White Balance Step-by-Step

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White Balance Step-by-Step

There are three different ways to remove color casts in Adobe Camera Raw. The method you use will be determined by the type of photo you are correcting, or the method you find easiest. With tricky white balance problems you may have to try a couple of approaches before finding a method that works.


White Balance


White Balance drop-down menu: If you selected a Daylight setting in-camera and think that Shade or another white balance preset may be closer to the actual lighting conditions you may select one of the options from the list of presets under the White Balance drop-down menu.
In this example the Daylight setting was used to capture the photograph. Simply switching the setting to Tungsten or Auto will remove the majority of the color cast in the picture. Moving either the Temperature or Tint sliders switches the setting to Custom. These controls are used for matching the image color temperature with that of the scene.


Basic WB


Temperature slider: The Temperature slider is a fine-tuning device that allows you to select a precise color temperature in units of degrees Kelvin. When an image is too yellow, meaning it has a lower color temperature than you prefer, move the Temperature slider to the left to make the colors bluer and compensate for the lower color temperature. When an image is too blue, or higher in temperature than you prefer, move the slider to the right to make the image warmer, adding more yellow compensation. So, left is to make image colors cooler and right is to make image colors warmer.
Tint slider: The Tint slider fine-tunes the white balance to compensate for a green or magenta tint. Moving the Tint slider to the left adds green and to the right adds magenta. This control is often used to neutralize a color cast caused by lighting from fluorescent tube or strip sources.


Tools of WB


White Balance tool: The quickest and perhaps easiest way to adjust white balance is to select the White Balance tool and then click in an area that should be neutral gray or even amounts of red, green and blue. For best results, use a dark to mid-tone area as the reference and be careful not to click on an area with pure white or spectacular highlights. These will produce unreliable results so keep away from the bright highlight areas of highly reflective or chrome surfaces. One suggestion for working with neutral gray is to:
1. Click on the White Balance tool.
2. Move the White Balance tool cursor over a mid-tone area which should be neutral gray (e.g. textured white area) but contains a color cast in the preview.
3. Click on the image location to neutralize the cast not just in the selected area but in the whole photo.

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