White Balance on a JPEG {in Photoshop, Elements and Lightroom}

White Balance on a JPEG {in Photoshop, Elements and Lightroom}

Are you a JPEG shooter sick of reading ‘switch to raw’ when you search for editing help? I feel your pain. I shoot both raw and jpeg depending on what I plan on doing with the images. One of the most important elements to start with when editing your images is to review the white balance. A too cool or too warm white balance can completely alter the artistic interpretation of your images.

The first thing you need to do is be sure to set the correct WB in-camera. This will prevent the need for further altering, however as I said above, you may want to change it for other reasons.

{Editing White Balance in Lightroom}

You will find that in Lightroom, the adjustment options when editing a jpeg aren’t as vast as with a raw file, particularly when viewing the drop-down WB options. When shooting in raw, you will see 9 different options (which are the same ones you will see in your camera settings). But when you’re working with a jpeg, you will see only 2 options (auto and custom).

When editing a jpeg in Lightroom, your best bet for altering the white balance is to employ the dropper tool which looks like this –> When you click on it, you can then scan your image for a shade which was meant to be neutral or grey. Click here to see a post which explains how to identify if the color you’re hovering over is neutral.When you click on it, the colours will shift and you will have selected the perfect white balance for your jpeg!

{Editing White Balance in Elements}

In Photoshop Elements, open your image andselect enhance –> adjust color –> remove color cast. You will then be given a dropper tool with which you can click on whatever part of your image was meant to be purely white (like teeth or a blown-out sky) and the image will change. You can click around multiple times until you have a color cast you want.



{Editing White Balance in Photoshop}

In Photoshop, you can adjust the white balance for your jpeg two different ways. Method one is by selecting image –> adjustments –> color balance. You will see sliders for the different color categories which you can use to adjust the color cast of your image. You can also adjust in curves by selecting image –> adjustment –> curves. You will see a panel that looks like this –> Click the white dropper and then click an area of your photo that’s meant to be white (or click the middle dropper and select a neutral grey) and you will see a change.

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Elizabeth Halford is a photographer and advertising creative producer in Orlando, FL. She wrote her first article for dPS in 2010. Her most popular one racked up over 100k shares!

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