Automatic Color Correction
is Explained in this
Photoshop ElementsTutorial

The automatic color correction options in Photoshop Elements can do an excellent job. And they're so fast that I think they're worth trying as a first option. This tutorial explores the technique.

Every photograph to be its best must possess four characteristics. These are essential to know:

  1. Good Contrast
  2. Balanced Color (no color cast)
  3. Sharpness and Detail
  4. Believable Colors

And for the most part those are exactly the characteristics that the automatic color correction commands deal with. Let's take a quick look at what they do.

To access them you must be in either Full Edit or Quick Fix mode. They are located under the Enhance menu.

  • Auto Smart Fix - Adjusts color balance

  • Auto Levels - Deals with contrast and balance

  • Auto Contrast - Increases contrast without shifting the color

  • Auto Color Correction - Like Auto Levels it adjusts contrast and color balance but takes a different approach

  • Auto Sharpen - As the name implies it adds sharpness to your photo

  • Auto Red Eye Fix - This is an example of having believable color. It finds and fixes red eyes in your photo

These adjustments are so quick and easy to apply that I will just go down the list and try them without pre-analyzing the photo too much. If one command doesn't produce good results I just undo it and try the next one. Lets look at an example of what these automatic color correction commands can do.

When you first see the photo below you might not even realize it can be improved much until you apply an auto command.

After trying the various automatic commands I chose Auto Smart Fix because I liked the results it gave me. Then I applied Auto Sharpen.

You should always apply sharpening as the last step when doing a color correction because the sharpness can be affected by a contrast change.

The Auto Sharpen command is pretty strong and I normally use Unsharp Mask command instead so that I have more control, but for this tutorial I wanted to show its results and I must admit it's not bad.

Below are the results from those two quick automatic adjustments.

That wraps up this Photoshop Elements tutorial on how to do an automatic color correction. See more Photoshop Elements tutorials by clicking on the link at the bottom of this page.

Until next time,

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