25 May 2010

How to consistently white balance photos in Lightroom

I have no professional training in graphic design or color management, but here is a Lightroom trick I use when I have a bunch of photos I want to consistently white balance.
  1. Get your photos into grid mode (whether this is by selecting a collection/folder or filtering a collection/folder).
  2. Pick one photo as your reference.
  3. White balance that photo the best you can. Sometimes I like to open up the photo in Photoshop and use Adjustments -> Variations to help me with the white balancing.
  4. After you are done, go back to grid mode, select the reference photo.
  5. Right-click on the photo and select "Lock to second window."
  6. Select the first photo in your grid, open it in the Develop module (press "D"), and press "Y" to open the photo in split view. You want the split view where there are two variations of the same photo side-by-side, not the one where you have one photo split down the middle. If you're in the wrong split view, press "SHIFT-Y" to change views.
  7. Open up the second window by clicking on the rectangle with "2" in it, at the bottom lefthand corner of the screen or pressing F11.
  8. This is your reference photo. Move the second window to cover up the photo on the left.
  9. Now you can white balance the current photo against reference photo. Use the left and right arrow keys to cycle through the entire set of photos in the grid.

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