Get Perfect White Balance in Photos

Adobe Lightroom + Photoshop, Coaching, Photography Lighting, Premium


(photo by Diana Palmer)

In the video accompanied with these white balance tips, you can watch the entire coaching session where we discussed Michelle’s new Canon 60D Mirrorless camera and how she likes it. We also cover – editing using Lightroom and Photoshop, and trading services for photography. (In the video I share all the crazy things I have traded for!) I’m currently accepting coaching clients: find out more
1. How to correct Skin Tones in Lightroom
If the skin tones for all of the subjects in your photo need a little help, try using the HSL panel in Lightroom. Start by adjusting the saturation of the oranges. More detailed info is in the video. 
2. Editing tips to fade sunlight spots in photos
I helped Michelle learn how to use the brush tool in Lightroom during her one-on-one coaching session to fix a lighting problem in one of her photos. One of the family members had the sun shining on them in such a way that it made her skin look quite a bit more orange than the other family members. If this was just for a small print it probably wouldn’t be noticeable, but since this photo was going to be printed big, the white balance needed to be adjusted. I was able to do a computer screen takeover via Zoom and show Michelle how to edit that individuals skin so that it matched the skin tone of her other family members. 
3.Take breaks from photo editing when color correcting
After staring at your computer screen for too long your color perception can be off. Take a break or come back to editing tomorrow with fresh eyes and go with your first instinct of whether an image looks too warm or cool. Also, this is very important, make sure to take OFF your blue blocker glasses! They really do block the blue and that will totally skew your color perception if you edit photos while wearing them.
4. Analyzing RGB Numbers for Skin Tone
Maybe you have taken a class about all the nitty gritty details of editing skin in Lightroom and Photoshop and you have learned what all the ‘RGB numbers’ ‘should’ be. What if you punch in the numbers and it looks totally wrong? Does that mean you’re a terrible photographer? Does that mean you don’t know what you’re doing? Listen closely… NO! While it can be helpful in certain circumstances to get into all the details, in most cases the best strategy is to trust your own eyeballs! Remember that photography is ultimately SUBJECTIVE. Rules are made to be broken. What do YOU like? Go with that and you’ll never be ‘wrong’. 
5. A Sneaky Tip for ‘Calibrating’ Your Monitor
Print out your photos. If your screen matches the photos, you are good to go. This is why it’s so important to use a good printer. Try mpix.com if you don’t have a pro account. My favorite professional photo labs are ProDPI (the deep matte prints are my favorite! Drool worthy!), Bay Photo Lab (one stop shopping), and Millers Lab (Books, albums, cards), CG Pro (Canvases). You can also calibrate your monitor the non-sneaky way using a Spyder Monitor Calibrator.
6. Get the White Balance Right in Camera before you start shooting
Ok, so this should actually be the first tip! If in doubt, you can always choose Auto White Balance (AWB). I prefer using the Kelvin setting in most situations. Just remember the higher the number, the ‘warmer’ the white balance, and the lower your Kelvin number is, the ‘cooler’ your image will be.

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I can’t wait to help you with your photos! 

Xxo, Rebecca Franson, Camera Mama Founder