Get Perfect Color Correction Every Time With Curves

The Curves adjustment panel is probably one of Adobe Photoshop's most frequently used tools, right alongside Levels. But did you know that there is a tried and tested way to quickly get perfectly color-corrected images every single time? Knowing this basic technique will save you hours of time and effort when learning how to color correct your images in Photoshop.

Unmesh Dinda from PiXimperfect takes us through a fool-proof system of identifying three key areas from which to start fine-tuning your image's colors. At the same time, you also learn important ways to use the "Difference" level blending mode to identify key areas of the image.

In the demo, Unmesh quickly and easily color-corrects two images with significant color casts on them while managing to retain highlight and shadow detail. As an added extra, he also shows us how to select just skin tones in the Hue/Saturation adjustment panel and how to dial it all in to perfection.

Finally, he shows us an automated way to do everything previously described. But hold on, before you get upset, knowing how it's done is more important than knowing how to get it done with the press of a single button, right?

Unmesh also brings up a secret weapon that turns out to be the final deciding factor in using these tools; watch the video to find out about this.

If you decide to try out the process yourself, Unmesh has provided downloads of the two images, which are demoed in this video. So, did you learn anything from Unmesh's method of three-point color correction with Curves? Do let me know if it's any different from what you already do.

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2 Comments
Paul Trantow's picture

This is great if you forgot to shoot a color chart periodically throughout your day. Otherwise it's a waste of time. Just shoot a color chart!

Susheel Chandradhas's picture

Hey, thanks for weighing in. Yes, shooting a color chart could fix these issues in a jiffy, but I don't think you would need either technique on most shoots. I think this is more useful if you're restoring an old image, or grading a film scan.

This is one of those skills/techniques that you pull out of your hat when you need it... Not one that should be employed on a daily basis. I agree with you on that.