A Simple Solution to White Balance Interiors

Lightroom’s white balance picker is amazing. Just click on something neutral and voila! Or maybe not. What about when your photograph has mixed color temperature lighting?

It’s an incredibly common scenario. Landscape images are typically a mix of warm highlights from sunlight and cool shadows lit by the open blue sky. If you shoot real estate or interiors, you probably see a complex mix of yellow interiors and blue windows in much of your work.

In this tutorial, you’ll learn how to correct mixed color lighting in just a few seconds. And because this approach creates a layer mask, you can easily use it to correct more than just white balance (such as exterior brightness and contrast as shown in the tutorial).


The workflow is:

  • Create a based layer white balanced for the warm light (interior in this example).
  • Create a layer white balanced for the cool light (exterior/windows in this example). If you are working with Smart Objects, be sure to right-click and choose “New Smart Object via Copy” so that you can adjust it independently of the other layer. Select this layer and temporarily hide it.
  • Click “Color” in Lumenzia, check both the Cyan and Blue options and click “Mask”. This will add a add a mask to the correction layer based on the areas that are too blue in the underlying layer. Just make this layer visible again to see the correction.
  • If your interior has any blue objects, it may be included in the mask. Just paint black on the mask or add a group mask to excludes that portion of the mask.

Camera RAW Smart Objects work very well for this type of work because they offer high quality color correction, as well as an easy way to adjust other settings (such as brightness and contrast) for optimal results.

Greg Benz Photography