The Art of Photography

The WB Sample tool

Lightroom's sample tool defaults to a 5 x 5 pixel array sample.

Picking a "target neutral" 5x5sample

In the Tool Bar at the bottom of the display are the WB behaviour tools...
If you uncheck Auto Dismiss, you can keep sampling without the eyedropper returning to it's "holder" in the Basic Panel.

"Show Loupe" check box turns the magnified sample screen on/off.

zoomcontrols

At full zoom you get a very large array that samples many more pixels... In situations where there are a lot of similar pixels, you'll get a better result.

bigzoom

Setting The White Balance

When you finally choose a WB, the color tones in the image will "literally" snap into place.

There are two ways to choose WB. The best way of course is to get it right in-camera... shoot a custom WB first!

The Technical or Objective method... Use the Eye Dropper Tool
Look for a neutral value as close as possible to R=96% G=96% B=96%, However, you may have a photo that has no whitish pixels... You then want to find the most neutral color possible... Note that the closer your neutral tones get to mid-gray, the warmer the tones become in the image.

In the Rock Creek Example the closest neutral values to 96% are in the foam in water... It might take you a while to find the neutral values you are looking for. Lightroom will NOT let you pick a value larger than 96% for R,G and B

The Personal or subjective method
Use the Temperature slider... and visually choose what looks most pleasing to YOU!

temperature

2010-2012%20WB


Note about process 2012
Because of the better baseline set in process 2012, setting WB eliminated the hightlight clipping. It wasn't necessary to attempt eliminating clipping first.