Correcting Lighting Color

Correcting Lighting Color

Despite automatic flashes, lighting is still one of the prime photographic problems. Your flash fails to go off, the room is lit by incandescent or fluorescent light, the sunset casts an orange light, the forest reflects green, or the swimming pool reflects blue. Many of these problems go away almost magically with the Paint Shop Pro Automatic Color Balance effect.

Choose Adjust→Color Balance→Automatic Color Balance. The Automatic Color Balance dialog box makes the scene (refer to Figure).

Adjust the slider left or right in the grandiosely named Illuminant Temperature area, or edit the value in the Temperature text box. Dragging the slider left (lower Temperature value) makes the color of your photo visually warmer, or more orange. (Yes, lower Temperature makes color warmer.) Dragging right makes the color visually cooler, or bluer. Notice that the Temperature scale is labeled with various light sources, such as Sunlight; position the slider at a given label to simulate that light source.

Adjust the Strength value higher for greater effect — generally, a brighter picture. Adjust it down for the opposite effect.

You want to check the Remove color cast box when a picture is predominantly one color — for example, Dave’s wife is mostly blue. Paint Shop Pro then analyzes the image to try to find what the dominant color is and then attempts to mute that color to bring out the other hues.

See the color section of this book for a color version of Figure, in which the Automatic Color Balance adjustment salvages a rather blue picture of Dave’s wife. That photo was accidentally taken indoors without a flash.

Technical Stuff 

The Temperature thing is about the illumination term color temperature, referring to the temperature of an incandescent light source. A lower-temperature light source generally gives a warmer (more orange) light. You can see the effect in a fireplace or barbecue; as the fire dies down, it gives off a more orange glow.

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