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P: Enhance Auto White Balance with Subject-Specific Options

Community Beginner ,
May 07, 2024 May 07, 2024

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Feature Description: I am requesting an enhancement to the Auto White Balance feature in Lightroom Classic to make it more flexible and targeted, particularly when dealing with images containing people. Currently, the Auto White Balance adjustment applies uniformly across the entire image. I propose adding functionality to focus the Auto White Balance on specific subjects within the image, such as skin tones, or to selectively apply it through masking.

Justification: In my professional workflow, starting edits with auto settings significantly speeds up my process. However, the current one-size-fits-all approach to Auto White Balance often does not suit images with people, as it does not adequately balance skin tones. This requires additional manual adjustments, reducing the efficiency of using the auto settings.

Current Limitations: The existing Auto White Balance lacks precision when it comes to images with mixed lighting or diverse elements (like landscapes with people), often resulting in suboptimal color balance for human subjects.

Proposed Solution:

  1. Introduce a "Selective Auto White Balance" option where users can apply auto balance based on detected subjects in the image, such as 'People' or 'Landscape'.
  2. Allow Auto White Balance to be applied to user-defined masks, enabling more control over which areas of the image are affected by the auto adjustments.
  3. Expand this selective auto adjustment feature to other settings like Exposure, Blacks, and Whites, allowing for finer control based on content type within the image.

Potential Benefits: This feature would greatly enhance the usability of Lightroom Classic for professional photographers who frequently work with portraits and mixed-composition shots. It would streamline the editing process by reducing the need for extensive manual color corrections, leading to faster workflow and more consistent results. Additionally, this feature could serve as a strong selling point for Adobe, appealing to both new and existing users who seek more intelligent and adaptable editing tools.

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3 Comments
Community Expert ,
May 07, 2024 May 07, 2024

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quoteI propose adding functionality to focus the Auto White Balance on (...) skin tones

By @Olivier LH

 

And how would you deal with different ethnic groups and skin color?

 

Or for that matter, skin tones in shade vs sunlight?

 

This seems unrealistic to me.

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LEGEND ,
May 07, 2024 May 07, 2024

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To implement auto white balance for selected persons in the image, an AI model could be trained on thousands of examples edited by professional photographers to have their preferred white balance.  Of course the training set would need to include a broad range of ethnicities, skin color, and lighting.  (This is the same general method used to train the existing Auto Settings.)

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Community Beginner ,
May 08, 2024 May 08, 2024

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Thanks for your points on the challenges of adjusting white balance for different skin tones under varying lighting

conditions. These are valid concerns and central to the effectiveness of the enhancement I proposed.

@johnrellis suggested an interesting approach that could address these challenges—using an AI model trained on a diverse dataset. This would encompass a broad spectrum of ethnicities and lighting scenarios, much like how current auto settings are developed. This method not only leverages existing technology but also enhances it to adapt to more specific user needs, like targeted adjustments within mixed compositions.

The idea is to integrate this advanced AI with the capability for photographers to apply adjustments selectively via user-defined masks, allowing for greater control over the final output while maintaining the efficiency of auto adjustments.

I believe this could substantially refine how Auto White Balance works, making it a more powerful tool in our editing suite.

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