Fixing a WB mistake while replacing a background

A gallery: Round Rock – Background Blending
This week, I took the wife and did some searching for Locations for an upcoming Photoshoot.  I brought along my new Nikon SB-700 Flash.  Before we left I noticed that the sky was very blue and the sun was going to set in the next hour.  I figured I would be able to take a few pictures and use the new Flash as a fill flash with a sunset in the background.

As I was scouting on top of a Parking Garage, in Round Rock, TX it was very bright, I asked my wife to pose for a few test shots.  I placed her head in front of the setting sun.  Before I starting taking shots, I set my WB manually to “Sunlight”.  I took about 6 test shots and looked at them in the rear LCD.  They looked okay, but they looked very blue!  I wasn’t sure why that was.  I just thought, “I must have messed up something on the Flash”.  It is a little different than my Nikon SB-600 Flash.

As we went to a second location, I was about to take some shots and thought about changing the WB  to Cloudy or Shade, since the sun was setting behind some tree’s and it wasn’t as bright as it had been.  That’s when I noticed that the White Balance was set to Tungesten.  It had been so bright, the symbol for Tungsten and Sunshine were very similar on my Nikon D90.  Most of the time, I use my ExpoDisc and take a manual WB setting, but I forgot to grab it as we were heading out the house.


Now it makes sense why my wife’s skin took on a nice shade of Smurf.

This got me thinking, I’ll just fix it in Lightroom, since I take all my photos in Camera RAW anyway.

I correct the lighting and got the following Photos:

This definitely looked better on her skin and took the nice Smurf Blue off, but now the sky really didn’t look as good, at least not as blue as it looked on the top of that Parking Garage.  I liked how the sun was setting and framing my wife’s outline, but the sky really needed to be punched up a little bit.  I looked back at the Blue Smurf copy and that sky really looked good, so I hopped over into Lightroom and decided to bring both images (Smurf and correct WB images) and then isolate the sky and replace the Smurf image Sky with the WB corrected sky.

This is the result I got!

Now the image looked much better, but my wife wouldn’t want me to post that on Facebook (my blog doesn’t count, since I’m using it to illustrate to my loyal followers) without some minor edits to her skin, since she didn’t have on a fresh touchup of the makeup.

I took the new an improved photo and dropped it into Portrait Professional Studio 64  and did some minor touchups to get the new photo as seen below!

I really started thinking about how this one little mix up by me on setting my White Balance, provided me the ability to take the Smurf image and use it to make a pretty nice picture.  This might be something to keep in mind in the future if I don’t ilke the sky.  I can alway make a Virtual image in Lightroom and change the WB and see if it improves the background and then isolate this in Photoshop and make a better photo!

Let me know if you found this Tip helpful!