A Cool Trick for Nailing Colour Balance In RAW Conversion

25 05 2009

Hey there folks

I just discovered what I think is a very useful little trick to help you nail your colour temperature settings when doing RAW conversions.  Not sure about you, but I find nailing colour correction a very challenging aspect of my post processing, so when I discovered this little trick by playing around I thought it was worth sharing with you.

It will definitely work with Lightroom and Adobe Camera RAW, but I can’t see any reason why it won’t work with any Raw converter.

Normally I think that most people work down their RAW conversion process in order of the controls (ie. get colour balance right first, then exposure,  blacks etc.)

So here’s my trick…

Before  you start your colour balance adjustment, go down and crank your vibrance setting up to maximum.

This acts like an amplifier dramatically amplifying any colour cast in your image.  Now you can make colour balance adjustments which will also be amplified.  It is WAY WAY WAY simpler to optimise your colour balance adjustment.  Then when you have done your temperature and tint adjustments, reduced  your vibrance back to neutral and continue your raw conversion in your normal manner.

I’ve only tested this on a couple of images, but it seems to work like a treat.

Is this not a very cool little trick?

Enjoy your week




4 responses

25 05 2009
Ilya Genkin

Yeap. Doing pretty much the same in Lab color – very steep a and b “curves” and then tweaking the colour correction with additonal layer. I’ve found that Adobe/Lightroom WB tool is very rough tool (actually green/magenta slider).

25 05 2009
Beau Mitchell

Thanks for the tip, Brent. I’ll definitely give it a shot.

26 05 2009

you´ve made my day! Thanks man! 🙂

2 06 2009
Roger Barnes

Nice, works a treat for me in Bibble Pro. The other benefit is that it shows when your high-ISO images have a lot of colour noise and might not very well have white balance set using a colour picker.

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