Lightroom White Balance setting - A fishy tale unfolds down at the aquarium.

by George Mann

I wasn't really meaning to post another article on white balance this week, but I had a similar experience to the one David Miller related in his posting, just two days ago.

On a trip to the Rayong Aquarium (located in Ban Phe, Rayong Province, Thailand), I came across a small group of local bosses having a very serious discussion. Unfortunately since I was not really an invited guest in their environment, I had to shoot clandestinely at ISO 1600 and an Auto White Balance setting that had no chance of reading the scene accurately (and the Presets where also not going to be much of a help this time).


The original image as it came out of the camera, please notice that I have chosen the background as the neutral gray target for the targeted white balance setting "eye dropper" (in the application you actually see the eye dropper at this stage not the arrow). I tried another variation on a gray area of the fish but it gave me a much colder overall result that I did not like so much.


After using the targeted white balance tool on the background, I cooled the scene down a bit with the color temperature slider, I also used the Noise Reduction and Sharpening tools in the Detail menu (to compensate for the ISO 1600 setting). As usual I used quite a lot of Clarity, some Vibrance, a touch of Recovery and a dash of Black to make a (very) murky scene come to life.


Nik Clayton
2007-10-12 11:43:19
It wouldn't have helped much in this situation (well, unless you were wet-suited up and could climb inside the tank) but I like the WhiBal card to make this sort of thing easier.

I wrote it up on my blog.

Mike Hedge
2007-10-13 22:04:13
great fix!