Lightroom Week: White Balance Wednesday

March 31, 2010

Learning, Lightroom, Photo Tips

White balancing in LR is fast, easy and synchronize-able.

The Quick Develop options in the Library module offers instant presets along with Temperature & Tint controls.

My favorite click white balancing tool is the XRite Color Checker Passport. Besides setting a preset or custom white balance in camera, I hardly ever shoot anything these days without at least one frame of an “Insurance Policy”, the ColorChecker Passport. Along with a custom white balance target on one side, there is also the classic 24 patch industry standard target (used to create camera profiles and more) along with the create enhancement target that has a series of white balancing patches and saturation patches.

These white balancing patches are designed to give you superb access to generating neutral tones, a warmer or cooler cast. In the Develop Module using the White Balancing Tool, move your cursor over any of these patches (or if you don’t have the Passport, any non-color bias resource, gray or white preferably) as you view the WB result in the Navigator preview window. Click the tool on your selected patch or object and the white balance is applied to your image.

Select all or a series of images images and choose the Sync or Sync Settings button on the bottom right, this brings up the Synchronize Settings user interface allowing you to choose specific settings to instantly apply to your selected images including white balancing, and calibration.

Calibration is another wonderful option using the Passport once you have installed the software (see First, choose an image with the ColorChecker in it and then use the Export feature in LR. Here you can choose ColorChecker Passport option, name your profile and from your Raw file, LR will automatically create a DNG (digital negative) camera profile. When the profile is finished, a notice will ask you to quit and restart LR to activate the profile from the Camera Calibration option in the Develop module. Here you can choose the profile you just created and see how it brings out colors that are almost impossible to achieve any other way.

White balancing is one of the two primary controls that we want to become proficient at, the other is exposure. It’s fun the get the color right with one click of the mouse in Lightroom.


This post was written by:

- who has written 10 posts on The Digital Photo Experience.

Eddie Tapp is an award-winning photographer, lecturer, consultant, and author on digital imaging issues. With over 25 years of experience in computer technology, Eddie has been actively involved in educating and consulting corporations, studios and agencies in the applications of digital imaging workflow, color management, pre-press and digital photography globally through workshops, seminars, on-site consulting and training. He’s the author of Photoshop Workflow Setups and Practical Color Management, the first two in a series, Eddie Tapp on Digital Photography, published by O’Reilly Media.

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