Getting creative with white balance settings
You can add more extreme color shifts in Photoshop to great creative effect.
For example, to simulate moonlight, first darken the image to give a night-time effect, then shift the color balance drastically towards blue (Incidentally, moonlight isn’t actually blue.
It’s as blue as daylight, but the artificial effect we apply here creates the impression of moonlight we’ve all absorbed from countless Hollywood films.).
Sunsets can often prove disappointing, largely due to the camera’s attempts to neutralise the colors.
One way of restoring a sunset effect is to apply a colored gradient to your image.
You can do this on another layer, using Multiply mode or color mode so that the gradient overlays the image below rather than covering it up.
Why not experiment at the time of shooting, by choosing white balance settings which are completely ‘wrong’ for the conditions?
We’ve mentioned the idea of shooting sunsets with the ‘Cloudy/Shade’ setting, but try shooting daylight portraits with your camera’s ‘Tungsten’ setting for an eerie, cold blue tone.
Sunsets can prove disappointing if you leave your camera’s white balance set to auto. The camera may attempt to correct for what it sees as an excessively ‘warm’ color balance, leaving you with a rather dead and colorless image…
By switching the white balance to the Cloudy setting (even though it’s not actually cloudy), you’re telling the camera to ‘warm up’ the colors (as if it is cloudy). This intensifies the yellows, oranges and red colors of sunsets very effectively.
PAGE 1: White balance color quality issues
PAGE 2: Best white balance settings for color photography – Auto vs Preset
PAGE 3: Using white balance to warm up your color photography
PAGE 4: Getting creative with white balance settings