Tutorial Tuesday (Photoshop Elements)

Quick Trick: Auto Colour Correction

PDF Version : http://bit.ly/3GTAA3e

With Thanksgiving looming over all our American members, it’s pretty convenient that today’s regularly-scheduled tutorial is a Quick Trick.

Today’s Quick Trick is another CS/CC-to-PSE workaround. Colour correction can be a bit of a time suck in Elements. But this little trick is brilliant! It uses an Adjustment Layer to accomplish in a couple of steps what can take MANY steps in any other method. The colours in this photo were so much more vivid in real life and just didn’t make it into the camera. So let’s give it a whirl.

Click Layer>New Adjustment Layer>Levels. All changes to the photo will happen on the new layer, so if you don’t like the change you can save the original as is.

I like to Clip the mask to the previous layer. It isn’t essential, but it does ensure that the two layers move as one. Click OK. The dialog box in the upper corner will come into play in the next step.

To access this hidden menu, hold down the ALT/OPT key then click the Auto button. As the screenshot says, the default setting is Enhance Per Channel Contrast. For this tutorial we’ll select Find Dark & Light Colors and Snap Neutral Midtones. You’ll see what’s happening to the image in real time behind the dialog box. If you think you might use this trick again, it can be set as a default so that when you click Auto in the Adjustment Layer menu, Elements will automatically do all these steps.

Here’s the result. It’s subtle, but definitely better. The artemesia in the background is whiter, the pink coneflower is pinker, the centaurea montana is bluer, there’s more definition in the leaves and the green cast is gone! No tinkering, just boom!

Since I’ve gotten some feedback about a side-by-side look, here it is!

That’s it. That’s all! Happy Thanksgiving to those celebrating this week. And remember, football is just a game…

PDF Version : http://bit.ly/3GTAA3e


  1. Thanks for the tutorial … I had no idea how to use this particular tool. It looks so easy … I’m going to try it out after the holiday. It would be nice if you put the before & after photos right next to each other so we can easily see the difference.

  2. Kathi granny5pics says

    Thank you for this. I think it’s something I can make good use of, especially with photos from the phone. The color and lighting adjustments under Enhance just don’t always give me the results I want. I agree with Pam about comparing your photos side by side.

  3. Feedback is always welcome! I’ve added a side-by-side look for you.

  4. There’s a side-by-side comparison there now.

  5. This is amazing! It’s going to save me so much time. Thank you for sharing this, and for adding the side-by-side comparison.

  6. I’ve played around with it quite a bit, and it really is handy!

  7. Katherine a Woodin says

    I am not too smart right now as I do not know what the auto button is on a keyboard. Please help

  8. Katherine, the *auto button* is inside the dialog box/control panel for the Levels adjustment layer. Look at the 4th screenshot. The dialog box/control panel is in the upper right corner. The red arrow points to the *auto button*. Hold down the ALT/OPT key (Windows/Mac) then click the *auto button* there to open up the box at the centre of the image. Does that help?

  9. Katherine a Woodin says



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