Lightroom: White balance adjustments for underwater photography

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  • Updated 6 years ago
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Lightroom 4 beta really rocks! I love the new localised colour temperature adjustments and other new features. As an underwater photographer, though, I wish there was greater range on the temperature & tint adjustment sliders. Due to the way that colours change as you go underwater, the white balance shifts that underwater photographers have to deal with when working with ambient light is far greater. Aperture handles extreme white balance shifts much better at the moment - would love to see this situation change!
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Posted 7 years ago

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Photo of Rikk Flohr

Rikk Flohr, Champion

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You may find the new RGB curves give you a helping hand here.
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Rob Cole

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In the mean time, consider creating a DNG profile to extend white balance range.
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Jeffrey Tranberry, Sr. Product Manager, Digital Imaging

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Seppo Enarvi

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Thanks for the DNG profile tip, Rob! That did the trick for me. Here's what I did:

Download DNG profile editor from:

In DNG profile editor, open an underwater DNG image. In the Color Matrices tab, adjust the white balance calibration until the image looks good. The values for me were something like

Temperature: +70
Tint: +90

(You can also make fine adjustments in the Color Tables tab. Pick a color from the image and drag it in the color circle.)

Export the color profile you created. Save it into C:\ProgramData\Adobe\CameraRaw\CameraProfiles.

Start Lightroom. In Develop view, select your underwater pictures. On the bottom of the right side panel, switch auto-sync on. This will make the changes to be applied to all the selected pictures. Now select the profile from the Camera Calibration tab.
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Rob Cole

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Thanks for sharing your success story :-)