Useful Photography Tip #128: How to Get the Best White Balance of Your Image

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While you can manually white balance in the camera with the aid of something like the ExpoDisk, you might not always have the time to do so during a shooting situation. Providing that you’ve shot in RAW, you can still get a great deal of latitude in the editing process. To get the best white balance though, you should start a very neutral point. The way to do this is to start with something along the lines of what’s known as middle gray.

Start by using the eyedropper tool next to the white balance sliders in Adobe Lightroom and scrolling it over the image. You’ll need to find the pixels that are the closest to 50% in the RGB sections, which you can see as you scroll over the areas. In order to save time, try looking at the areas where the darkest blacks meet the whites in the image if that’s possible. Once you have something close, select those pixels and you’ll get something near to a neutral white balance.

From that point, you can manipulate the image to be either warmer or cooler and set your tint levels accordingly to how you want them to be.

Give it a shot. Then when you’re done with this, check out our tips on how to get better color.