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Using the White Balance Selector tool

From: Lightroom 4 Essentials: 02 Enhancing Photos with the Develop Module

Video: Using the White Balance Selector tool

Here I want to introduce you to working with the White Balance tool in order to color correct, and modify the color temperature of your photographs. You can find the White Balance tool in the Basic panel. It's located up near the top, and there is a great shortcut key you can use to access this tool: it's the W key. Think W for White Balance, or you can simply click on it. Now, once you click on this tool, you'll notice that the toolbar changes down below. Well, we have a few options. We can use this White Balance tool with Auto Dismiss turned on.

Using the White Balance Selector tool

Here I want to introduce you to working with the White Balance tool in order to color correct, and modify the color temperature of your photographs. You can find the White Balance tool in the Basic panel. It's located up near the top, and there is a great shortcut key you can use to access this tool: it's the W key. Think W for White Balance, or you can simply click on it. Now, once you click on this tool, you'll notice that the toolbar changes down below. Well, we have a few options. We can use this White Balance tool with Auto Dismiss turned on.

What that means is, when you hover over your image, and click on your image, it will then automatically put this tool back in its little dock. We also have the option to show a loupe, and to change the scale of the loupe. Well what this loupe is, is it shows us what we are hovering over right underneath our cursor. We can change the scale by dragging the slider one way or another. Now, it's especially helpful to have a more detailed scale when you have a higher resolution image. And what this allows you to do is to kind of average out what you're seeing underneath your cursor, and again, here you can see we have a much smaller grid there on that loupe.

If you have a three button mouse, you can also change the loupe size by simply using your third button on your mouse -- the scroll wheel -- and here you can see I am changing it with that shortcut. All right. Well this particular image was captured at the end of the day. It's captured of two of my really close friends; they are wonderful people. You can just see it in their smiles and their faces, yet the trick with photographing near the end of the day, especially up in the mountains, is that it's a little bit too cool. And I know that just because of that time of day, right? I also know that the woman here, Holly; she was wearing a black jacket.

Well what you can do is you can use this White Balance tool in order to measure color. Let's hover over the jacket. When I do that, at the base of the loupe, do you see those little numbers? R, G, B? well those numbers, they are telling me there is some kind of a color shift, and I know that because in digital imaging, we know that neutral tones, like black, like this jacket, they should have equal amounts of red, green, and blue. They definitely don't, so again, there is some sort of an issue here.

So what you can do, then, is you can simply click on something in your image which you think should be neutral, and it will color correct that photograph. Yet, before we do that, I want to point something out. Take a look at my Temperature, and Tint. You'll notice they are currently at 0 and 0. Well what I'm going to then do is turn off Auto Dismiss, and then I'm going to hover over this jacket, and click. The reason why I am turning Auto Dismiss off is so that this will leave the White Balance tool up, so we can look at the new numbers we have here.

Well once I click in that area, the numbers at the base of the loupe -- R, G, B -- well, now they're close to equal: 32, 32, and 32. And take a look at my Temperature and Tint sliders. Well, it increased the Temperature and the Tint values, and it did that in order to color correct this image, and now this image is really good to go. Well, at this point, I need to put away this tool, because I didn't have Auto Dismiss turned on. One way to do that is to simply click Done. Another way is to press the shortcut key.

You can present W to access the tool, press W again to put the tool away. Now, in most workflows, it's going to make most sense to have Auto Dismiss turned on, because typically you are going to sample or click on an area, color correct the image, and then move on to another step; move on to another aspect of your workflow. So again, typically, I recommend you leave this preference on, as well as Show Loupe, and you keep the loupe scale up really high. All right. Well now that we have color corrected this image, let's take a look at our before and after.

Let's see if this image indeed is better. Do you remember the before and after shortcut? Well it's the Backslash key. You think of going back in time. Here it is; here is that before, and then here is the after. And again, the color and tones are much better. The image is much more inviting and warm. That jacket color, well, that's neutral, and it kind of color corrected and took care of everything else as well. So as you can see, if you have something neutral in your image, this can help you to create images which will have more accurate color.

