Join Chris Orwig for an in-depth discussion in this video Understanding white balance and color temperature, part of Lightroom 4 Essentials: 02 Enhancing Photos with the Develop Module.
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Lightroom is a photographic workflow tool that was designed with a certain rhythm or flow in mind. In other words, it was designed so that we would typically work from left to right, or top to bottom. And that's definitely true in the Develop module. And here in the Develop module, we typically start off in the Basic panel, and at the top of the Basic panel are some controls which allow us to change and modify Color Temperature. Now, color temperature is actually kind of a fascinating topic. Because of that, what I want to do is, before we work with these controls, I want to jump to a slide, and just talk a little bit about working with color temperature.
I am going to go ahead and open this slide, and let's start to think about color temperature. Well, we all know that there are warm, and there are cool tones. Sometimes this is because of the time of day, whether it's sunset, or dusk, or night, in the evening. Or perhaps it's the middle of the day: light tends to be kind of neutral; kind of white. There also are color temperatures which are the result of different types of light. Maybe it's a candle, or an on camera flash. And again, each of these different types of lights, they give off different color temperatures.
If you take a picture next to a candle, well, the picture will seem warm and yellow. If I use an on camera flash, sometimes it will seem blue and cool. So we have all of these different reasons for why we have various color temperatures. Now sometimes, we are really in tune with these different color temperatures, like in the morning at sunrise, the colors are warm and inviting, or maybe at the end of the day, there is that evening chill, and those blue tones; they just work, right? And, you know, sometimes when we are creating pictures, we embrace the various color temperatures.
What makes this picture on top beautiful are the cool tones. The warm tones in this sunrise shot are what make it so inviting. In other situations, we really need neutrality. We need to capture neutral color. We don't want a color shift one way or another; cool or warm. So in those situations, what we are going to look to do is to try to white balance, or color correct our photographs. So why I'm talking about all of this here is just to illustrate this whole idea that we have various color temperatures.
And sometimes, we are interested in maybe objective, color correct color. Other times, we embrace these different types of colors and tones; we may be even enhance them in order to further our vision for our pictures. Well, now that we have this working understanding of color temperature, let's take a look at how we can start to work with the Color Temperature and White Balance controls in Lightroom in order to improve and modify our photographs.
- Improving tone, color, and contrast with the Basic panel
- Adjusting hue, saturation, and lightness with the HSL controls
- Performing local edits using the adjustment brush
- Converting to black and white
- Split toning to create a sepia tone
- Understanding sharpening
- Correcting distortion
- Removing chromatic aberration
- Adding or correcting vignettes
- Using the post-crop controls
- Adding film grain effects
- Understanding camera calibration in Lightroom