Just knowing the basics can do wonders. Start with your "Auto Color" command. (Click "Image," "Adjustments," then "Auto Color" from the top menu.) Photoshop has configured the Auto Color tool to transform photos to preset values, affecting the overall tone and levels of the photograph.
After that you will probably want to enhance your photo further. Photoshop gives you a cornucopia of options for endlessly fiddling with your pictures.
Try your "Levels" button (click "Image," "Adjustments," then "Levels"). A dialog box pops up labeled Levels. In it you can use the top slider bar to control the brightness of shadows, midtones and highlights. The bottom slider bar affects your overall output levels.
You should get your levels the way you want them before you move on to directly transform colors. You can also correct your brightness levels using "Curves," in the same menu. Experiment with it and you'll see how it works.
Inside bothe the Levels and the Curves dialog boxes, click "Options" and you will find another important dialog box called "Auto Color Correction Options." This box allows you to not only correct the photo's tone and set specific clipping percentages, but you can also set your color values for shadows, midtones and highlights.
Experiment inside your Auto Color Correction Options dialog box to enhance monochromatic contrast, enhance per channel contrast, find dark and light colors and snap neutral midtones.
Often an image comes out with an overall color cast, which is usually not desirable. To remove a color cast, use your Image > Adjustments > Auto Color functions.
Inside the same Imagae menu, you'll find the Hue/Saturation and Desaturate functions. Use these to enhance colors or fine-tune the saturation of an image by reducing color (desaturating).
To replace color, go into your Image, Adjustments menu again and click "Replace Color." A dialog box pops up that allows you to create a temporay mask, isolating specific areas for enhancements.
Inside Replace Color are options for changing the hue, saturation and lightness of your selection. These are all different attributes, of course. "Hue" refers to the color, "saturation" refers to the color's purity, and "lightness" means the precise quantity of black or white in an image.
Your "Color Balance" and "Channel Mixer" are also valuable tools for transforming colors in an image. Find them both by clicking Image, then Adjustments.
Inside your Photoshop Tool Box are all the icons you need to polish up an image to perfection. (If you don't see your Tool Box, click "Window" and select "Tools.")
Almost every tool provides other hidden options, which become visible upon right-clicking. If you hover over the tool icons a message appears describing their function.
Midway down on the right-hand column is the Dodge-Burn-Sponge tool.
Try opening the "Sponge" function (you will probably have to right-click to find it). Under your top menu, you'll see the sponge icon appear, with various options. Click on the pull-down Mode menu and choose "Saturate."
You will now be able to "paint" chosen areas of your image in order to saturate them to your liking. Control this tool using the Flow and Brush options.
As you can see, enhancing and repairing color photos in Photoshop 7 is really easy, once you get the hang of it.
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