Correcting White Balance

January 01, 2013  •  2 Comments

Even the most current camera sensors are challenged to portray accurate colors given the variety of artificial lighting sources present in many building interiors. An example of this situation occurred just a couple of days ago while I was shooting a photograph of a piece of artwork hanging in the Oklahoma State Capitol building.

At first, I gave the Auto White Balance setting on my Nikon D800 a chance. Here was the result:

Landscape Fragment Note that I held a WhiBal card in front of the painting. The WhiBal White Balance Reference Card is very helpful for obtaining accurate colors in photographs. To correct the colors in this image, I use the White Balance Eyedropper Tool within Lightroom. Simply click the tool on the gray area of the card. The colors throughout the image are then color corrected almost instantly.

Landscape Fragment Here's the finished, color corrected image:

Landscape Fragment Color correcting images in this manner is a fast and easy process. Probably the most difficult part of the process is remembering to shoot an extra exposure with a gray card in the frame!


Glenn Nagel Photography
I think either method works. Personally, I find it more time consuming to change the custom white balance in camera (and then having to remember to change it back afterwards) than to click the eyedropper in Lightroom. Literally, it takes me less than two seconds to correct the white balance in post.
Eric Johnson(non-registered)
If you're going to the trouble of taking out a gray card and making an exposure why not use the gray card to do a custom white balance and make your white balance correction and make the correction at the time of exposure rather that at the computer later ?
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