Food Photography: Fixing your White Balance in Photoshop

Photoshop Tutorial: How to correct white balance in Photoshop with a quick little trick.I’ve mentioned how to correct your white balance during your photoshoot in this previous post Food Photography: Correcting your White Balance and today I am going to address some issues you all were having. I received a few emails about what to do if you have already taken the photos and did not have the JCC White Balance Filter I use. I’ve been learning some amazing tips I want to share with you guys too but today’s has been a total LIFESAVER. This one little tool has gotten previously rejected photos from Foodgawker into the accepted pile!

I am just popping in for a quick update today though as I am running around like a crazy person this weekend but I love this tip SO much I wanted to share it even though I was super busy. There is no photography class today, but I am cooking for a client who is having a party of 75 (!!!) and I have thousands of mini bites of food to make!

So let’s get right down to the tip!

Starting with our underexposed image: Panda Express Orange Chicken <– You have to make this dish… trust me.Orange Chicken Dark I tried so hard to make this photo look good in my camera but the lighting was just NOT working with me. It was a miserably cloudy/rainy day and I couldn’t amp up my lighting enough.

Enter Photoshop! I am using the Cloud version, so this is the most up to date version of the software. Lets go to the menu and click on “Image”

Photoshop Tutorial: How to correct white balance in Photoshop with a quick little trick.Then you’re going to click on “Adjustments” and finally “Curves.” You would think there would be a “White Balance” shortcut for dummies like me. When I first started editing I looked high and low for one and came up empty. It wasn’t until a friend showed me this shortcut that I stopped abusing the “Brightness/Contrast” tool. Photoshop Tutorial: How to correct white balance in Photoshop with a quick little trick.

Okay here we are in the curves window (Seriously Photoshop you couldn’t have given newbies a clue about this tool!?). See those three little droppers? There is a black one, a grey one and a white one. Click on the white one.Photoshop Tutorial: How to correct white balance in Photoshop with a quick little trick. Now go to your image and this is where you are going to have to play with the data a bit. Look for as close as you can get to a true white and click on it. It may take 10-20 tries, especially the first few times you edit in this way and you’re feeling around for what types of white this tool likes.Photoshop Tutorial: How to correct white balance in Photoshop with a quick little trick. And here it is just one click later (okay fine, I think it was closer to 5 or 6 tries) but look at the difference. The Orange Chicken looks like it came alive. All the drab coloring from the rainy day is gone, you would think this was getting the benefit of a beautiful day outside. Tender Chicken Thighs fried crisp and tossed in that magical Panda Express Orange Chicken Sauce! This copycat will make you dance a little in your chair as you eat it because it is just right on the money!

Now if you are a seasoned photo editor I am sure you can find a ton of places you could make the picture even better, but for a blogger who is looking for an easy fix to dull lighting, try this out and see if it helps!

PS, one more quick tip for you. If you are clicking around looking for the white that works best you can undo quickly with Control-Alt-Z so you don’t have to use your mouse in the menu to undo. So for example:

Click on white, eww gross, Control-Alt-Z, click on white, eww…etc. Control-Alt-Z is like my best friend in Photoshop. You can play with the tool in just seconds and with just a few quick clicks.

Hope that helps! Now I have to get back to 300+ mini cheesecakes. Wish me luck.


About the Author: Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

Sabrina Snyder is a professionally trained personal and private chef of over 10 years who is the creator and developer of all the recipes on Dinner, then Dessert.

She is also the author of the cookbook Dinner, then Dessert – Satisfying Meals Using Only 3, 5 or 7 Ingredients, published by Harper Collins.

She started Dinner, then Dessert as a business in her office as a lunch service for her coworkers who admired her lunches before going to culinary school and becoming a full time personal chef and private chef.

As a personal chef Sabrina would cook for families one day a week and cook their entire week of dinners. All grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning was done along with instructions on reheating. As a private chef she cooked for private parties and cooked in family homes in the evenings for families on a nightly basis after working as a personal chef during the day.

Sabrina has been certified as a ServSafe Manager since 2007 and was a longstanding member of the USPCA Personal Chef Association including being on the board of the Washington DC Chapter of Chefs in the US Personal Chef Association when they won Chapter of the year.

As a member of the community of food website creators Sabrina Snyder has spoken at many conferences regarding her experiences as a food writer including the Indulge Food Conference, Everything Food Conference, Haven Food Conference and IACP Annual Food Professionals Conference.

Sabrina lives with her family in sunny California.

Dinner, then Dessert, Inc. owns the copyright on all images and text and does not allow for its original recipes and pictures to be reproduced anywhere other than at this site unless authorization is given. If you enjoyed the recipe and would like to publish it on your own site, please re-write it in your own words, and link back to my site and recipe page. Read my disclosure and copyright policy. This post may contain affiliate links.


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  1. Thank you SO much for these tips. I use Photoshop but know almost nothing about curves. Thank you too for the short cut to Undo!