Free Photoshop Action: NBP White Balance Adjust

Just about every photographer at some point has found themselves in a situation on set where the disparity between light temperature sources causes significant color casting in ways they don't want. In my experience, the most common problem is when you have to contend with traditional incandescent light bulbs in frame, but you're using strobes that are (mostly) balanced to average daylight light temperatures. What's the best way to fix this in Photoshop? 

While detailed light temperature management on set is the standard in film production (and high end photo sets with large teams to handle tech concerns) most of us just have to do the dreaded "fix it in post" if we want the color casting to be removed or reduced when we cannot get around wildly varying light temperatures in frame.

One of my favorite ways to go about solving these light temperature issues in Photoshop is by utilizing the Camera Raw Filter as a Smart Object. While this filter does not use raw data, just to be clear, it still does a fantastic job approximating actual white balance differences in a pretty dang accurate manner. Rather than fumble around with an adjustment layer and hope I can eyeball it, I simply use Camera Raw Filter and adjust as if I were trying to adjust white balance in Capture One Pro, Lightroom or, you guessed it, ACR. As I am very familiar with adjusting white balance in raw, this feels very natural to me and gets me a result that, to me, looks amazing in terms of balancing two (or more) different light temperatures in my shot.

To make things even more streamlined, I created an Action for it. You are welcome to download this Action for free and see how it works for you. Let me know!

In the before and after above, notice how the background is initially covered in the light temperature caused by traditional incandescent light bulbs (somewhere around 2500k), while my strobe was hitting Abbi around 5200k, which is mostly known as daylight light temperature. I simply run my Action, do a quick masking job, adjust the Camera Raw Filter settings as needed, and done. Watch the video above for a full explanation.

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6 Comments

Studio 403's picture

well thank you kind sir

vladimir romo's picture

Gracias Gracias Gracias!!!

Przemek Lodej's picture

That's pretty sweet. Thank you :)