Photoshop has a quick and easy option for fixing white balance in the form of the ‘gray point’ eyedropper in the Curves and Levels panels.
As always, it’s best to apply these adjustments using an Adjustment Layer (Layer >New Adjustment Layer>Curves or Levels), as this enables you to fine-tune your edits at a later date.
In either the Curves or Levels panels, click the middle of the three eyedroppers (hovering over it displays the tooltip ‘Sample in image to set gray point’), then click in an area of your image that should be a neutral grey, and that colour and colours throughout the image will be corrected.
If you don’t get the desired result first time, try clicking in another area.
Watch our video tutorial below to see how all of this works in action.
Correcting white balance in Adobe Camera Raw
Adobe Camera Raw also has tools for adjusting white balance, and if you shoot Raw images it’s best to fix them here. The first option to try is the White Balance menu, at the top of the Basic tab.
This contains a selection of presets that correspond to the most common in-camera white balance options, and applying one of these will correct for the colour cast that’s typically created by that lighting.
There’s also a White Balance tool, which works in a similar way to the ‘gray point’ eyedropper in the Levels and Curves panels. In this case, you need to click on a tone in your image that should be white, or close to it, for the best results.
When you select one of the presets, or use the White Balance tool, you’ll see the Temperature and Tint values change, and you can use these sliders to fine-tune the correction.
The Temperature slider enables you to cool down or warm up images by adding more blue or yellow respectively; the Tint slider controls the image’s green/magenta balance, and you can use this to correct casts caused by fluorescent lighting.