Today’s Question: Is there a way to copy white balance from one image to another in Lightroom Classic? I am shooting a lot of infrared, and the custom white balance is usually under 2000 Kelvin, which is the low limit for Lightroom Classic. Occasionally I forget to white balance in camera. Is there a way to copy the custom white balance from an earlier grey card for that frequency of infrared to another photo in Lightroom Classic? Could I create a custom profile to do this?
Tim’s Quick Answer: You can copy the white balance settings from one image to another in Lightroom Classic. In situations where you need a stronger adjustment for color, you can use a custom Tone Curve adjustment for individual color channels. These adjustments could be saved as a preset if they represent common settings needed for multiple images.
More Detail: In Lightroom Classic you can copy settings from one image to another in a variety of ways. One quick option is to copy the settings from one image and paste them to another. For example, you can select the image that has a good white balance adjustment applied and click the Copy button at the bottom of the left panel in the Develop module.
In the dialog that appears you can enable only the adjustments you want to apply to the other image. For example, in this case you may want to click the “Check None” button so that none of the adjustments are enabled. Then turn on the checkbox for White Balance, along with any other adjustments you want to copy from the source image. Click the Copy button at the bottom-right of the dialog to copy the selected settings.
Next, select the image you want to apply the adjustments to and click the Paste button at the bottom of the left panel. This will apply the adjustments you copied from the other image to the current image, which in this context will apply the same color temperature compensation.
If you’re finding that the adjustments aren’t strong enough for extreme situations, such as with infrared capture or scenes illuminated by very strongly colored light, you can supplement the White Balance adjustment with a Tone Curve adjustment focused on specific channels.
For example, in the Tone Curve adjustment section on the right panel in the Develop module you can select the blue channel from the Adjust control above the curve. Then click at the center of the curve for the blue channel and drag downward if you want to shift toward a more yellow (warm) appearance or drag upward if you want to shift toward a more blue (cool) appearance.
If you’ve applied these adjustments to an image and want to create a preset to use for other images captured under similar conditions, you can click the plus button to the right of the Presets heading on the left panel and choose “Create Preset” from the popup menu. In the dialog that appears enter a meaningful name for the preset in the Preset Name field and turn on the checkboxes for the adjustments you want to copy. Click the Create button at the bottom-right of the dialog and that preset can then be applied to other images that require the same adjustment settings.