How to Match colors in a Composite Image in Photoshop

On this  video Colin Smith from PhotoshopCAFE demonstrates a really useful and effective technique for making a composite image look much more realistic.

Congratulations, you have just finished working on a complex composite image but the colors of the original image just don’t seem to match the new composited element you added. What should you do? well, fear not Photoshop has a magic tool that can really help you with this problem and it is called (how unsurprising) “match color.

To use it pick your composite layer and go to: image>adjustments>match color. Here you can play with the 3 sliders to get the perfect color match – quite simple.

This doesn’t always work in any picture sadly so you might need to pick a specific color area in your photo and use it as your background for the color match. You might also need to add a curve adjustment layer to help make the math just a little bit better.

You do need to remember that matching the color is just part of the job – if your actual composite isn’t realistic (sometimes the composited part just sticks too much and looks out of place), matching the colors won’t do you any good, so keep this in mind when you are doing your composites.
You can find many more Photoshop video tutorials on LensVid’s Photoshop section. You can find more PhotoshopCAFE videos here on LensVid.

Iddo Genuth
Iddo Genuth is the founder and chief editor of He has been a technology reporter working for international publications since the late 1990's and covering photography since 2009. Iddo is also a co-founder of a production company specializing in commercial food and product visual content.

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