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For more information, please see full course syllabus of Adobe Photoshop Elements 11
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Lecture Comments (4)

3 answers

Last reply by: Matthew Chantry
Mon Jul 8, 2013 10:58 AM

Post by Matthew Chantry on July 3, 2013

Where is the link in the Quick Notes found?

White Balance & Monitor Calibration

Lecture Slides are screen-captured images of important points in the lecture. Students can download and print out these lecture slide images to do practice problems as well as take notes while watching the lecture.

  • Intro 0:00
  • White Balance 1:45
    • What is White Balance
    • Examples: Lighting Situations
    • How Does White Balance Apply in Photoshop Elements?
  • Monitor Calibration 8:42
    • Monitor Calibration Overview
    • Calibrating Your Monitor for PC & MAC
    • Calibrating to a Printer

Transcription: White Balance & Monitor Calibration

Hi, everyone--Michael Brown with you again; welcome back to's Adobe Photoshop Elements Beginning and Intermediate course.0000

In the previous two lessons, we've been talking about the value of quality; we've talked about light and color.0008

All of this--applying to my mantra, "Garbage in, garbage out"--always start with the best quality you possibly can at anything you do; do the best you can at every step along the way to get the best-quality finished product.0014

In this regard, we showed you how to set up your camera to take the highest-quality technical image from the resolution and sharpness point of view; we also talked about what light is and how it changes under different circumstances; we've talked about color spaces, which are the ranges of color that are available, both to set in your camera and to work with in the computer in Adobe Photoshop Elements.0028

If you remember, in the camera there is RGB, the wider color space, and there is SRGB, which is the native color space of your computer, but it has less color in it than RGB does; RGB is the better one to start with in the camera and to use if you're going out to printing; but if you're going to the Web, remember, you want to use the smaller one, SRGB.0060

The final two pieces of the equation to get everything right are white balance and monitor calibration.0085

White balance is making sure it's neutral color in the camera or working on it in Photoshop Elements, and monitor calibration is making sure that you see the best image right on the monitor.0093

Let's get started with this.0105

What is white balance? It's the attempt to correct an image so that the colors appear natural to the human eye.0107

In your camera, you have white balance presets, made by the manufacturer, to attempt to correct for different color temperatures of light that occur with different light sources and conditions.0115

First, let me talk about some of the conditions that there are: there is noonday sunshine, nice and clear--that is what neutral light is based on--a noon sunshine, about 5500 to 6000 degrees Kelvin.0130

Everything else is trying to balance to that.0142

If you're indoors with incandescent light bulbs, they are down around 3000 degrees Kelvin, so the light is very yellow-red.0145

If you're shooting in shade outdoors, what you're going to encounter there is that the sun is not your light source, primarily; the light is from the blue sky, so it's a very blue image.0155

Now, the brain and your eyes naturally correct, because of experience, any light source, so that you will see it as though you feel that it is natural.0167

But that is a white balance correction by your brain.0180

Let me show you a couple of examples of the different lighting situations.0184

Here I have five images that I shot; let's go ahead and open those up into Camera Raw.0190

This demonstration will only apply with the raw images; if you shoot jpeg...I have to select them all first...there we go...if you are shooting jpeg, or if you're importing images from somewhere else--Photoshop or Photoshop Elements corrected images--you will be using color corrections within the program, which we will talk about.0198

Right here, I'm going to demonstrate the different light sources.0227

Here is an the way, all five of these images are the same shot, shot on a tripod, at the same time of day; the only difference is that I set the white balance for the different presets to show you the differences.0231

This one is set for neutral daylight--and it is noon.0247

If you will notice, the color temperature here is 4950 degrees; it's just slightly down on the warm end, but that is approximately 5000 degrees Kelvin.0251

If we look closely at this image, you see that the whites are very pure white when they're in the bright area; in the shadow, we see a little blue--that's what I was talking about--the shade area.0262

The foliage on all of the plants is a nice, rich green, with a little yellow that's very natural.0275

If we look even closer, at the street, you will see that in the sunlight, it's a nice, neutral gray, and it's maybe a little harder to see, but over here in the shadows, there are blue tones to it, which is what you get--you can see it on the building back in this corner back here; see, that's kind of the blue tone?0280

