by adding a square or rectangle feature that you place onto the image and will reduce or crop the image to fit the square/rectangle shape.

Photoshop-select cropping tool-place the rectangle around the image-click on the edges of the rectangle to increase or decrease its size-double click on the center of your image to finalize the cropping.

Photo Impact-Select the standard selection tool-drag the selection tool around the part of the image that you want to crop-select edit-crop. Select OK when done.

Paint Shop Pro-Select cropping tool-move the rectangle around the image until you decide that it is how you want the image to look-click on the rectangle's borders to increase or decrease the amount of cropping-double click on the rectangle's center to finalize-select OK when done.

You can also add a color tint or hue to black & white photographs by following and selecting the same modes used for the removal of color casts or vice verse, you can turn a color image into a black & white. Whatever you decide to do, it is always safe to save an un-retouched copy before making any changes, since in most programs once you save the changes you might not be able to retrieve your image in its original form.

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© 2011 Luis E Gonzalez


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    • LuisEGonzalez profile image

      Luis E Gonzalez 3 years ago from Miami, Florida

      kerlund74: You are welcome

    • kerlund74 profile image

      kerlund74 3 years ago from Sweden

      Thank you:)

    • LuisEGonzalez profile image

      Luis E Gonzalez 6 years ago from Miami, Florida

      puddingicecream: Thank you

    • puddingicecream profile image

      puddingicecream 6 years ago from United States

      These tips definitely come in handy for many photos!

    • Shaun75 profile image

      Shaun75 6 years ago from Edison

      Useful information about photo editing...

    • thehemu profile image

      thehemu 6 years ago from New Delhi, India

      great info. thanks for sharing.