I was just about to start doing my monthly tax, but I have a short article to finish quickly. Why? Because - after many years of Photoshop experience - I've learned a trick that makes my life a lot easier. It's about white balance and how to remove a color cast in Photoshop.
If you don't want to read the full story of this post now, here are the short instructions:
- Open photo in Photoshop (it does NOT have to be raw!)
- Open the "Camera Raw Filter" under "Filter" (SHIFT + CMD + A)
- Select the eyedropper for the "White balance" item
- As an alternative to the eyedropper, you can also use "Automatic" in the selection field
- Now click on a point in the picture that should be neutral gray or white
By the way, my screenshots are based on Adobe Photoshop CC 2020. The buttons and window contents may look different in older versions of Photoshop.
Chapter in this post:
- 1 My usual way: Auto Color and Auto Tint
- 2 Lots of overly complicated tutorials on the Internet
- 3 Why tonal value correction only helps to a limited extent
- 4 My New Way: Camera Raw Filters
- 5 Update 28.08.2020/XNUMX/XNUMX: It works automatically too!
- 6 Further photo optimization with a controller
- 7 Similar posts
My usual way: Auto Color and Auto Tint
Since I had to correct a few photos myself that I took with the iPhone in artificial light, I wanted to see if there wasn't an easy way to do this in Photoshop. So far I have always worked with auto color (CMD + SHIFT + B) and auto color (CMD + SHIFT + I) and, if necessary, helped manually with the tonal value correction if the result was too bad.
Keyboard shortcuts for my “old” way:
- Auto color: CMD + SHIFT + B
- Auto-Tint: CMD + SHIFT + I
The results of this method are sometimes ok, but sometimes they are unusable because the colors are then "wrong".
Lots of overly complicated tutorials on the internet
After 30 minutes of Googling, however, I wasn't any smarter. There are so many tutorials out there, and amazingly, they are all different. Some work with tonal correction and gradation curves, while others get the result with adjustment layers, average blur and many other actions. In a tutorial you had to find a 50% gray tone in the photo, which rarely happens in practice if you are not working with a color chart or a gray wedge. In short: there are hardly any really simple instructions.
If you want to get a color chart for the right exposure, you can get the cheap bundle of color chart and Stepped gray wedge from BIG take a look or take a look at the more expensive but very well-rated ones X-Rite color chart toss.
Why tonal value correction only helps to a limited extent
A reasonably quick way is via the white pipette in the "Tonal value correction" window. Select this and then click on the white eyedropper. Now use the pipette to click on a spot in the image that should actually be completely white. An automatic tonal value correction is now carried out, in which the entire photo is changed so far that this spot appears white.
The disadvantage of this method is that photos often get too bright because the spot was not 100% white in reality, but everything is clearly brightened by editing - often too much, as you can see in the screenshot above with the plug.
My new way: Camera Raw filters
I originally thought the Camera Raw filter in Adobe Photoshop was only for editing RAW photos. Today I noticed that you can also call up the filter via the filter menu if you have any other image format open. You can use the keyboard shortcut with CMD + SHIFT + A.
This RAW development module is what I think is the best - and most importantly, the easiest - way to remove color casts and get a good white balance.
As already mentioned above, you click on the eyedropper next to the "White balance" item in the RAW module and then select an area in the photo that was white or neutral gray. You can see that in this case the brightness of the image does not change and only the colors are adjusted. I usually click through two or three areas until I find the best result.
Update 28.08.2020/XNUMX/XNUMX: It works automatically too!
As an alternative to working with the pipette (according to my reader Klaus), you can also try the "Automatic" option. That gave him the best results.
Further photo optimization with a regulator
In order to improve the photo a little further, I usually increase the slider for the exposure so that the photo is slightly brightened. With this I get very good results in a few seconds.
I think, especially as a blogger or amateur photographer, it is easier to get useful results than is the case with most other manuals. Anyone who is a photo blogger might have higher expectations, but everyone else should test my way. I am very satisfied with that.
If you still have a few tips for quick photo improvement, I would be happy if you share them here!
With Lynne, a graphic artist and designer has joined the team who contributes articles on the topics of homepage, web development and Photoshop. YouTube has recently become one of her areas of activity. Lynne is (unintentionally) very good at generating error messages and thus ensures a steady influx of problem-solving articles, which repeatedly make the Sir Apfelot blog a popular contact point for Mac users.
4 Responses to “Easy (!!!) White Balance in Photoshop for Dummies”
Like in Lightroom ...
Ah, yes ... that can be. I still edit in Photoshop because I find the workflow faster if you only edit one photo.
The tip with the white balance is great, thank you!
I tried it with several photos at once and had the best results with the "Automatic" setting.
Well, great, if this thing doesn't just help me. : D I would have to mention that with the automatic in the article.