Finding Neutral Gray in Photoshop

Adjusting the highlights and shadows in a photo is a regular job when retouching. Often the whitest and blackest areas are easy enough to find, but what about the mid-tones?

Colour casts can often be eliminated by neutralising the mid-grays and finding them is pretty easy…

  1. Add a layer and fill it with 50% gray (Shift + Backspace).
  2. Change the blend mode to Difference.
  3. Add a Threshold adjustment layer and drag the slider to the left so the whole image goes white.
  4. Slowly move the slider to the right and when the black areas appear, use your colour sampler tool to place a target point.
  5. Delete the Threshold and 50% gray layers.
  6. Click the mid-tone selection dropper in the Levels palette.

That should fix it!

The mid-tone eye dropper tool

The mid-tone eye dropper tool

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