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White balancing a photo

From: Enhancing Photos with iPhoto

Video: White balancing a photo

When you take a picture, the camera attempts to white balance. Now, most of you shoot with an auto white balance, where the camera measures the scene, and attempts to properly expose for the color temperature. On a scientific scale, this often involves the degrees Kelvin, and what happens here is that the color of light is measured, and then the camera compensates. If you're under sunlight, candlelight, fluorescent lighting, everything looks a bit different, especially to the camera. Now, if you're in mixed lighting situations, or your camera doesn't measure properly, you may have to fix the white balance after the fact.

White balancing a photo

When you take a picture, the camera attempts to white balance. Now, most of you shoot with an auto white balance, where the camera measures the scene, and attempts to properly expose for the color temperature. On a scientific scale, this often involves the degrees Kelvin, and what happens here is that the color of light is measured, and then the camera compensates. If you're under sunlight, candlelight, fluorescent lighting, everything looks a bit different, especially to the camera. Now, if you're in mixed lighting situations, or your camera doesn't measure properly, you may have to fix the white balance after the fact.

This photo isn't bad, but what I want to do is zoom in. So I'll mouse over here, and press 2 to go to 200%, and I'm looking for something that's white. Taking the eyedropper here and clicking, you'll see that the camera dramatically changes. Now, that particular area I zoomed in on focus wasn't really tightly focused, but that's okay. I was focused more for the mid-ground here, and given the size that I'm going to print this at, I think that's all right. Let's go over here to the next image, and you'll really see the color balance issue.

In this case, we're under mixed lighting. We have overhead fluorescent lights, with sunlight coming in from the side of the image. Now, it's not terrible, but I do want to zoom in here to something that's white. Looking at her shirt here, there is a lot of movement, so you see some motion blur. This is a low light shot, with a lot of movement, but that's okay. The face is in pretty good sharpness. With the adjustments tab open, I could take the eyedropper here, and click on something that should be white.

And when we zoom back out, you'll see that it's been changed, and the color temperature shifted slightly. Using this allows you to go ahead and automatically adjust what's happening here with the color cast. Now, I have one more photo, and you see that the white balance is definitely off for this image. Zooming in to 200%, taking the white eyedropper, I can go ahead and click on something that should be white, and if we zoom back out, you see that it looks dramatically different.

The Temperature slider moved very far to the left to compensate for color spill, and that color spill was caused by the fact that we were under mixed lighting, the overhead lights of the church, plus all of this candlelight, which was much warmer than the overhead lighting.

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This video is part of

Image for Enhancing Photos with iPhoto
Enhancing Photos with iPhoto

46 video lessons · 3586 viewers

Richard Harrington
Author

 
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  1. 1m 54s
    1. Welcome
      29s
    2. What you should know before watching this course
      31s
    3. Using the exercise files
      54s
  2. 10m 19s
    1. Working in Full-Screen mode
      1m 26s
    2. Entering Edit mode
      56s
    3. Switching images
      1m 28s
    4. Checking the info on an image
      2m 14s
    5. Zooming in for detail
      2m 14s
    6. Using the navigation window
      53s
    7. Seeing the before and after state
      1m 8s
  3. 12m 6s
    1. Straightening crooked photos
      2m 22s
    2. Rotating an image
      1m 16s
    3. Removing red-eye
      2m 14s
    4. Cropping for better composition
      1m 39s
    5. Cropping a photo to a specific size
      2m 35s
    6. Cropping multiple sizes
      2m 0s
  4. 16m 13s
    1. Understanding the histogram
      3m 13s
    2. Making a Levels adjustment
      2m 15s
    3. Fixing an underexposed photo
      2m 36s
    4. Fixing an overexposed photo
      2m 42s
    5. Improving contrast
      2m 36s
    6. Adjusting shadows and highlights
      2m 51s
  5. 12m 41s
    1. Improve a washed-out photo with saturation
      1m 30s
    2. Increasing saturation while protecting skin tones
      1m 58s
    3. Boosting an image to quickly fix saturation
      1m 51s
    4. White balancing a photo
      2m 24s
    5. Removing a color cast manually
      2m 35s
    6. Stylizing an image with effects
      2m 23s
  6. 14m 28s
    1. Converting to black and white
      2m 21s
    2. Refining a black-and-white effect with temperature
      2m 21s
    3. Creating high-impact black-and-white photos
      3m 5s
    4. Creating sepia-tone effects
      2m 29s
    5. Double-processing for duotone effects
      4m 12s
  7. 13m 45s
    1. Using the Retouch brush
      1m 55s
    2. Removing noise
      2m 10s
    3. Sharpening a soft photo
      1m 52s
    4. Adding punch with definition
      2m 5s
    5. Defocusing a photo
      2m 15s
    6. Controlling the focal point with vignette effects
      1m 26s
    7. Adding borders with iBorderFX
      2m 2s
  8. 8m 27s
    1. Duplicating an image
      47s
    2. Reverting to an original
      1m 49s
    3. Deleting an image
      3m 4s
    4. Copying and pasting adjustments
      44s
    5. Preserving maximum quality when exporting
      2m 3s
  9. 22s
    1. Goodbye
      22s

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