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.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ 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? \$\endgroup\$
    – rfusca
    Commented Jun 18, 2011 at 17:05
  • \$\begingroup\$ 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.) \$\endgroup\$
    – mattdm
    Commented Jun 18, 2011 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!



enter image description here


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.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Steve, can you post some examples of using this tool to fix photos shot with the wrong white balance? \$\endgroup\$
    – mattdm
    Commented Jun 19, 2011 at 22:00
  • \$\begingroup\$ 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? \$\endgroup\$
    – mattdm
    Commented Jun 21, 2011 at 20:23
  • \$\begingroup\$ 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 :) \$\endgroup\$
    – Steve Ross
    Commented Jun 21, 2011 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.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Yes, with the white eye dropper you're telling GIMP what should be white. So click on a part that has the color cast but should be white. Not on over-lit parts which are pure white even in photos with color cast … . I found this to work well, just that it obviously removes details in the high-brightness regions of the photo ☹ \$\endgroup\$
    – tanius
    Commented Aug 14, 2015 at 8:18
  • \$\begingroup\$ And to use the "settings form good photos" as requested by the OP, save properly working color corrections as presets in GIMP's "Colors → Levels" dialog. Then use them for the next photos. Esp. useful for photos that have no good black / white / grey points to pick. \$\endgroup\$
    – tanius
    Commented Aug 14, 2015 at 8:21

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.