Color Balance is the changing or enhancing of an image's color bias toward a
primary or secondary color. Adjusting color balance is relatively simple
and is explained on this page.
Color Correction is the removal of unwanted
color casts by neutralizing blacks, grays and/or whites. Color
correction is discussed on the
Levels Color Correction page
and the Curves Color
We will use Levels, instead of the Photoshop Color Balance command, to adjust
color balance because Levels allows us to make this adjustment in a
manner. To adjust an image's overall color balance...
- Create a Levels adjustment layer by clicking the Create new fill or
adjustment layer icon
at the bottom of the Layers panel.
- Referring to Figures 1, 2 and 3, select each
color channel in turn and adjust the Input Levels gamma slider
to shift the color balance of that channel. Shifting the Red channel to
the left will shift the balance toward red and to the right toward
cyan. Shifting the Green channel to the left will shift the balance
toward green and to the right toward magenta. Shifting the Blue channel
to the left will shift the balance toward blue and to the right toward
yellow. Do not use the Input black or white sliders, just the gamma
slider to make the adjustment. You can also click in the Input Levels
gamma text box and use the up arrow key to shift the slider to the left
and the down arrow key to shift the slider to the right. For more
information about Levels, read the
- Change the Levels adjustment layer's blending mode to Color to
preserve luminosity. See Figure 4.
- The same Levels adjustment layer can be used to make multiple
adjustments. For example, if we wanted to increase both the red bias
and the yellow bias, we would use the Red channel to add red and use the
Blue channel to add yellow.
Figure 1. The Red channel is where we adjust the red and cyan
Figure 2. The Green channel is where we adjust the green and
Figure 3. The Blue channel is where we adjust the blue and yellow
Figure 4. Set the Levels adjustment layer's blending mode to Color
so only the color balance, and not tone, is changed.