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How to Adjust White Balance in an Image

Posted by Roger Hyttinen on

This post is part of our Learning Lightroom series.

The White Balance setting allows you to adjusts the overall color temperature of your image. Many photographers adjust the White Balance first before making any other adjustments to their images.

To change the White Balance, click the drop-down list on top of the Basic panel next to WB to display all of the White Balance presets that you can set: As Shot, Auto, Daylight, Cloudy, Shade, Tungsten, Fluorescent, Flash or Custom. Note that these presets will only be available if your photo is in RAW format. If you’ve processed your photo as a JPEG or a TIFF, the only options available are As Shot, Auto, and Custom.

Many people use the White Balance Tool (the eyedropper icon) to adjust their images. To do so, click the eyedropper to the left of the letters WB, and move your cursor over the image. As you hover over the image, a preview displays of what the image would be like if you were to click on that location. Ideally, you want to click on a neutral tone such as light gray or white. When you click, the temperature of the image will automatically adjust.

White Balance Eyedropper

Of course, you can just drag the Temp and/or the Tint sliders until the image looks good to you. Dragging the Tint slider to the left adds green to the image and dragging it to the right add magenta. Dragging the Temp slider to the left warms the image by adding yellow and dragging it to the right cools the image by adding blue.

To Adjust the White Balance of an Image, follow these steps:

1. Click the word Basic in the right pane to expand the Basic panel if necessary


Press Ctrl + 1 if using Windows or Command + 1 if using a Mac.
2. Select the image that you want to edit.
3. To use the White Balance Tool:

a. Click the eyedropper tool located to the right of the letters WB.

b. Hover your cursor over the image until the desired white balance is displayed in the preview dialog.

c. Click on a neutral area of your image to set the White Balance

4.  To apply a White Balance preset, click the WB list and choose the desired preset.

White Balance Preset List


Looking to learn Lightroom CC Classic? Check out our Up To Speed ebook guide, available at Amazon, Kobo, Apple iBooks and Barnes and Noble. It’s is also available in PDF format from this website.

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