Tint for White Balance


Today’s Question: Let’s say you use the white balance eye dropper to pick a neutral color and Lightroom Classic [or Adobe Camera Raw] picks a yellow/blue setting [Temperature] as well as a Tint [green/magenta] setting, I always see videos of photographers shifting the white balance for warmer/cooler color. Does anyone shift the Tint?

Tim’s Quick Answer: Yes, photographers certainly adjust the Tint slider to refine overall color in a photo, though doing so is generally less likely to be needed after using the White Balance eyedropper tool. In addition, the Temperature (blue/yellow) adjustment is generally more useful for purposes of a creative interpretation of the color in a photo.

More Detail: In software such as Lightroom Classic or Adobe Camera Raw, the primary tool for adjusting the overall color balance are the Temp (Temperature) and Tint sliders. The Temperature adjustment shifts the color between blue and yellow, while the Tint adjustment shifts between green and magenta.

If you use the eyedropper to select a color within the image that should appear as a perfectly neutral shade of gray, the Temp and Tint sliders will be adjusted automatically to make the area you clicked on neutral.

In some cases, you may want to adjust the color in a photo so that a gray object in the scene appears perfectly neutral gray. However, in many cases this is not the actual intended effect. For product photography, for example, you want the colors to appear accurate as though the item was photographed under perfectly white light. For landscape photography you may want the scene to maintain an appearance of being illuminated by a relatively yellow light source.

It is not very common to want to have a photo exhibit a green or magenta cast, as compared to a yellow or blue cast. Therefore, the Temp slider tends to be used more frequently for fine-tuning color in a photo rather than the Tint slider.

I still recommend refining the setting for both Temperature and Tint, to achieve an optimal color balance in the photo. And then, of course, you may want to use other adjustments such as Vibrance, Saturation, and more, to fully optimize the overall appearance of the photo.