How to Use Neutral Guides to Set white balance in Photoshop

On this Lynda video tutorial (part of of a course called Enhancing Night and Low-Light Photos with Photoshop), photographer Seán Duggan shows how to work with night images and white balance based on neutral guides.

Duggan first tip is to start with white balancing images especially on night images under artificial light. Now you can start with trying some presets (auto or some other presets) but for this video Duggan chooses to use a different way.

The basic concept Duggan uses is to look in an image for an area which has what he calls neutral guides or in other words no color cast – this can be an area in an image which is black, white or some level of gray (black is typically not the best option mind you). Working with the white balance tool in camera RAW inside Photoshop he picks up color from different areas and shows the results for different images and using this basic concept shows how to best adapt what you have in the image to your preferred white balance option.

We already covered the topic of white balance in several previous videos including “Canon Talks White Balance“,  “Understanding White Balance” with Jesse Garrison from Canon and “How to Manually White-Balance Your Camera” with Richard Harrington.

You can find many more Photoshop video tutorials on LensVid’s Photoshop section and more videos by Lindsay Adler on LensVid here.

Iddo Genuth
Iddo Genuth is the founder and chief editor of He has been a technology reporter working for international publications since the late 1990's and covering photography since 2009. Iddo is also a co-founder of a production company specializing in commercial food and product visual content.


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