That is what you get from shade, so the neutral light right here is what we always want everything to balance to.0300

The second one I'm going to show you--I shot it with the tungsten correction.0308

I shot the same shot here, but with the tungsten white balance correction--now tungsten, remember, is a light bulb; it's like a flame or your incandescent bulb; it's down in the very yellow-red range, like 3000 or so degrees Kelvin.0314

So, it's going to be a very yellow image if you don't correct it.0329

So, what do you think the correction would be for a very yellow image? The opposite color of yellow is blue, so it would be a heavy filter of blue to balance that light to this neutral one.0334

Here is a neutral day shot with a tungsten white balance setting; and, lo and behold, of course, it's very, very blue, because that's the correction that would be applied to compensate--but this wasn't yellow, so it went very blue.0346

Notice, that balance is assuming that it was 3000 degrees Kelvin, so if we take our color temperature slider--this is a color temperature correction--and we run it up to about 5000, which is where the other one was, look what we have--a nice neutral image just exactly like the original one!0361

It should actually be more like 52 or 5300--right about there.0384

That's better...and once again, now we're back to the white and gray, and even the shadows are a little more neutral here than they were on the original one.0390

I'll show you the difference: this was the filter to correct for the 3000 degrees, very blue to correct for the yellow, and this is what it would look like if it was neutralized--perfect!0400

We'll give one more example--open shade; you're not being lit by the sun; you're being lit by the blue sky; so it's going to be very bluish.0414

The white balance preset would be the opposite of blue, which is yellow, to counter the blue; and so here is the shade, shot in neutral day; see how yellow it is?0424

That is the compensation that the camera is giving: look in the shadow areas here, which would be very bluish, right there, and on the street, which is neutral; it's imparting a lot of yellow--notice, 7750--to compensate for what would be approximately 4000 or so.0437

Once again, to get it back to the neutral, you will see what it has done; here is the 5000 degree Kelvin again; about 5300; nice and neutral.0458

The filter was for 7750; that shows you what the presets are doing inside of your camera.0470

How does the white balance apply in Elements? The primary correction that you make is to neutralize the color, and I showed you, just now, in Camera Raw, with the color temperature slider--you can correct it.0484

This is the same thing as the presets are doing inside of your camera.0495

That shows you what white balance is all about; it's very critical; when you set your camera up, make sure you're either on auto white balance or the correct preset for the situation that you're shooting.0501

It may not work perfectly, because these are just nominal choices by the manufacturer, but we can correct them inside of Photoshop Elements.0514

Now, let's talk about monitor calibration--the final link in the chain--making sure that this screen that you're viewing this lesson on is giving you accurate color.0522

To create accurate color, your monitor needs to be calibrated for neutral color.0532

Make sure that other monitors see your files accurately; if you're working in situations where you're sharing the files with other people to work on, you need to match your monitor to theirs; this is called a color profile.0538

Monitor calibration is a whole course of study; calibrating and matching to other ones is very complex; there are lots of opinions on the best ways.0553

Right here in the corner, this ColorMunki calibrator by X-Rite Corporation is one of the reasonably-priced calibrators that works very, very well.0561

What you do with the device is, you stick it on your monitor, and it measures the light, and it has its internal calibrations, and it actually is working with software that you install on your computer, and it will adjust your monitor to a neutral calibration per that device.0570

Then, you have your corrected calibration.0589

You have a monitor profile for your monitor; if you want to match to someone else's monitor, you take that same calibration device, and you have it put on their monitor, or if they use the same company's device, it will work equally, as well.0592

Then, they have a calibrated monitor: when you send a file that you do on your monitor over, the profile for your calibration that you set with the ColorMunki is embedded in the image; and if someone else has a calibrated monitor by the same device, it can now open that up; and internally, it will recognize that it needs to be corrected to that monitor; and it will impart the changes so that, on their monitor, your image looks the same.0611

Sounds complicated; it is kind of complicated; but, in most cases, a simple way to calibrate the monitor and match to your printer: most of us, primarily, are using our own monitor and printer.0644