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This video is part of

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  1. 2m 1s
    1. Welcome
      1m 17s
    2. Using the exercise files
      44s
  2. 22m 4s
    1. Develop module overview and essential shortcuts
      4m 13s
    2. Panel navigation tips
      4m 53s
    3. Using the Develop module presets
      3m 32s
    4. Creating your own presets
      4m 1s
    5. Using the Snapshot and History panels
      3m 40s
    6. Working with the tool strip
      1m 45s
  3. 15m 20s
    1. Working with legacy Lightroom files
      6m 53s
    2. Viewing the before and after
      4m 29s
    3. Comparing and surveying images
      3m 58s
  4. 19m 42s
    1. Understanding white balance and color temperature
      2m 43s
    2. Using the White Balance Selector tool
      4m 22s
    3. Correcting white balance with a color checker
      3m 52s
    4. Working with white balance presets and fine-tuning white balance
      4m 24s
    5. Color correcting multiple images at once
      2m 42s
    6. Creativity and white balance
      1m 39s
  5. 23m 5s
    1. Getting familiar with the tone controls
      3m 19s
    2. Deconstructing the tone controls
      5m 39s
    3. Using the tone controls to enhance photographs
      5m 28s
    4. Correcting clipping with the tone controls
      4m 53s
    5. Synchronizing tonal adjustments with multiple images
      3m 46s
  6. 22m 31s
    1. Understanding vibrance and saturation
      5m 6s
    2. Working with vibrance and saturation
      5m 38s
    3. Color creativity with temperature, vibrance, and saturation
      3m 19s
    4. Understanding clarity
      2m 34s
    5. Using clarity in collaboration with vibrance and saturation
      5m 54s
  7. 10m 37s
    1. Basic panel workflow
      3m 38s
    2. Using Auto Tone
      1m 42s
    3. Workflow considerations
      5m 17s
  8. 18m 27s
    1. Cropping
      3m 29s
    2. Changing the crop aspect ratio
      1m 47s
    3. Straightening with the Crop tool
      2m 49s
    4. Working with the crop overlay
      3m 4s
    5. Crop creativity and orientation
      2m 36s
    6. Synchronizing crop settings
      2m 36s
    7. Exploring how to improve the composition of your photographs
      2m 6s
  9. 15m 55s
    1. Retouching with the Spot Removal tool
      8m 26s
    2. The Spot Removal tool: Clone versus Heal
      4m 56s
    3. Fixing red-eye
      2m 33s
  10. 16m 43s
    1. Introducing the Graduated Filter
      5m 14s
    2. Darkening the sky with the Graduated Filter
      6m 10s
    3. Enhancing a sunrise with the Graduated Filter
      5m 19s
  11. 45m 51s
    1. Adjustment Brush overview
      7m 45s
    2. Using Auto Mask
      5m 55s
    3. Burning and dodging a black-and-white image
      6m 44s
    4. Reducing noise
      5m 40s
    5. Minimizing moiré patterns
      3m 18s
    6. Painting in localized sharpening
      2m 14s
    7. Improving the eyes
      4m 6s
    8. Dimishing a distracting highlight
      3m 42s
    9. The Adjustment Brush and Basic panel workflow
      6m 27s
  12. 15m 38s
    1. Demystifying the Tone Curve controls
      5m 5s
    2. Using the tone curve to correct exposure
      2m 16s
    3. Changing tone and color with the the point tone curve
      3m 39s
    4. Making creative RGB adjustments
      4m 38s
  13. 13m 36s
    1. Understanding the HSL controls
      4m 4s
    2. Using the HSL Target Adjustment tool
      1m 40s
    3. Brightening tones with HSL
      3m 21s
    4. Using HSL to bring out warm and cool tones
      1m 47s
    5. Creative color with HSL
      2m 44s
  14. 36m 35s
    1. Introducing black-and-white conversion
      2m 38s
    2. Converting to black and white
      2m 16s
    3. Modifying black-and-white tones with the Grayscale panel
      5m 26s
    4. Enhancing black-and-white images with the Adjustment Brush
      9m 4s
    5. Using presets to convert to black and white
      5m 13s
    6. Black-and-white workflow with virtual copies
      5m 29s
    7. Black-and-white images and collections
      4m 22s
    8. Creating better black-and-white photographs
      2m 7s
  15. 14m 2s
    1. Split-toning essentials
      3m 34s
    2. Advanced split-toning tips
      2m 44s
    3. Split toning a color image
      3m 5s
    4. Split toning to create a sepia-tone effect
      2m 22s
    5. Using split toning to enhance a sunrise
      2m 17s
  16. 12m 21s
    1. Introducing noise reduction
      5m 10s
    2. Understanding sharpening
      5m 2s
    3. Sharpening workflow
      2m 9s
  17. 13m 35s
    1. Using the Lens Correction controls
      1m 56s
    2. Correcting distortion
      2m 45s
    3. Making subtle adjustments to composition and tone
      4m 10s
    4. Removing fish-eye distortion
      3m 18s
    5. Removing chromatic aberration
      1m 26s
  18. 12m 55s
    1. Adding and correcting vignettes
      2m 24s
    2. Using the Post-Crop controls
      4m 5s
    3. Adding a post-crop vignette
      4m 26s
    4. Working with film grain
      2m 0s
  19. 5m 34s
    1. Understanding camera calibration in Lightroom
      3m 20s
    2. Creative color with camera calibration
      2m 14s
  20. 21s
    1. Goodbye
      21s

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