Photoshop Turorial – Correcting the white balance of photos shot with Tungsten lighting.

One of the most common types of lights in studios are Tungsten lights which have a tendency to cast an orange glow on the product/subject. This can be corrected in post easily with the following methods. First a sample image to show the difference.

Tungsten color balance correction

Tungsten lights will make your greys look purple and throw off pretty much everything else. Left version shows the color balance as shot. Image has an orange hew. White balance has been corrected on the right side.


1. RAW images.

If you shot your images in RAW you can correct the white balance automatically with a preset in Camera Raw. In the Basic category at the top select the White Balance dropdown and select Tungsten. That’s basically it. You can continue to tweak the colors manually, but i’ve found this does a pretty good job right off the bat.

Camera Raw Tungsten preset

Adobe Camera Raw has presets under the basic tab to correct this.

2. JPEG and other similar raster formats.

JPEGs we obviously can’t be adjusting in Camera Raw, but we can still easily correct the Tungsten tint using our color balance controls in Photoshop. Just open up your Adjustments panel and click “Color Balance“. By pushing the Cyan/Red spectrum further Cyan and the Yellow/Blue spectrum further Blue, you will remove the orange tint. My adjustments were highlighted below in red. It will depend on the photo, but i’ve found the Blue adjustment needed to be increased by about half of what the Cyan adjustment was decreased by. IE +9 vs -18.

Adjust color balance to remove orange Tungsten tint.

JPEGs and other file formats can be corrected using the color balance settings in Photoshop.


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