Game, Set, Match!

Little explored and capable of opening up whole new frontiers in color adjustment, Photoshop’s Match Color is a tool every user should be aware of, even if it’s only to know what’s possible. There are three primary reasons to consider using Match Color:

1) to match two colors exactly;
2) to remove strong color casts;
3) to creatively apply the color in one image to another.

Match Colors Precisely

When a precise color match is critical, for instance, when matching the same products in two images, Match Color is hard to beat. And, in terms of ease of use, using it beats placing sample points and moving sliders to make the targets match. You can create statistics from and apply the effect to either an entire image or only a portion of an image using selections.

3) Target image

Remove Strong Color Casts

Match Color does an exceptional job of removing strong color casts. One of the primary reasons it was developed and the most common uses for it is to remove the strong color cast in underwater images. It does an amazing job at revealing the complex color relationships below the color cast. Here, you don’t even need a source image. Just check Neutralize. If the effect is too strong, you could use the Fade slider, but I recommend you apply the effect to a duplicate layer and use the Opacity slider of the layer, or if you want to reduce the effect selectively, use a layer mask. Using this feature on images that don’t contain strong color casts often produces pleasing results, too.

4) Color from source applied to target

Create Complex Color Changes

This is where it really gets interesting. What if you took colors from a candy store and applied them to the sky? What if you took colors from a sunset and applied them to a landscape? What if… I know, I sound like a kid. You’ll feel like a kid when you use Match Color. It seems like anything is possible. When you first view the results, you’ll do a double or triple take.

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