Creative Color Processing (Part 1/3

It is often said that photography is a visual language. Through our photographs we tell stories, share experiences, and communicate emotions. Aside from journalism, where faithful captures are important for ethics reasons, photography is often about creatively interpreting a scene, rather than simply recording what is in front of the lens.

Tokyo street scene with creative color Tokyo street scene with creative color

Tokyo street scene with 'normal' color Tokyo street scene with ‘normal’ color

Creative use of color can be a powerful tool for controlling the mood in your photographs. In a series of three posts I will discuss three Lightroom controls that can be used to control color and mood in your photos:

1. White Balance
2. Split Toning
3. Tone Curve

In this first article in the series I will discuss white balance, the simplest of the three tools.

Note: I shoot Raw and import my photos into Lightroom, converting to DNG on the way into Lr. Shooting Raw gives me much more flexibility to make creative color decisions in post processing. The screenshots from are from Lightroom 4, but with the exception of the Tone Curve technique that I will cover in Part 3 of the series, these techniques can be used in previous versions of Lightroom.

White balance allows you to control the overall color temperature of your image, and adjust for different light sources like tungsten, daylight, flash, etc. If you

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