How to Color Correct Photos in Lightroom

Lightroom has some quick and powerful tools for color correcting your images. This great tutorial walks you through all of them, whether you prefer one-click adjustments or full manual control.

The first thing to note before anything else is that you should be shooting in raw. One of the most fundamental benefits of raw is the ability to adjust white balance after capture with no penalty on image quality. The next to note is that all the corrections Nathaniel Dodson is making are relative to a single light source. If you're in a mixed color temperature situation, the automated tools might get you closer, but you'll probably want to do some manual adjustment to get things to a level that looks acceptable to your eye. For example, I frequently shoot in a concert hall with very warm lighting, but the stage is a 60-foot glass wall, meaning depending on the time of day, white balance can be a nightmare. I always begin by using the dropper tool to balance the white keys of the piano, then I tweak to my own manual settings, as the mixed lighting makes it difficult for Lightroom to balance. You can always use the manual controls to introduce a slight bias for personal taste.

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3 Comments

Ngaere Woodford's picture

Great tutorial! thank you!!

Great tutorial, but I think he should have touched on the difference between trying to get image elements to be neutral and trying to achieve what was originally seen in the scene. Getting that shirt to be white is not necessarily going to result in an image representative of the original scene. If the warm light of a setting sun made that white shirt look warm then obviously trying to get it to be neutral white is not what was in the original scene.

Adobe should also replace the auto white balance tool in Lightroom with the legacy auto color tool in Photoshop to Lightroom. The former is mostly useless.

Kyle Medina's picture

Nathaniels channel is so underrated.