How To Fix Muddy Colours In Photoshop

Today’s tutorial I will share how to correct any colour imbalances on your images before you continue on with the rest of your workflow images. I recommend you also do this technique at the beginning of your workflow. This will make sure that any edits that you do after will be applied to the image you are working on.

Video: Fix Colour Imbalance on your Photos

Here’s a summary of the steps:

(View the video for full details and explanations)

  1. Load your image in Photoshop.
  2. Add a Curves Adjustment Layer.
  3. Under the Curves Adjustment layer properties pull from the middle upwards to brighten the image.
  4. Mask the layer by pressing Command(Mac) or Ctrl+I (Windows) on your keyboard. This turns the layer mask black and hides the effect.
  5. Click on the Brush tool with white foreground colour.
  6. Set the Opacity to 20%.
  7. Brush to your image with the mask selected.
  8. Add another Curves Adjustment Layer.
  9. Under the Curves Adjustment layer properties set it to Red channel.
  10. Move the white point slider until it is aligned with the tip of the histogram.
  11. Switch to the Green channel.
  12. Move the white point slider until it is aligned with the tip of the histogram.
  13. Switch to the Blue channel.
  14. Move the white point slider a bit further.
  15. Once thechannels are adjusted you will be able see changes from muddiness to a vibrant colour on the image.
  16. Toggling between the two curves adjustment layer will show you the difference it made on the image.

         An additional/optional step you can do to improve the image would be to:

  1. Move the black point slider.
    Open the properties panel of the 2nd Curves layer and adjust the white slider OR move the black slider upwards.Moving the black slider is recommended if your histogram does not quite reach the edge on the left-hand side.
  2. Use the gray eyedropper tool.
    Select the eyedropper tool and look for anything on the image that is the grayest part. If you click that the curves adjustment layer will change automatically to make that section of the image a proper middle gray.
  3. Use Color mode
    If you do not prefer to do the first step and that is to brighten the image. You can opt to change the blend mode of the 2nd curves layer to Color.

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