How to Correct Tinted or Faded Photos in Photoshop CS6 - dummies

How to Correct Tinted or Faded Photos in Photoshop CS6

By Barbara Obermeier

Photoshop CS6 can be used to correct old tinted or faded photos, as well as problems with digital images. The Color Balance feature is employed to restore the color in a scan of a color print originally made in 1965. Unfortunately, the years have not been kind to this photo; it has a slight, but annoying, greenish tinge because the magenta dye layer of the print has faded.

As a result, the other two color layers, cyan and yellow, appear proportionately stronger when compared to the magenta that remains, and cyan and yellow make a shade of green.

You can use the Color Balance feature of Photoshop to restore the magenta layer in this photo that’s green with age.

To correct colorcast in an old photograph by using the Photoshop Color Balance feature, follow these steps:

  1. In Photoshop, open an old, fading photo that needs color correction.

    In this case, an old, faded, greenish-looking picture is used, but any colorcast works.


  2. Choose Image→Adjustments→Color Balance from the menu bar.

    The Color Balance dialog box appears.

  3. Make sure that you’ve selected the Midtones radio button make sure Preview is checked.

    Photoshop applies your corrections only to the middle tones of the image. In many cases, that’s sufficient. However, sometimes shadows take on a particular hue, or the highlights may gain colorcasts of their own.

  4. Make adjustments with the color sliders.

    In the example, the greenish picture needs some magenta, so the Magenta slider was dragged to the left.


  5. Click the Highlights and/or Shadows radio buttons to adjust colors only to those parts of the photo.

  6. Check the Preserve Luminosity option to modify the colors of the image, while keeping the brightness and contrast of the tones the same.

    Note that you can boost your saturation if needed using the Hue/Saturation command.