Rescuing Images with Chromakey Green Splash

Back in the day, I photographed a number of portraits using a chromakey green background. This can be a good background for masking in order to replace it with something else for use in compositing. What I did not know at the time was that the model needed to be very far from the background in order to prevent green light reflected off the background (splash) from contaminating the hair, clothes and skin of the model. Because I was unaware of this problem, I took many images like this one of my extraordinary friend Charissa:

After retouching and masking out the green background, create a layer of just the model with no mask. Do this by clicking on the pixels icon of the layer with the mask to select it, then Command (Control) clicking on the mask to get the marching ants, then doing a Command (Control) J to jump the selection to a new layer. Then place a gray layer in between these two layers to best evaluate the accuracy the mask. The Layers Panel should look like this:

Here is what the image looks like:

The green splash is everywhere. Now, let's try to eliminate it. Select top the layer with the model and no mask, and click the Lock transparent pixels icon (the little checkerboard) at the top of the Layers Panel. This will protect any transparent pixels from getting painted upon. A lock icon will appear on the layer:

Next take a small Brush and set its mode to Color in the Options Bar. This enables you to change just the color of the green areas without affecting the pixels in any other way. Hold the Option (Alt) key down to activate the Eyedropper, and sample an uncontaminated color on the model next to the green splash. Paint over the green splash and move to an adjacent area, again sampling another color next to the green splash, painting over the green, and so on. Once you have gone over all the edges, the image should look like this:

At this point you can either place the model in another image or insert a background that you like. I added a texture from the Artiste collection from FrenchKiss called Aventura. I kept the medium gray layer and set the layer blending model of the texture layer to Overlay. A Curves layer was used to darken the texture slightly. The Layers Panel, with all the layers labeled, looks like this:

The final result, cropped slightly: