This article introduces a novel solution to improve image enhancement in terms of color appearance. Our approach, called Color Channel Compensation (3C), overcomes artifacts resulting from the severely non-uniform color spectrum distribution encountered in images captured under hazy night-time conditions, underwater, or under non-uniform artificial illumination. Our solution is founded on the observation that, under such adverse conditions, the information contained in at least one color channel is close to completely lost, making the traditional enhancing techniques subject to noise and color shifting. In those cases, our pre-processing method proposes to reconstruct the lost channel based on the opponent color channel. Our algorithm subtracts a local mean from each opponent color pixel. Thereby, it partly recovers the lost color from the two colors (red-green or blue-yellow) involved in the opponent color channel. The proposed approach, whilst simple, is shown to consistently improve the outcome of conventional restoration methods. To prove the utility of our 3C operator, we provide an extensive qualitative and quantitative evaluation for white balancing, image dehazing, and underwater enhancement applications.