Digital Outback Photo
- Photography using Digital SLRs

 

Workflow Technique #074

White Balance Blending

note by Uwe Steinmueller

 
 

What is wrong with this image directly from RSE (white balanced somewhere on the lower bottom of the wall). We see a clear cast to yellow from bottom to top.

The door is inside a cloister and covered on top. This means that the bottom is more lit by the sky (higher color temp) than the top (lower color temp). In some way this image belongs to a common class of images that are lit by different light sources and cannot be described but just one white balance alone.

Fortunately the cast follows more or less a gradient. This leads us to some sort of solution. We will try to cool the image down.


Cooling the colors with a Photoshop Photo Filter

Now the top is cooler but the bottom is way to cool. What we need is a gradient layer mask like this one:


Gradient layer mask

In some cases changing the opacity of the Photo Filter layer will do the trick. We prefer to have a second warming Photo Filter layer with the inverse gradient layer mask:


Inverse Gradient layer mask


Warming at 100% opacity

We settled finally with only 19% layer opacity:


at 19% opacity

We later even added a second cooling Photo Filter layer where we painted in the corrections via a layer mask:


Layer Mask for cooling filter

After some more (minor) tweaking we settled with this version for now (may need to be refined later):


Final version

We actually find that the imperfections add to a more natural feeling of this image.

Example 2

Actually the situation described above is not really rare for our photography. Here is a second example.


Wagon Door (from RSE)

We have problems with the yellow part in the top area of this image. We used a cooling Photo Filter. Again started with a gradient and tuned it via painting into the layer mask.


Final Door

We hope you found this article interesting and helpful to start with your own WB blending.

 

 
 
 
 

   

 

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