How To Set A White Point In Lightroom

Have you wondered why your photos appear boring and drab compared to others you see posted? We’ve all been there.

There just may be a simple way for you to create more appealing images. It all starts with the edit. But where to even begin? Right?

If you are using Lightroom, I’ve got a quick tip for you to use with every photo you take. I learned this technique from Adobe Evangelist Julieanne Kost white attending Firefly Institute in 2016. Use it as the first step in your photo editing process and you’ll not be disappointed.

Let me walk you through the steps and show you a bit of before and after. This is my original shot. I photographed last year when California was inundated with water and the river near our home was reaching its edges. The trees grabbed my attention and needed to be photographed.

The result was drab. Boring. Nothing like I imagined my final result. So off to Lightroom I went. And here is what I produced.

A few steps and I’ve produced a much more interesting image. Worthy of becoming a photo prompt (January 8, 2018).

My steps started with setting a white point. What does that mean and why do you need to? Setting your white point (and your black point) ensures that you are using the full dynamic range of colors across the histogram.


To Set Your White and Black Points In Lightroom:

  • Select your image
  • Go To Develop Mode (D)
  • Shift+Double Click on the word WHITE in the Basic Panel
  • Shift + Double Click on the word BLACK in the Basic Panel

Done. That’s it!

Here are the additional steps I used to edit my image:

  • Reduced the exposure -.10
  • Reduced the contrast -23
  • Reduced the shadows -9 and highlights -67
  • Increased the clarity +31
  • Increased the vibrance +15
  • Slightly cropped the image

Most of the difference in my image comes from setting the white and black points.

Give it a try on your next image and let me know what you discover.

If you are looking for more tips on using Lightroom, you’ll find our FREE Lightroom series “How To Use Lightroom from Import to Export” right here.


  1. I use Camera Raw…wondering if there is something similar on there?

  2. Nice simple edit and wonderful transformation Katrina – and thank you for the Firefly Institute Camp shout-out!

  3. You mentioned this tip in a webinar and I totally forgot about it. Thanks for the reminder, I can’t wait to give this a try.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *