Does White Balance Make a Difference? (…thousands of dollars worth)

Example of poor white balance.

Example of poor white balance.


Does white balance make a difference in the way my camera captures an image? This image is the perfect example of how “not so good” a mobile phone camera is. In this instance it was an iPhone. You can clearly see the difference in the two images.

So this image along with several other we presented to me this morning with the hopes they could be fixed and show the true color of the car. The car will be going up for sale and as you can see the car will most likely have a hefty price tag. So the dealer selling the car asked the customer to send some photos and this is what he received. The dealer has seen the car in person and knew darn well that the color was way off. But due to the fact that the dealer is here and the car is nearly a thousand miles away is why he asked the seller to send some photos. The dealer is also a photographer and contacted me and asked if I could help.

So the fix was rather simple and … well, maybe not. It all depends on what you Photoshop skills are. One who spends a lot of time working with Adobe Photoshop knows that most times there is more than one way to arrive at the same end point and when one way won’t get you there you need to try the others.

I had a reference photo to work from so I set out to first set correct black point and white point to help reduce any color cast and then the trick that worked was “Replace Color” although it came with a little collateral damage in the way “banding” in some area. But with a little “luminance” correction using ACR filter it was gone. Then to finish off with a little touch of “sharpening” and it was done. I edited enough (about 5 images) to satisfy the dealer and give him enough quality images to make a good listing to sell the car.

So “yes” white balance does make a huge difference… in this case thousands of dollars of difference. After all who’s going to want to “guess” at the color of such a high dollar item? So as I always say “if you have an important photo to capture, put the iPhone way and get a real camera. Save the iPhone for selfies and the dinner you ate at TGI Friday’s

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