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Old Jan 12, 2006, 8:35 AM   #1
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What is colour cast? How does it appear on digital photos? Is there any method to avoide it while shooting?

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Old Jan 12, 2006, 10:56 AM   #2
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Color Cast is a tool on my PS Elements which lets me correct white-balance(correct explanation?). For pictures of snowy landscapes that look blue (or any picture with that orangy tint) I use the color cast tool which is an eye dropper and tells you to click where the picture is supposed to be white, grey or black.

Then the pictures look right.
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Old Jan 12, 2006, 1:41 PM   #3
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Color cast is when one color dominates an image. For example an old printed photo may look yellow. In the world of digital photography, color casts most often occur because of the camera's ability to determine White Balance (WB) - or essentially what should white look like in the present lighting situation. All digital cameras have a function to figure this out automatically. Problem is, that automatic mode doesn't always work well. So, some cameras have preset white balances - sun, flash, tungsten, flourescent etc. These presets apply automatic color adjustments to an image so that white will look white in that given situation. There are other situations that could cause a color cast as well - but this is the primary example. This often shows up as an image tending to look 'too yellow' or 'too blue' but nothing is just that simple - it could be a combination of colors.

Many editing software products allow you the ability to adjust color balance. Some software like the other poster indicated, have made an attempt to automate the removal of a color cast. But, as they indicated, it is often necessary to have a 'true white' or 'neutral gray' tone in the image - not always the case. That's when you have to use the other tools for adjusting color balance (typically sliders where you adjust away from one complementary color towards the other).

For the WB situation, it's always best to get a proper white balance to begin with. Many of the newer cameras do a good job in their auto WB. Some allow you to set a custom WB - you take a picture of a neutral color (white or 18% grey) and tell your camera - "this is what white looks like". The camera then determines a color adjustment and applies that adjustment to subsequent pictures taken - until you turn off the custom WB. But, WB changes when light changes. So, if you set a custom WB for a picture in your living room and then move to a bedroom the lighting is probably different so your custom WB will no longer work.

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Old Jan 12, 2006, 2:17 PM   #4
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Simple explanation of colour cast? Looking at a scene through coloured glass.

As others have said, software can remove the unwanted cast. In Photoshop Elements, you select an area in the picture that should be white, gray or black and the software adjusts the colour in the picture to suit.
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