Today’s Adobe Photoshop Lightroom tutorial is about improving the White Balance in our digital images. Our eyes are very good at perceiving consistent color under a variety of different light sources, but our digital cameras often fail to produce images that match the way that we see in the world. When the White Balance is off our images exhibit unnatural blue, yellow, purple, or greenish colorcasts.
We can use Photoshop Lightroom’s White Balance controls to remove a distracting colorcast and thus to make our images look more realistic. We can use Lightroom’s White Balance controls to more precisely match the world that we perceive around us, but we can also use the same controls to shape a more expressive, more evocative, mood for our photographs. Color is powerful stuff!
Today’s video tutorial illustrates the incredible power that we photographer’s can bring to our images using just two simple sliders in Photoshop Lightroom’s Develop Module. In Adobe Photoshop Lightroom White Balance is controlled with the Temperature and the Tint sliders. Two controls seems simple enough but don’t be fooled. In the right hands, these two controls can literally turn day into night.
John Paul Caponigro, one of my favorite contemporary photographers, has this to say about his love affair with color.
“I love color. I love it because it’s exciting and energizing. I love it because it’s physical and sensual. I love it because it’s emotional and expressive. I love it because it’s interesting – scientifically, historically, socially, psychologically. I love color because you can look at it literally, abstractly, or symbolically. I love color because it has a rich history and diverse cultures and people have done such different things with it, but somehow I can connect with most of the things they’ve done with it, even if I don’t have the same culture or language. I love color because it’s a language that we can all do so much with.”
I could go on and on about the importance of White Balance in digital photography, but instead I am going to end this article with some advice from a guy named Ansel.
“I should state here that most of my readers do not think of me as being a color photographer. In fact, I have given the impression of being hostile towards it. During my professional years though I did a lot of work with Kodachrome…. Were I entering photography now as a young man I undoubtedly would deeply concern myself with color. I stayed with black–and–white simply because I enjoyed the controls that the process offered. However, I feel strongly that color photography is one of the major expressions of our time.” — Ansel Adams 1978
This Photoshop Lightroom tutorial is part of a series of lessons that I have put together on image enhancement. If you are a brand new Lightroom user then I encourage you to watch my Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 101 tutorials and review the older posts in our Lightroom Laboratory series. Learning Photoshop Lightroom is much easier if you start the journey with the appropriate background information.