LIGHTROOM 5.7 - White Balance Selector error "Cannot set white balance"

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  • Problem
  • Updated 3 years ago
  • (Edited)
I got the following error message repeatedly when sampling the WB from a white sign (see image below) in Lr 5.7.

"Cannot set white balance. Please click on a darker neutral area"

I usually get an error message like this when one or more of the channels reads close to 100, but the white sign has readings @ 60-70 range for all 3 RGB channels, so I don't understand why this might happen? It seems a pretty low risk standard type of WB sample area.

Please advise.

Thanks in advance

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Edward

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  • confused,

Posted 3 years ago

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Photo of Victoria Bampton - Lightroom Queen

Victoria Bampton - Lightroom Queen, Champion

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What are the other Basic panel settings?
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Steve Sprengel, Champion

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Are the white values lower because you've adjusted them so, already, and in the original raw they still might be clipped, or are the toning adjustments still zeros for the most part?
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Edward

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Here's a shot of the image as a raw file with all settings zeroed.

I guess the values are near enough 100 to error out?
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Simon Chen, Principal Computer Scientist

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This is most likely as designed. The WB sampling code will warn if you tries to sample color that looks to be clipped in any of the color channels.

Try to sample from a gray area that are less saturated.
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Steve Sprengel, Champion

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Aside from the area you're sampling being too close to clipping, the WB on this image is a special case, because the light is very different depending on what area of the image. There is wide blue area of lighting perhaps coming from the sides, then a narrower area of more reddish lighting coming from the front, and perhaps some mixed colors elsewhere above the stage.

Looking at the percentages at your eyedropper position at the right on the BK sign the color is a little yellow (blue is lower than red and green). However I can see that the top left of the same sign is more blue, so there is a color gradient across that sign.

Perhaps more importantly, the skin of the speaker is purple.

So the question is, what area are you trying to make look "normal" Is it the sign because it's assumed to be the closest to white, or is it the human skin because, well, we're human and want to look normal.

There are several potentially "neutral" areas in the photo. The sign at the bottom, the emblem on the podium, the design on his shirt, his silver watch, and his hair. Due to the overall background being quite dark, it may be that all those neutral areas are either too bright, or lit from non-white lighting and not a good reference for the center spot lighting, so you could try eyedroppering all of them to see if things look better. You'll probably have to hand adjust whatever WB you use to get a balance of the skin and signage not looking too far off color.

If this is one in a series of photos of different speakers with different clothing, but all in the same lighting, then find one that has a larger neutral area of clothing and sync all the rest to that one.