Crazy Quick White Balance Fix in Photoshop

February 02, 2017

Crazy Quick White Balance Fix in Photoshop

A few posts ago, we talked about the basics of white balance and the importance of getting white balance right if you want the color in your images to look natural.

Luckily, with today’s advanced technology, the Auto White Balance (AWB) setting does a really good job and gets it right most of the time. So, for the most part, we don’t really have to worry too much about fiddling with white balance settings. We can just leave it on Auto and let our camera do it for us.

Except that sometimes AWB can fail us. There are lighting situations that can fool your camera. These include:

  • Scenes that have a predominate of one color.
  • Mixed lighting scenes that include light from multiple sources.
  • Shady scenes.
  • Snowy scenes.

These types of lighting conditions can cause your camera’s AWB system to get it wrong. And when that happens, you can end up with photos that show an unnatural blue, yellow, or even green color casts.

Fortunately, color casts can be removed in post processing. There are a couple of ways to do that in Photoshop. The one I’m going to show you here is really quick and easy.

Quick White Balance Fix in Photoshop

Like a lot of snowy photos, this image has a distinct blue color cast:

crazy quick white balance fix in photoshop

Let’s fix it.

Step 1

Convert the Background layer to a Smart Object so that the image edits can be adjusted in the future.

To do this, by right-click (or Ctrl-click if you have a one button mouse) on the Background layer in the Layers panel and choose Convert to Smart Object from the drop-down menu.

crazy quick white balance fix in photoshop

Step 2

Choose Filter>Camera Raw Filter from the top menu bar.

crazy quick white balance fix in photoshop

Step 3

When the Camera Raw dialog appears, click on the box new to White Balance and choose Auto.

crazy quick white balance fix in photoshop

The color cast will be gone.

crazy quick white balance fix in photoshop

Step 4

Make other adjustments to the Camera Raw settings if you want. I usually click on the Auto button just above the Exposure slider and tweak the settings from there if necessary.

crazy quick white balance fix in photoshop

When you’re done making adjustments, click OK to close the box.

That’s it! The color cast is gone and the photo is look a lot better!

crazy quick white balance fix in photoshop

See you next time…

For Further Reading…

Introduction to White Balance

How to Use White Balance In Photography




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