I recently purchased a WhiBal white balance card to add to my photography tools. It's really great! If you clicked on the link, you saw the videos of why it's so great. But since I'm not good at explaining the science of it all, let me just show you.
Here is a picture of my tree:
Obviously, you can tell it's not the right color. I mean, the Christmas lights make a certain color, but in general, it's got that yellow tone that comes with taking indoor photography with no flash. So...enter the WhiBal! The WhiBal is a neutral gray, lighter than the normal 18% gray card used for exposure. Because it's neutral (no red, yellow, etc. undertones), any color coming from it in a photo will tell you the color that is coming from the lighting.
Again, I'm not good at 'splaining. But here's what you do. You take a photo in the same place as before, only this time include the WhiBal:
Now, open the two images in Photoshop. This is where the magic happens! If you've taken the pictures in RAW format, it will open the RAW converter, where you can make all kinds of adjustments. Then, you show Photoshop what color casts are in your photo by selecting a spot on the WhiBal. It takes that information and removes the color cast of all selected photos.
Now for a little final tweaking, and you've got a nice photo!
Sometimes I look at it and think, "But I like the first photo better!" Well, in that case, you leave it the way it was. There's no rule saying you can't! And in this instance, it's kind of nice to have the warm tones of the first photo. However, this is a big timesaver when it comes to portraits, because no one likes yellow undertones in their skin tone.
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