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How to Salvage Photos Gone Horribly Wrong

Keeping the Ocean Blue with Color Thumbnails

Oceans and other bodies of water are commonly seen in photographs, probably because we take so many photos when we’re on vacation. Although we tend to think of the ocean as being blue, a lot of factors, from pollution to reflections to poor color capture in an inexpensive camera, can cause oceans to take on a somewhat green appearance, as seen in the photo below.

Thus far, I’ve avoided using selection masks when demonstrating various adjustments, since the process can become tedious.  However, selecting a body of water with your image editor’s magic wand (or similarly named) tool is often a one-step process. Once you’ve selected the body of water, you can use a tool such as PhotoImpact’s Color Balance filter, which provides thumbnail adjustments using shades of red, orange, yellow, green, teal, cyan, blue, and magenta. 

Note that this tool is called Color Hue in Photo-Paint and Variations in Photoshop. A click or two on the cyan or blue thumbnails will likely give you a properly tinted blue ocean.

The water in the new image was color corrected by using two clicks of the cyan thumbnail.

  • aevm
    Loved the article. Thanks guys!
    Reply
  • superhighperf
    how about fixing the photo that was in the cover?
    http://media.bestofmicro.com/adjustment-saturation-tuning,0-4-178852-2.jpg

    bait and switch article ?!?!?!?!
    Reply
  • Damn... You didn't fix the photos, you actually RUINED mosto of them...
    Reply
  • As a professional VFX artist, I have to say that this article is a little on the juvenile side. Some of the "after" photos contain less information than the "before" photos. You never want to clip information in your photograph, and always want even exposure. Never underestimate a good matte for affecting only certain portions of your image. Furthermore, a good levels adjustment never hurt, and can always add some "punch" to your image.
    Reply
  • The article text provides a reasonable introduction to basic photo editing, but the "fixed" photos are perfect examples of what happens when a beginner goes way, way overboard. It's too bad because the miserable "after" photos significantly undermine the credibility of the article.
    Reply
  • mediv42
    Why do people insist a bluer sky or greener trees make a better picture? Isn't the point of photography to capture what actually is, not whimsically change it to what you want it to be? Sure I understand if you underexposed the photo, or your white balance is off or whatever, but shouldn't the goal generally be what the subject actually looked like?
    Reply
  • cruiseoveride
    good stuff. Now to see if this works in gimp.
    Reply
  • idisarmu
    This reminds me of the millions upon millions of teenage girls who see a picture of themselves and say, "Oh noes!!! ACNE!" *cries for hours and then suddenly has epiphany* "WAIT! I've GOT IT! I'll just crank up the brightness and make the picture black&white! THANK YOU COMPUTER!"
    Reply
  • idisarmu
    It's a shame that the raccoon now looks like it is hovering.
    Reply
  • AARRGGHHH
    idisarmuThis reminds me of the millions upon millions of teenage girls who see a picture of themselves and say, "Oh noes!!! ACNE!" *cries for hours and then suddenly has epiphany* "WAIT! I've GOT IT! I'll just crank up the brightness and make the picture black&white! THANK YOU COMPUTER!"
    Black and White hides zits? That IS an epiphany.

    I enjoyed the article.

    Reply