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The color in an image is determined by the color temperature in which a scene is shot. Most cameras have white balance controls. The purpose of those controls is to try to neutralize any color cast as a photo is being taken. But sometimes the White Balance controls are set improperly for the scene, or if your camera is set to Auto White Balance, sometimes it can be fooled if you're shooting in a mixed lighting situation. It doesn't matter, if you're shooting a raw file, how you set your white balance controls in the camera, because you can start from scratch with white balance here in the Camera Raw workspace if you're working on a Raw file.
If you're working on a JPEG, you don't have as much editing latitude insofar as white balance goes, because your camera's White Balance settings have been baked into the JPEG by your camera's processing. So here I do have a Raw image and I'm going to try to fix the color cast that I see here. I'd like the sheets in this image to be more neutral, as they actually were in the scene. It's often hard to judge what a color cast is with the naked eye. I can tell that the sheet isn't white, but it's not clear if it's too gold, or too green, or too blue, and it really doesn't matter. I don't have to judge this for myself. Instead, I can use the controls and tools here in Camera Raw.
I'll start by going over to the White Balance section. Here is a Temperature slider that I can use to change the overall color balance from cooler, toward the blue end to warmer, toward the gold end. There's also a Tint slider down here that runs from Green to Magenta. I'm going to put these sliders back where they were by going to this dropdown menu and choosing As Shot. So there's my starting point. I could just come in and start dragging the Temperature and Tint sliders to taste, but I often like to start with some preset White Balance settings. I can access those from the White Balance menu.
So there is the way that the photo was shot. If I choose Auto, that's Elements' best guess about what the white balance should be and I really don't think that works in this case, it's too cool. So I'll go back to the menu and I'll just cycle through these other choices until I see one that I really like. Now these are too gold, that one is too blue, that one's not bad, and that's a little warm. So maybe I'll start with Fluorescent, and then I'll fine-tune the result. In this case I can see that this is too blue, so I'll drag the Temperature slider over toward the right, and I think that looks pretty good.
Notice that the preset added a bit of magenta, which is reducing the original green in the photo. So, that's one way to work using the White Balance controls in the Basic tab. I'm going to take this back to the original As Shot White Balance from the dropdown menu and show you another way to approach white balance, and that is to go up to the Toolbar and click on this Eyedropper tool. With this Eyedropper, the idea is to click on something in the image that should be a neutral gray, and if there's nothing gray in the photo, the next best thing is to click on something that should be white, or perhaps black.
So in this case, I might come and click on this doorframe. And that does change the white balance, but I really don't like the result. I can try clicking somewhere else, like right here, or maybe over here on the other frame, and each time I click I get a different result. Elements is neutralizing the color just under my cursor and changing all the other colors in the photo to fall into place around that neutral color. So I think that's a pretty good result, I could still come over to the sliders and tweak it further, maybe by adding a bit more magenta.
So that's another way to approach white balance correction here in the Camera Raw workspace. If you're following along with me and you want to close this window to prepare for the next movie, just go down to the Cancel button and click there. Later in this chapter, I'll show you how to use some other buttons here to save changes with your image, but for now you can just click Cancel.
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