Remove Color Cast in Photoshop

Sometimes, your photo may show a colorcast due to complex or improper lighting, incorrect white balance, or other factors. A colorcast often appears as a reddish, bluish, yellowish, or greenish tint over the whole image. Now you can correct white balance in Adobe Lightroom and/or Photoshop in many ways including the White Balance setting. For the sake of this article however, we will be using the “Match Color” command available in Photoshop since the early versions to remove the dominating colorcast.  This is a simple technique and often works well depending on the photo.

Intended for matching the colors between two photos, the Match Color command uses advanced algorithms to adjust the brightness, color saturation, and color balance in a photo. Because you can adjust the controls in different combinations, using this command on just one photo gives you better control over the color and luminance of the image than many other tools.

Not to forget the added control when using the Match Color command on a duplicated layer, because you can use the layer’s Opacity slider to blend the results with the Background layer to achieve the best color for your image, as well as compare the before and after images.

  1. Press Cmd +J (on Mac) or Ctrl+J (on PC) to duplicate the Background layer
  2. Go to menu Image – Adjustments - Match Color
  3. The Match Color dialog box appears. Click Preview and Neutralize to immediately remove the colorcast
  4. Click and drag the Fade slider slowly to the right to reduce the effect, if necessary
  5. Click and drag the Color Intensity slider to the right to increase the color range, if necessary
  6. Click and drag the Luminance slider to the right to increase the luminance, if necessary
  7. Click OK to apply the change

For more control reduce the Layer Opacity by dragging it to the left to adjust the overall effect. The colorcast is removed and the colors appear more natural.

Additional tip: you can view the floating Histogram panel and see the color changes as they are made. To do that, go to menu - Window – Histogram. Click and drag the Histogram panel so that you can keep it open and still see the image and your other panels.

Final image after applying above "Match Color" settings

Starting photo: yellowish color cast

After clicking on "Neutralize" click and drag on the Fade, Color Intensity, and Luminance sliders as necessary