How to Find the Average Color in Photoshop

When working in Photoshop, there may come a point where you need to calculate or pinpoint the average color of an image. While it can be easy to determine averages in photos with minimal color, things can get a bit tricky for more detailed images. So, what can you do?

Generally, there are several different ways to determine the average color of an image in Photoshop:

  • Use Gaussian blur
  • Reduce the resolution to create a single pixel
  • Apply a pixelate filter to create averages in tones within the image

Whether you are trying to create a color pallet or make text stand out in your design, knowing which coloring to use will surely help. Keep reading to learn three different ways to find the average color of an image in Photoshop.

How to Find the Average Color in Photoshop

Finding the average color in an image isn’t always an easy task. In coding, this is generally done by using languages like Python or JavaScript to add all the colors together and find the mean. In Photoshop, the same thing somewhat applies but is achieved in a different way.

While there isn’t a one-size-fits-all method to finding the average color in Photoshop, there are a few tried and true ways to accomplish this that many designers swear by. The key here is to test them out yourself and find the one that fits your style.

Finding the Average Color With Blur

One of the more popular ways to find the average color is by using the Gaussian blur filter. By applying a strong blurring effect to the image, the colors are blended together. This then allows you to grab the color with your eyedropper tool, giving you the average color in that area of a photo.

To do this, open up your image in Photoshop and click on the Filter tab in the menu bar. Next, navigate to Blur and select Gaussian Blur. You should see a new window appear on your screen.

In the Gaussian Blur window, you can choose how much blur you would like to achieve by adjusting the slider at the bottom of the window. You’ll want to create quite a bit of a blur to find the average color within the photo. Then hit OK.

Once the blur filter is applied, grab the eyedropper from the toolbar and select an area of the photo to grab the color. This will give you the average color of that area.

Using the Resolution Reduction Method

Another way to get the average color value from the entire image is to limit the image to one pixel. This is done by reducing the resolution.

Click on the Image tab in the menu bar and select Image Size. I new window should appear with options to change the size of your image in various ways. In the Document Size section, you will see a box for Resolution. Change the number of the resolution to 1 pixel.

Once you hit OK, Photoshop will resample the image and display an average value from all of the previous pixels in the image. You can now use the eyedropper tool to grab that color.

Keep in mind that this is a destructive editing style. It’s a good idea to do this on a copy of the image file so that you don’t mess up any work previously done on the image.

Pixelate The Image To Determine Average Tones

The final method you may want to try out is using the Pixelate filter. A pixel is the smallest square of information that makes up a photo. Generally, this information includes:

  • Hue
  • Saturation
  • Light

When you see a single pixel, you are only going to see one color. For the most part, we don’t usually see the individual pixels in a photo. However, when pixelation happens, the pixels become more visible. By pixelating an image, the colors are blended so that only one average color remains in an area.

To do this, click the Filter tab, navigate to Pixelate, and select Mosaic. This filter will redraw the photo as individual blocks of color, giving you the average value of the area. The more pixelated the image, the closer you will get to the average color of the photo.

Final Thoughts

Hopefully, this article helped you find a method of determining the average color in Photoshop that best suits your editing style. While knowing ht average color isn’t always necessary, this is a great skill to have and can really enhance your design ability.