How to adjust white balance in Photoshop


Old is gold. We all know that. I believe that too. We all like to preserve our memories. Somebody do it by writing in dairies, some takes photos. But most of the time those photos get scratched, fades and they lose their white balance and color. You can easily fix both white balance and color all together only by fixing the white balance. It’s not a very easy task to fix the white balance. You must know some techniques to do it. So here, today I am going to help you to know few things about white balance. First we need to know what white balance is.


White balance is the process of removing unrealistic color casts, so that the object which appear white in a person are shown white in the photo. Proper “Camera white balance” has to take into account to keep the white balance in normal as it shown in naturally.


In your camera profile there you will find the basic “White balance” settings.

 Auto – This is where the camera makes a best guess on a shot by shot basis. You will find it works in many situations.

Tungsten – This mode is usually symbolized with a little bulb and is for shooting indoors. It generally cools down the colors in photos.

 Fluorescent – This compensates for the ‘cool’ light of fluorescent light and will warm up your shots.

Daylight/Sunny – Not all cameras have this setting because it sets things as fairly ‘normal’ white balance settings.

 Cloudy – This setting generally warms things up a touch more than ‘daylight’ mode.

 Flash – The flash of a camera can be quite a cool light so in Flash White Balance mode you’ll find it warms up your shots a touch.

 Shade – The light in shade is generally cooler (bluer) than shooting in direct sunlight so this mode will warm things up a little.

When you take a picture in the wrong white balance, then you need to fix the white balance. You can easily adjust the white balance in Photoshop. Here I am going to follow few steps to do so.


At first you need to open the photo you want to give “a good looking white balance” in Adobe Photoshop. To open it in Adobe Photoshop click on the “File”. Then click “Open” and select the photo. You can also open the photo by dragging it to the Photoshop field. If you photo is in desktop then “left click” on the photo and drag it to the Photoshop empty field. Then loose the “Left click”. So you inserted the photo in Photoshop.


It’s an old photo. It is fade and moreover it has a wrong white balance. It also got scratches, marks. So here we will remove all these odds and give it a very good white balance.


Creating a “Duplicate layer” is very easy and very useful for any kind of Photoshop work. It will preserve your original photo and edit the duplicated one. By this you can reverse the command too. To open a “Duplicate layer” go to the layer option and click “Duplicate layer”. You can see a “Background layer” in the layer dialogue box.



I am going to use my background layer to give my image a good white balance, and since I’ll be adding a few more layers after that, let’s keep track of what I am doing with each layer by giving them more informative names than simply “Layer 1”, “Layer 2”, and so on. Double-click directly on the name “Background layer” in the layers palette and rename it to “White balance”.



To adjust the level, go to the “Image” from the top menu option. Then select “Adjustment” and select “Level”. There has three triangles showing three layers of the black and white photo such as shadow, mid-tone and the highlight. Today we are also going to learn about the color picker shown in the option menu of “Level”. The color picker at the left picks the black point of the photo. The right one picks the white point of the photo and the middle one pick the mid tones of the photo. In this image you can see, it’s fade. So I need to adjust it with the color picker in the left. It will pick the black point of the photo and will give it a good contrast.




You can see a lot of development in your picture. There has another technique to do so. Let’s see how does it works. Go to the “Filter” option at the top. Select “Camera raw filter”. A dialogue box will appear. There you can see a white balance tool in the option menu as shown in the picture below.


Now reduce the “highlight” and the “white” from the picture.


Now pick the less white color in your entire picture to get the perfect white balance. Here I got mine. Now increase the “Highlight” and “White” unless they fade away the picture. I also increased the contrast. Because I think contrast is a good medium to get well color. I also increased the “Temperature” and decreased the “Tint”. I like to add a little “Clarity” in my picture. But be careful. It reduces color and make the picture look like HDR. So you have to be very careful with that. Click “Ok” to finish.


Now flatten the layers to get your picture. There has some scratch marks on the lady’s cloth. I removed it using the “Clone stamp tool” and I remove that white fayer on the horse’s eye using the “Patch tool”. You can also see our Adobe Lightroom tutorial for the same result.


You see how easy it is to adjust the white balance in Photoshop.

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