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White Balance and Color - Lightroom Tutorial

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White Balance and Color - Lightroom Tutorial

My Manta shot has funky saturation and color... Where do I start?

Start with White Balance and the HSL sliders in Lightroom or Adobe Camera Raw

The main problem with this otherwise lovely shot of a manta is bad White Balance. One click of the white balance eye dropper in either Lightroom or Adobe Camera Raw will work a world of wonders, and there are a few more tools to help finesse it. Once I fix the white balance, however, it's clear that I need something better than the kludgy Lightroom Spot Removal tool to clean up the backscatter, so I'll take the image into Photoshop to finish it. If you only have Lightroom, you can take a stab at removing backscatter there, but you'll want to open a vein if you have more than just a few spots to remove. If you don't feel like opening a vein, might I suggest opening a bottle of your favorite adult beverage and settling in for a long, tedious spot fest.
(Runtime: 7 minutes, 18 seconds)

Software Covered: Lightroom Tutorial

View the Quick Fix

Software Covered: Lightroom Tutorial  Photoshop Tutorial

Can you handle the Big Fix?

Thirsty for more? Here's the long version. Starting where we leave off in the original tutorial, see a step-by-step demonstration of every technique Erin uses to finish the image, with many additional topics, tips and tricks. (Runtime: 25 minutes, 22 seconds)

Topic Time Codes
(00:37) Before and After Image Views LR4
(01:10) Resetting Panels and Sliders LR4
(02:17) Basic Panel Tone and Contrast Adjustments in LR4
(04:12) Clarity, Vibrance and Saturation LR4
(05:20) Adjustment Brush basics LR4
(07:27) Using the Mask Overlay to dial in adjustments LR4
(07:35) Accessing the Eraser Brush on the fly LR4
(11:18) Edit Pin Tips
(12:19) Graduated Filter LR4

(14:19) Open Smart Object in PS CS6
(16:03) Working in Layers
(17:25) The Clone Stamp
(19:26) Patch Tool
(21:15) The Healing Brushes
(22:30) Backscatter Removal Time Lapse
(23:18) High Pass Filter Sharpening
(24:33) Safe return to LR

View Before and After of the Image (click image to enlarge)

GoAskErin, is a feature brought to you by Backscatter - Underwater Photo and Video. Erin Quigley, our Lightroom and Photoshop guru, reveals her favorite tips and techniques in our bi-monthly series of online video tutorials, using images chosen from viewer submissions.

Erin QuigleyErin Quigley is a Adobe ACE certified digital imaging consultant specializing in customized workflows and editing strategies using Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom. She is an award-winning underwater photographer and video editor, and creator of, which provides one-on-one instruction, custom video tutorials, and Photoshop and Lightroom resources specifically developed for underwater shooters.

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Lightroom Tutorial - Dial-A-Blue - Go Ask Erin Tutorial Series
Q: My picture was shot in the Caribbean, but the water is far from Caribbean blue. What can I do in Lightroom to help it? A: One of my favorite techniques to adjust water color is by sliding around in the Hue Saturation and Luminance (HSL) panel in the Develop module of Lightroom.

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Q: I'm a still shooter, but have amassed a bunch of video clips that I have no idea what to do with. I don't want to learn new software just for video. What can I do with video in Lightroom? A: You can do everything you need to make a basic edit, color correct, and export - all with the same skills you already know in Lightroom 5.

Creating Focus - Lightroom 5 Tutorial
Q: This picture was taken with my old camera gear, but I've never captured as good a pose. How can I perfect this shot? Color? Sharpening? A: Color and Selective Sharpening will help, but you can create focus and punch with the help of a Vignette.

Black & White Conversion - Lightroom Tutorial
Q: It was such an exciting moment when I took this shot, but the picture itself looks dull. How can I make it more dramatic? A: Convert it to Black and White, and knock out the background to add intensity and drama.

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