In my last post, I showed you the difference between auto white balance and custom white balance. I’m totally on the custom white balance train, but as I said, I rarely use it when I’m just taking snapshots of my kids. If I’m quickly taking a few shots of my kids, I’m using auto white balance.
I did just that the other night. It was raining and since it so rarely rains here, we go out and stand in it. My daughter was standing in the sprinkles and I quickly took a snapshot of her watching it rain. It was dusk, but it wasn’t too dark yet. I was using my Nikon D3100 with the 35mm lens. My settings were ISO 400, F2.8, SS 1/200. Auto White Balance!
It’s not a great photo, but it’s a lovely memory. The original photo is rather cool looking. I prefer warmer photos, but that’s just me.
So I quickly brought the photo into my PSE 11 to see if I could quickly change the white balance. I only shot this in JPEG and not RAW. You can also change this in Adobe RAW, but I tend to only shoot JPEG with family stuff. I’ll shoot RAW for portraits.
So, I brought the photo into PSE and used a levels layer adjustment to change the white balance. I thought I would show you the difference in using the dropper tools to select different colors and objects. I’m only going to show you three, but if you get a chance to try this….play with it and go crazy with lots of different tries. Use that handy reset button to get back to your original and try a new one. Here’s my original opened up in PSE.
I’ve opened up a new levels adjustment layer, but I haven’t done anything with it yet. I’ve circled the gray/grey (however you spell it) dropper and I’ve circled where I’m going to sample from. That red circle is around a gray rock I’m going to use for my sample.
Here’s after I selected that rock. See the difference? The photo is warmer and looks more true to life to me. The kids were ecstatic that we had “water front property” for an evening. I grew up on lakes. That’s a mud hole, but whatever, it brings the desert children joy. Now the mud they track into my house, that’s another story on the opposite of joy, but we deal with it….cause it brings them joy. Moving on.
I reset and tried the white dropper. I selected my girl’s shirt near the collar. Now, in real life, her shirt is a cream color. It’s not white, but this is just for demonstration and playing purposes. That photo has got some contrast to it now. If you like heavy contrast.
Reset button again. Sometimes don’t you wish you had that in life? Any hoo…I used the black dropper this time and selected a portion of the landscape up at the top of the photo that looked black. This was the result. It’s not hugely different from the original. Still cool looking. And my baby is cool. Actually, she’s was watching the rain and her Daddy who was removing vermin from a trap under the ground. Huge vermin. I’ll spare you that story. Our driveway won’t be collapsing in any more.
So, after my many diverging tales and making this post twice as long as it could be….this is the end result. The photo below is only changed by using that grey dropper to sample a rock. Boom. Done. And I’ve spelled gray a couple of different ways. Just because I can. Grey. I just Googled it, I can spell it both ways. Though I should be consistent in one post. But I’m not going to be in this one. Gray.
Take a look at the before and after. Wow, a big difference with just one click of the mouse. The vermin was not a mouse. Definitely not a mouse. It was about the size of many, many mice. It looked as if it may have eaten a few mice.
Because I can, I added some haze to the photo and cropped it a bit. Nothing glamorous and I probably won’t print this one, but it sure was fun to play with. You never know, it may eventually make in into our 2015 Family Yearbook. Now if I could just get started on 2007!
How are you playing with your photos?