I’ve been spending more time playing with the settings on my digital SLR lately. I’m a firm believer that it takes time and a lot of trial-and-error to enhance one’s photography skills. If you read my Mess-up Monday post from last week, you’ll know that low light settings have been a challenge for me as of late. I have also been taking a lot of pictures indoors, since by the time I get home from work it’s dark.
Enter the white balance setting. My camera (which is a Nikon D70) allows me to manually adjust my white balance settings to accommodate for specific photo conditions. (All DSLRs I have seen and quite a few high-end point and shoots also have this setting). Since I’ve been shooting indoors, I had my camera on the “Incandescent” setting and forgot to change it back before taking my camera along for a recent 4-wheeling trip. Here’s the result:
Is it just me, or does everything (including My Stronger Half) look a little blue? This ^^ is what happens when you have the wrong white balance setting. The bad news is, about 1/4 of all my photos from that day look like this. I finally noticed something was up and changed my white balance settings back to Auto. The good news is, I can fix the photo above with just a few quick Photoshop tricks.
First, I used “levels” to adjust the lighting and contrast in the photo:
Second, I added a warming filter using “photo filter” to get rid of the blue tint:
Finally, I ran a quick boost action, adjusted the brightness, and cropped the photo. Here’s the final result:
Still not the perfect photo, but it’s leaps and bounds better from where I started.
So, what’s today’s lesson? Check your white balance settings before you start taking pictures, so you don’t have to do Photoshop magic to save a shot.