Photoshop Tutorial – White Balance
Hey it’s Tuesday! And you know what that means….photoshop tutorials!
Today’s tutorial is gonna teach ya a very quick and easy way to fix your photo’s white balance. White balancing is crucial for decent photos. Most of you probably shoot with a point and shoot or a DLSR that has auto white balance. And that works. But do you ever download your pictures only to find that they look like a color has been washed all over it? that the whites aren’t really white? and the skin tones look either like zombies or like JLo after a spray tan. Hello Sunny D.
Well, this tutorial is to teach you one little way to fix those color casts…making your whites more white and your colors more accurate. Obviously this is not the only way to white balance in post processing but this is an easy and quick way that can be effective if you are in a pinch. Things to note….I use Photoshop CS4…not all photoshop is created equal. Also, the white balance can be affected by your computer screen and your own personal taste…so each person may adjust things differently. Let’s get started.
I had taken a photo of Will holding Weston in the yard back in December and it was looking a little on the cool side. Will tends to have auburnish hair and the leaves and grass behind the boys were my first clues that this picture was too blue and needed a little warming up. First you wanna open your photo in photoshop and go to adjustments (labeled with red arrow) and open up a new Curves adjustment layer (circled in red). You can do the same thing by going to Layer/New Adjustment Layer/Curves in the menu bar.
When your Curves window opens up, you will see three little droppers on the side of your curves graph. I circled them in red. The top one is for black, the middle for gray and the bottom for white.
Select one of the droppers by clicking on it and now you must select that corresponding color in your photo. So for example, I picked gray (I found it’s most effective for white balancing) and then I clicked on the grayest part of Will’s shoe. Instantly you should see your photo change color casts and your graph should reflect new color curves. Sometimes you may have to click around that same area before finding your favorite white balance.
Flatten your photo and you will have a brand new much more accurate photo.
Now I showed you how this works for portraits and for a color cast that is too cold….but what about those annoying yellow photos?! Yeah…I see these on blogs alot….ahem…like on mine. The colors of the interior will be WAY too warm goldeny and the picture doesn’t really represent how it looks. Well, let’s take care of that too.
We are gonna make that yellow photo and make it much cooler. and bluer too
So the steps are the same…click on Adjustments then new Curves adjustment layer or go to Layer/New Adjustment Layer/Curves. For this one I am again gonna select gray and click on my purse handle which is gray (circled in red).
But the problem I have is that it turned my photo too cool now. So instead of reclicking around, I decide to adjust the opacity of that curves layer. It looks much more accurate if I took the opacity of my new layer down to 87%.
Then I just click my Flatten action and my new interior photo is ready to go.
See the difference?
So that is just one quick and easy way to white balance in photoshop. Of course, this does not adjust other people’s eyes in real life…just photos…so if you are all Oompa Loompa in reality…well, Staten Island is waiting for you.
p.s. Obviously not everyone in Staten Island is orange. Just 90% of them. Snooki out.