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by Aditya

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Imagine how photos with a bad blue filter look. I can recolor those pictures with the color filters from any image manipulation program like gimp.

Now my question is: can I "grab" the right settings from a "good" picture and apply these colors to the pictures that have that blue filter.

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1  
Hi @denisq and welcome to Photo.SE! @ElendilTheTall is probably correct, but can you link to an example picture, it would help us to know for sure? –  rfusca Jun 18 '11 at 17:05
    
I'm guessing that what happened is that the "wrong" photo was taken with tungsten (incandescent) white balance. That means that the answers to How do I correct white balance in JPEG images? should be very helpful. It's understandable to not know the jargon required to search for this, though. (And, no one there suggests a Match Color approach.) –  mattdm Jun 18 '11 at 21:38

2 Answers 2

In Photoshop, you can use Image > Adjustments > Match Color... then choose the image you want to match as the source. This is handy for product shots done under pretty similar circumstances. However, if you are looking at landscapes shot under different lighting conditions, you'll probably have to mess with the sliders in the Match Color dialog to get to a good starting point.

After that, tweaking the color is, as was pointed out before, best done using Curves (in an adjustment layer).

Be sure not to overwrite your original, as Match Color is a destructive edit!

Examples:

Before

enter image description here

After

enter image description here

This was done with Match Color and a color intensity of 84 -- so not all the way up. As you can see, the greenish cast of the left-hand image (the bad one) is gone.

Hope this helps.

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Steve, can you post some examples of using this tool to fix photos shot with the wrong white balance? –  mattdm Jun 19 '11 at 22:00
    
Thanks! Do you mind if I post the result of running this image through ve3syb.ca/software/gimp/2.4/match-colours.scm on my question about this feature and Gimp? –  mattdm Jun 21 '11 at 20:23
    
Go right ahead. This was a real quick match-color exercise and not necessarily the best result. As with all image processing methods, YMMV with this. Your eye can be a better tool :) –  Steve Ross Jun 21 '11 at 20:29

I think the problem you are talking about is a colour cast. The easiest way to correct it is to use either Levels or Curves. If you are using GIMP, you need to use Levels. If you are using Photoshop, use Curves.

Click the Colours menu, then Levels. At the bottom of the dialogue are three eye-dropper icons, one black, one grey, one white.

  • Click the black eye-dropper, then click in the image in the darkest area you can see.

  • Click the grey eye-dropper, then click in the image in an area with a good neutral colour like grey.

  • Finally, click the white eye-dropper, then click the lightest part of the image.

Your colour cast should now have disappeared.

What you are essentially doing is telling the software what should be black, what should be neutral and what should be white.

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