Removing color veils in Photoshop Elements

One particular color may sometimes dominate a picture. It looks as if the photo was covered with a veil or foil. It may look greenish, blueish, purplish, yellowish, or any-color-ish at the first glance. Photoshop Elements has a dedicated tool for removing such veils. It can be done with a few clicks, but we have touched it up a bit to make it more accurate, and of course, good old layers come into the picture once again.

Load the photo in Photoshop Elements

The photo above is somewhat yellowish, having a warm color effect. We’ll remove this color veil with the following procedure.

Double or nothing

First of all, do the familiar trick—duplicate the layer. Right-click the original layer (called Background) and click Duplicate Layer. Simply click OK on the dialog that is displayed. You’ll get a copy of the original layer, called Background copy.

Down with the veil!

These veils are called Color Cast. The removal tool can be found under Enhance/Adjust Color/Remove Color Cast. A dialog prompts you to find reference points in the picture that should have originally been mid-grey, white or black. Click one of those with the eyedropper you get. The easiest way is to find a point that should have been grey. This time, it is the pavement.

Click the area you chose and you can instantly see the result. You have determined a grey reference point for Photoshop Elements. All other colors will be shifted accordingly. In a lucky case, the color veil is removed. If you’re out of luck, however, they will be shifted excessively. No worries though! Click somewhere next to the reference point until you see the colors you want. You can keep clicking for as long as you need. Don’t mind if the colors of the photo become too cold and greenish. The next step will correct it just fine.

Leave the photo “cold” and click OK.

Layers among theirselves

Now change to the Layers palette where the two layers abide. The original is a yellowish, warmly colored one, while the changed layer is greenish, colder-looking. Make sure the upper layer stays selected.

Click Opacity and drag the slider to the left. This reduces the visibility of the upper layer, that is, lets the one behind it show through. Decrease opacity until the mix of the cold and warm layers produces balanced colors. In this case, the proper value was about 48 to 50%.

Warm and cold

The final result sports colors much closer to reality. Click Layer/Flatten Image to merge the layers. Save the image, and you’re finished.