Find yourself fiddling with sliders in Lightroom forever?
When I was first starting out I was trying to figure out what my photography aesthetic was. As much as I tried, I always felt like I was SLIGHTLY off the mark of what I was visualizing in my head. I would tweak the white balance, the tint, the exposure, contrast and everything but I couldn’t figure out how to get my images to all look consistent with each other!
It took me HOURS of fiddling with the sliders in Lightroom trying to get each image justttt right. Only to compare that image with ones from either a different part of the shoot or the day and get frustrated because they both looked like they came from a different photographer! The lighting wasn’t all that different and yet my images looked otherwise! I spent HOURS comparing images back and forth, tweaking them, exporting them only to see a set of images that didn’t match the rest. I would go BACK into Lightroom to fix them and then RE-export them.
This was adding actual hours to my workflow and perfection was getting the best of me! Can you relate to this? The more I dug into blog posts, the more I started to learn but one of the biggest game-changers for me was learning to shoot in manual white balance.
What’s White Balance?
White balance is how “warm” or “cool” your image looks (how yellow or blue) and it’s the same as the slider in Lightroom for white balance! Most cameras come in a default setting where the camera will automatically choose your white balance for you! Although, this is great when you’re starting out and already fumbling with all the other controls like aperture, shutter, and ISO, auto-white balance can be throwing off the consistency you’re looking for in your images!
When your camera is in auto white balance mode, it’s reevaluating the lighting in EVERY shot that you take. Even though the lighting to your naked eye might not have changed, it’s using its sensors to predict what the best white balance should be. Cameras are especially notorious for choosing the wrong balance indoors with different types of lights on turning your image wonky shades of yellow, orange, green or blue!
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White Balance – The Smart Way
When you manually set your white balance to a certain temperature, it will remain consistent throughout the entire time you’re shooting on that ONE temperature! Even if you have your white balance set slightly too warm or too cool, you’re able to fix one “anchor” image in Lightroom and then sync the white balance across ALL the images in that same lighting scenario within SECONDS. No tweaking each and every image to get it just right! You just get it right for one image and apply it across the board!!
Manually Setting White Balance through Kelvin or ExpoDisc
You can manually set your white balance by either setting it to a certain Kelvin temperature and changing it each time you go into a drastically different lighting scenario or you can use an ExpoDisc to set the white balance & exposure for you! I tend to use the ExpoDisc outside in naturally lit scenarios and then manually dial it in using Kelvin if the ExpoDisc happens to be WAY off and for indoor lighting scenarios.
So, take some time to dig into your camera manual and practice using manual white balance the next time you’re out photographing! You might be able to even configure a button to allow you to easily change the Kelvin white balance on your camera so you don’t have to dig through your menu for it!
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More Great Business Tips – The MP Education Series
Part I: Why You Should Invest in Photography Education
Part II: 3 Lessons I’ve Learned in 3 Years as a Wedding Photographer
Part III: Website Essentials & Tips for Wedding & Portrait Photographers
Part IV: Wedding Photography Preparation Workflow
Part V: Creating a Marketing Strategy & Workflow for Your Business
Part VI: 5 Tips for Crafting a Stellar Client Experience
Part VII: Why Creatives Should Consider a Quarterly Planning System
Part VIII: Weekly Batch Schedule for Photographers
Part IX: Crafting a Productive Weekly Schedule
Part X: Keeping Track of your Finances as a Photographer
Part XI: Setting White Balance Manually to Save Hours While Editing
Part XII: Introducing One-On-One Mentoring Sessions