Managing colour

7 Dec

The big advantage with RAW is that you can get rid and experiment with colour cast very easily and fast.

In Adobe Lightroom for instance you have a white balance selector tool that can be used to get the “correct” white balance by clicking on a white or neutral grey area in the image.

As you can see in the first example is “correct” not necessarily fine and appealing.

I took a picture of my friend and as you can see in the first picture was the camera totally off in white balance. it was actually quite difficult as there were several light sources with several different colour temperature.



The first adjustment was by using the white balance selector tool and it absolutely gives a correct white balance but that does not look very appealing. Too bluish and it does not look at all as if we were standing inside.

"Correct" white balance

“Correct” white balance

The next adjustment was done manually, going from the automatic adjusted picture and increasing the temperature, making it warmer. A good compromise I think.

Good compromise

Good compromise

The following pictures show just some examples where I used the flexibility of RAW to give white balance that fitted the scene, not necessarily correct, but maybe feeling more correct.

The first picture is actually from a former exercise and I took that because when taking pictures of colours, the white balance must be correct and spot on. No place to be creative. I therefore had them lying on a grey card that I then used to get a correct white balance.


This picture again is from another exercise I did earlier on but now I would like to concentrate on just white balance. As you see were two light sources used with very different colour temperatures. Best seen on the lime. The left hand light is more bluish, while the right reflections is warmer. The difference was bigger than it is now as I used an adjustment brush to make the left side of the lime warmer.


This picture shows the problem when having two different light sources. this picture was used earlier in a similar exercise. Problem here is if you want to have the white balance for the outside and cold colour or for the inside, in other words the warm colour.
I tried several white balances, taking the selector tool on the window frame, the door, the ceiling in the kitchen but it did not look very well or realistic. Most of us can relate and feel that the light inside is warmer than the outside light is at dawn. I therefore went again for the compromise between the white balance for indoor and outdoor and chose a white balance that showed the warm colours of the inside without taking way all the coolness of the outside light.



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