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White balance adjustment

From: Lightroom 4 Image Optimization Workshop

Video: White balance adjustment

Digital cameras need to take into account the color of the light illuminating a subject in order to be able to produce the most accurate results possible. For raw captures you actually don't need to worry too much about the in camera setting for white balance. Because you can apply an adjustment after the fact with no penalty in terms of image quality. But regardless of what file format you're capturing in or which images you're working on in light room. You can always fine-tune the overall color appearance with the white balance adjustment. There are several ways that you can approach this adjustment.

White balance adjustment

Digital cameras need to take into account the color of the light illuminating a subject in order to be able to produce the most accurate results possible. For raw captures you actually don't need to worry too much about the in camera setting for white balance. Because you can apply an adjustment after the fact with no penalty in terms of image quality. But regardless of what file format you're capturing in or which images you're working on in light room. You can always fine-tune the overall color appearance with the white balance adjustment. There are several ways that you can approach this adjustment.

For starters in the basic section of the develop module we can choose a preset for white balance. These are the same options that you'll find within your camera. The as shot setting will leave the white balance set based on the way it was established in the camera. So that should produce a result that is exactly what you saw on the back of your camera's LCD display when you took the picture. But you can also choose a different option. For example, daylight, cloudy, shade, tungsten, etcetera. The auto option by the way will cause light room to try to automatically adjust the color in the image. Not based on the color of the light in the first place but based on it's own evaluation of the actual image that your working on. I'll go ahead and choose daylight, for example, and you can see that this produces a rather warm effect.

And that's because this image obviously was not actually captured under daylight conditions. It was captured under artificial lighting. So that's not the ideal approach. Fortunately, we can fine-tune things regardless of what our white-balance preset is established as, so we can fine-tune the color in the image. The Temp and Tint sliders, Temperature and Tint, Temperature related to color temperature in degrees kelvin, which is how we measure white balance. The Temp slider will allow us to shift between blue and yellow while the Tint slider allows us to shift between green and magenta. And in both cases, we're changing the overall color appearance of the image itself.

We can move the Temp slider over to the left in order to cool down the image to get more of a blueish, rather than yellow appearance in the image. And we can move the slider over to the right to make the image appear more yellow, or slightly orangeish, potentially. The Tint slider, we can move to the left to make the image appear a little bit more green, and to the right to make it look a little bit more magenta. The tint slider tends to be relatively modest adjustment compared to temperature. We can also use the white balance tool if we'd like. Simply click on the Eyedropper to activate the tool.

And then move out into the image and click on an area of the image that you believe should be perfectly neutral. Notice that as I'm moving my Mouse around the image, I'm able to see a preview of the effect in the navigator. What that means is that if I click on the spot where my Mouse is right now, then the image will look as you see it in the navigator. Notice we also have a target displayed. As I move the Eyedropper around the image, you can see a zoomed-in view of the pixels in that area.

And sometimes, that can help you in terms of pinpointing exactly the spot you want to click on. Once you find the right spot, you can click on it and the image will be adjusted based on making that area that you clicked perfectly neutral. A shade of gray, essentially. You can still fine-tune, though, even after you've used the White Balance tool or chosen a preset. You can continue to fine-tune the effect using the sliders. So often times I'll use that eye dropper to get the image close to what I think is accurate and then I can fine-tune.

For example just because an object in the image is actually neutral. In other words it doesn't have any color to it at all, it's a shade of gray does not mean that you actually want to object to appear gray. You might want the image to look a little bit warmer than neutral for example. So you can continue to fine-tune as you see fit. In this case, I think I'll leave the image relatively neutral somewhere around there, I think would probably work out pretty well. The white balance adjustments can be very key in terms of achieving accurate color in any photograph.

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This video is part of

Image for Lightroom 4 Image Optimization Workshop
Lightroom 4 Image Optimization Workshop

34 video lessons · 1447 viewers

Tim Grey
Author

 
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  1. 1m 31s
    1. Welcome
      1m 31s
  2. 15m 9s
    1. Overview of the Develop module workflow
      3m 8s
    2. Evaluating images
      3m 26s
    3. Seeing a before-and-after view
      3m 40s
    4. Correcting mistakes with the History and Snapshot features
      4m 55s
  3. 20m 17s
    1. Starting with a Develop preset
      4m 9s
    2. White balance adjustment
      4m 8s
    3. Basic exposure controls
      3m 26s
    4. Highlights, shadows, whites, and blacks
      3m 15s
    5. Adding clarity to an image
      2m 15s
    6. Boosting colors with Vibrance and Saturation
      3m 4s
  4. 31m 39s
    1. Fine-tuning with the Tone Curve adjustment
      7m 22s
    2. Advanced color adjustments
      5m 5s
    3. Sharpening an image
      6m 33s
    4. The Graduated Filter tool
      5m 2s
    5. Painting adjustments into an image
      7m 37s
  5. 24m 11s
    1. Cleaning up blemishes
      5m 4s
    2. Cropping and straightening photos
      5m 55s
    3. Applying noise reduction
      3m 52s
    4. Lens correction adjustments
      6m 2s
    5. Removing red-eye
      3m 18s
  6. 18m 41s
    1. Creating virtual copies
      2m 52s
    2. Converting color into black and white
      3m 51s
    3. Adding a color tint
      2m 30s
    4. Split toning effects
      3m 20s
    5. Adding a vignette effect
      3m 56s
    6. Adding a film grain effect
      2m 12s
  7. 12m 31s
    1. Adjusting multiple images with Quick Develop
      2m 49s
    2. Duplicating the previous adjustment
      2m 38s
    3. Copying and pasting Develop settings
      3m 54s
    4. Synchronizing Develop settings
      3m 10s
  8. 17m 16s
    1. Basic Photoshop workflow
      5m 41s
    2. Stitching panoramas
      5m 1s
    3. Working with HDR images
      6m 34s

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