Photoshop Quick Tip: Color Correction & the Color Wheel


NOTE 07/09/23:  this is the fourth in a series of posts called “Photoshop Quick Tips” – In this and further “Quick Tip” posts, you’ll discover basic but fundamental aspects of Photoshop, presented in bite-sized pieces – – short, concise, succinct, and to-the-point – enjoy!

The “Quick Tip” video below is a snippet from one of my free live & online “Photoshop 101” Meetups – the full recording (& notes) can be found here:





“The color in my print doesn’t look right…”

How many of us have heard this from friends and other photographers, or have said this about our own prints?  Let’s go over some basics of Color Correction— then you can color correct with more confidence and accuracy – know what you’re aiming for in your final print!

    • Color Correction is correcting an imbalance in the color cast of the image.
    • Use the Color Wheel to help you determine the proper color balance. 

When judging for proper color balance in your image, look for “neutrals”, such as white or gray – Correct for those neutrals, and the rest of your colors generally will fall into place.

Correct using the Color Wheel

The “Color Wheel” will help you visualize how the Primary Colors Red, Green, and Blue — and their corresponding Complementary Colors Cyan, Magenta, and Yellow — interact with each other to achieve proper color balance.

To correct an image with an improper color cast, add its complementary color to bring the color balance back to where it needs to be.

NOTE: For a free printable JPG of the Color Wheel, click on the image to the right, or  go to:


Here’s how it works:

1) Opposite the Primary Colors in the wheel is their Complementary Color, such as Blue being the Primary Color, and Yellow being its Complementary Color.

2) You can describe a color by adding the two surrounding colors in the wheel — for instance, Yellow + Magenta = Red.

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      • Here’s an example: let’s say that by looking at the “neutrals” in an image, the color cast is too magenta; add green to correct the improper color balance.
      • However, this is over-simplifying things a bit, because in the “real world” true primary colors don’t exist: Bottom line, you’ll probably need to use two colors in your RGB settings in Photoshop to correct your image. As an example, let’s say your image has an orange cast (which is Red + Yellow) – you would add a combination of Blue + Cyan (the complementary colors) to correct (I’ll show you “real world” examples shortly).
      • Rules are made to be broken, so you should know that the “Neutral rule” doesn’t always apply – – a sunset is a perfect example, as it needs to stay nice and warm.



•  AVAILABLE NATIONWIDE – for more on my free live & online Photoshop Meetups, click here:


•  More Photoshop videos at my YouTube Channel:


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•  By the way, this is all based on my Photoshop book designed for photographers, “Not just another Photoshop Book”, available exclusively on Amazon:


Questions? Please contact me – also, feel free to comment and forward this to your photography friends!


Thx again, and cheers,


John Watts 🙂



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