January 7th, 2016
John wants to know:
How others fix white balance issues on white ceilings. Color casting from adjacent walls, interior lights of varied temperatures and some sunlight all make for a challenging fix. I have been adjusting by using local adjustments brush on the ceilings and using WB tool, a little desaturation and increasing brightness. Wondering if there are other techniques out there.
There are several approaches to fixing the color problems arise from mixed temperature light sources that are common when shooting interiors:
- Use an off camera manual flash, bounced off the ceiling or a wall. The flash color temperature is close to outdoor color temperature and will dominate the scene and overpower other color temperatures (depending on the flash power). This takes a little trial and error until you get the hang of it. You can also gel (colored sheet you put over the flash to change the color temperature) flashes to even out the competing color casts.
- Shoot a frame with the room lights turned off and one with the room lights turned on. Then in Photoshop open the two frames in different layers and mask the just the lights you want from the room light frame onto the frame with the lights off. This is a variation in the approach shown in the Photoshop tutorial above.
- Use adjustment brushes or gradient adjustments in Lightroom. This too is a variation of the Photoshop technique shown in the tutorial.
- Change the incandescent bulbs to LEDs – see this post for details and discussion. This is only practical on a small scale but some do it. This approach used to be more widely used before digital photography and Photoshop.
To me,#1 is the quickest and easiest once you learn how to do it since it requires no time in post processing. Scott Hargis’s Lighting Interiors e-book covers #1 and John McBay’s Image Editing For Real Estate Photography e-book covers #2.