Lightroom Features I Love: White Balance

We’re back with another post about the Lightroom Features I Love. This program is so powerful, and yet so simple, I just can’t speak more highly of it.

If you have missed my other posts, you can check them out here:

Before and After

Easy Exporting

Copy & Paste

Today I want to share with you about Lightroom’s powerful white balance tools. I have talked about white balance using Photoshop Elements here.

White balance, simply, is the adjustments we make to ensure a photo looks natural, or, the way we saw it “in real life”. Different light sources (overhead lights, sunlight, lamps, etc) all have different color temperatures and this can cause our camera to guess incorrectly on what “white” is.

To learn more about white balance, you can check out some of these posts:

White Balance With Katrina Kennedy

Working With White Balance

Snow Isn’t Blue

I’ve been in the mood to dig up older photos that I haven’t scrapped, and I found this fun photo (and others like it) from back in 2007. At that point, I still had no idea what I was doing with my camera. I had recently upgraded to a DSLR and I knew that using my flash was to be avoided at all costs. Eight years and a whole lot of knowledge later, I would definitely use my flash in a situation like this one. This isn’t portraiture! I was just trying to take photos of my kids having fun in the bath!

Because I was so afraid of using my flash, this was the awful result I got:

I wanted to scrap these photos, so I imported them into Lightroom.

In the develop module, this is my right panel. The red box shows you where the white balance panel is.

In that panel, you have a few choices. Where it says, “As Shot,” there is a drop down menu with other choices.

Often I will try auto, to see if I like the results. Here is what auto did:

It’s not bad, especially since my exposure was so far off, but I decided to try a few other things to see if I liked the results better.

I reset my photo to the original and then I clicked on the white balance selector (the little eye dropper).

When you click on that eye dropper, you then drag the dropper over to your photo and try to find a spot that in reality, is a neutral color (black, white, or 50% grey).

I knew that the bathroom we were in wasn’t completely white, so I looked for something else. I chose the conditioner bottle sitting in the corner. When I clicked on it, I was telling LR that that particular spot was really white and to adjust the entire photo according to that. This was the result:

I was happier with that result and then adjusted the tint just a bit manually, lowered the red saturation, and adjusted the exposure. This was the final result:

And here is the before and after. These are definitely not great photos, but I was able to easily fix them enough to scrap them. All in all, I spent maybe 45 seconds editing the photo. Then I just copied and pasted my edits onto the other photos.

Totally scrappable!

(Kit is DREAM BIG by Bella Gypsy, part of September’s DIGI FILES).