We're not dealing with a lot of other people; so, I have an easy way to calibrate a monitor and to match up to a printer that will work for you 90+ percent of the time and give you fairly accurate color.0658

Let me show you the Mike Brown method for calibrating your monitor and calibrating it to your own printer.0669

If you're going to calibrate to other monitors, I suggest that you may look into an external device.0675

All right; here we go; let's calibrate your monitor.0682

Calibrating your monitor and calibrating to your printer: a lot of stuff here--we will go over it, and it's pretty simple.0685

A basic monitor calibration method with PC monitors and Macs: For PC users: Go to your Control Panel; type in "calibrate display color" in the search box; this is the hard part--follow the simple instructions that will help you set neutral gray points and give you a neutral color.0691

That is it; you have now made a color profile for your monitor; there are several steps involved--don't worry about that; if you get confused, at the end of this lesson, under the quick notes below, you will see a slideshow with step-by-step, showing you the actual pages on calibrating your PC monitor (I'm going to show you how to do the Mac).0716

Just click the appropriate link and follow the instructions--that is it!0739

For Mac users: I'll show you how to do this--it's very simple: Go to your Apple; go to System Preferences; when they pop up, click the Displays; click Color; click Calibrate; when the box comes up, make sure that you check the Expert Mode--this gives you the extra options for more precision; click the Continue to begin.0744

You're going to get a series of these pages, with an apple against a lined background.0774

The left side square is trying to make that apple the same tonality as the background; you just adjust it up and down until the tone tries to make it disappear.0780

On the right side, that is the color, and you move the little adjustment to try to make the color inside the apple be neutral--and there are 1, 2, 3, 4 of those...5, and then you set your target gamma, which is the standard 2.2; then, you set the target white point, which is D65, 6500, or Use Native White Point; click Continue; Continue again; title the calibration; and now it will be saved, and you are done!0790

There are all the calibrations that I have made, listed in here; you can click to have whatever one you want, and you may see the color change as I click from one to the other; that is based on different settings over different periods of time--how the monitor actually changes.0828

That is how you do the Macintosh user's system; so now, your monitors are fairly accurate--not as perfect as an external calibration device--but close enough.0844

You should recalibrate your monitor, PC or Mac, every couple of months, because as it ages, the color changes.0856

Now, a basic method to calibrate your monitor to your printer so that you get accurate color in your printing...0864

First, calibrate the monitor: we just did that.0872

Then, print an image of some picture that looks accurate to you based on the calibrated monitor; just print it out.0876

Put that print under a good daylight light source: you could do it under the sun at noon, but it's better to, if you're going to do it indoors, go to a window where the sun is just not directly on the image--not getting the blue light, but getting most of the sunlight.0887

That is OK, but the better way to do this is to get a 5500 degree Kelvin light bulb; you can buy these at a photo store, and that will give you accurate daylight.0904

If you can't do that, just get a new--and I mean new, because the color changes as lights are being used--new daylight white light bulb; not the new efficient ones--a regular daylight light bulb.0916

You will see in that image, when you are looking at it, that it's either a little dark or a little bright; the colors should be fairly accurate; printers do a good job of managing color today.0931

What you're going to do--your monitor calibration should have clean color, so all you need to do is match the exposure of the screen that you're looking at, right here, to the print on the table, under the light source.0944

In other words, the print may be a little bit dark; so what you're going to do is adjust the brightness only of your monitor--not the color; the brightness only.0957

You have your brightness controls; run it up or down until that matches the print.0969

Then, make another print; and that is all you have to do; that one adjustment should make them pretty close.0975

What you will do now is leave your monitor at the brightness you've changed it to, that gives you the correct exposure print, and that is what you're going to work with.0984

That is it!--you have technically made a profile of your monitor to your printer.0996

This is kind of empirical, but it works really well; unless you have specific professional needs, this will work very, very well for you.1001

So, we have my "Garbage in, garbage out" mantra taken care of, in quality level, from the light coming into your camera, the image coming out of your camera, the image going into your monitor, correct white balance, monitor calibration...1012

We are now ready to get started learning all that you need to know to enhance, correct, and create great stuff with Adobe Photoshop Elements.1029

I'll see you back in the next lesson!1039