Join Chris Orwig for an in-depth discussion in this video Correcting color balance, part of Photoshop CC for Photographers: Camera Raw 9 Fundamentals.
- In this movie we'll be working with a few different photographs in order to introduce the topic of how we can use our White Balance controls and also the White Balance tool. Yet, before we get to the photographs let's first talk about this slide. I created this slide just to illustrate this idea that we already intuitively know that there are different types of color temperature. There are light sources like candlelight or sunset or sunrise which are much warmer. And, there are other light sources or situations where the light is much cooler.
And often, when we're working with a basic panel and when we're working with white balance what we're trying to do is either to correct or shift colors so that it looks better to our eye. Alright, well let's jump to our first photograph. This is a photograph of this huge chalk drawing. And, what I want to do with this image is color correct it. It looks a little bit too cool. Well, one of the ways that you can color correct a photograph is by using the White Balance tool. You'll find that up here in the Tool strip. It's the third icon over, go ahead and click on it.
Now, when you select this tool what you wanna do is click on something in your image which you think is neutral, in other words if I were to click on say the purple of this area it wouldn't give me a very good color correction. It just looks kind of weird. But, if I were to click on the area of the shoulder which I remember to be white or gray or kind of neutral there we can see that the photograph will look a lot better. Alright, well next after we've clicked on that area we can further customize the color temperature by using these sliders.
Perhaps I wanna warm it up even a little bit more, or I could change the tint to a little bit more green or a little bit more magenta. And so, here I'm just going to customize these settings here a little bit then go to our sliders and controls and I'll bring up my contrast and change the overall exposure and also work on those shadows and those blacks. And then, I'll tap the p key and you can see here's the before, whoa there's a lot of blue there, right? Tap the p key again, now here's that after and I think this looks a lot better.
Now, this works with other subjects as well. For example, let's go to another photograph. This is a picture of a dandelion that I put on top of my stove and I just liked the way it looked, but the color here looks kind of muddied and yellow. So, what we could do here, of course, was we could use our White Balance tool. We could use our sliders, just drag those sliders around to change the way this looks. Or, we could also go to the White Balance pull-down menu. When we click on this pull-down menu with raw files we'll see that we have a lot of different options.
I could choose an option like shade to see if that will give me a better look. That's actually much, much worse, it's horrible. Or, I could try something like Auto White Balance, which will try to find a white in the image and make it neutral. In this case that actually looks pretty good. Now, after either having used this option here we can select there or using our White Balance tool and clicking on an area in the image what we can then do is customize the sliders as we've seen before. Then, use our other controls which will effect the color, right? Each of these values is gonna effect the way that the color will appear.
And here, I'm just gonna go through and make a few adjustments, changing the way the photograph looks and now I think it's much more vibrant and alive. I'll take the p key, you can see there's the before, now here's the after. Alright, we'll we've looked at a few different options with White Balance. Let's look at a scenario which is a little bit more typical. This is a portrait of a mother and daughter at a wedding. You know sometimes when you open up an image you won't really realize there's a color shift until you start to tinker with the photograph.
Maybe that means you'll use your Temperature slider and you'll just drag it one way or another and realize, "Oh gosh, there was a lot of blue in the image. "It needs to be warmer." And then, you could also reach for your White Balance tool and click on something that you think should be neutral. In that case, you can see it warmed the image up a lot more and I think that looks much more inviting. Here, we could go even further if we wanted to have even more of kind of a golden glow to it. And then, of course, use your other sliders and as you use these sliders what I want you to keep in mind, which I keep reiterating is that every adjustment here will effect the color.
And, sometimes you way wanna go back and just fine tune your sliders just a little bit after you've worked with your basic controls because really it's a combination of all of these things together which will help us to achieve the best results, like with this photograph here. Alright, we'll let's look at our before and after. Here I'll tap the p key, there it is the before. I'll tap it again, and there is the after.
- Opening images in Camera Raw
- Improving under- and overexposure
- Recovering shadow and highlight detail
- Correcting white balance
- Improving clarity, vibrance, and saturation
- Processing multiple images at once
- Cropping and recomposing
- Making strong black-and-white images
- Creating panoramas and HDR images
- Reducing unwanted noise
- Sharpening portraits