Create balanced colour in Adobe Camera Raw or Lightroom
Use RAW editing tools for perfectly rendered colour
While Photoshop is often the best option for advanced photo retouching and selective adjustments, RAW editing suites have all the tools you need to achieve balanced colour, through advanced and powerful controls. It is actually recommended that the majority of colour editing is done at the RAW processing stage, since this will be non-destructive and unfixed, should you choose to alter colour balance once again, in future. In this tutorial we follow the basic steps to neutralising strong colour casts, for advanced and sophisticated processing workflows
Step 1: Choose a camera Profile
The first step towards predictable colour is to select a Camera Profile. This introduces the image parameters that would have been applied in-camera had you shot in Jpeg format, producing colours closer to those you saw on the rear LCD, at the time of shooting.
Step 2: One-click white balance
Use the White Balance Tool (I) in Camera Raw to instantly neutralise unwanted colour casts. By clicking the tool in an area of neutral grey (highlighted), ACR will automatically alter the white balance using the grey sample as a reference. Click several times to refine the alteration.
Step 3: Use Split Toning
Once a neutral colour balance has been achieved, customise the tone using the Split Toning Panel. Though often used to tone monochrome shots, these controls are highly useful for altering the colour of highlights and shadows independently, where a slight bias is desirable.
Step4: Correct colour with curves
Curve control is one of the most flexible methods of adjusting colour and tonality. Using the Tone Curve in Camera Raw, it is possible to edit colour balance in the shadows, midtones and highlights separately, offering almost unlimited customisation opportunities and subtle shifts in cast.