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Incredibly Important Composition Skills
Extremely Essential Camera Skills
Super Photo Editing Skills
Simple Wedding Photography
Before / After
The Creativity Field Guide
Backup or Die
How We Did It: Lobster Island
Awesome Album Design Skills

Lightroom Before/After: Part 3 – Getting The Blue Out

Have you ever been white balancing an image in Lightroom and just couldn’t quite get the blue out? You’ll slide the white balance to correct an image and warm it up, but it still doesn’t look right.

It often happens when your subjects are wearing white or black and you’re shooting in the shade or on a cloudy day. Unfortunately that’s pretty much what every bride and groom wears. And the exact light you’re looking for to shoot them in on their wedding day! Boo!

Luckily there’s a quick fix for this problem in Lightroom. Let’s do it.

Below is a photo that’s been corrected using the technique I’ll explain.

lightroom-before-after-3.jpg

Here’s a close up before/after of his sweater. It’s easier to see what I’m talking about when you zoom into an image (it can sometimes be a difficult problem to diagnose if you’re looking a the whole zoomed out image).

lightroom-before-after-blue-removal.jpg

The correction is easy.

First, correct white balance on the whole image until you get it the way you like it.

Then, zoom in on a black or white area and check to see if there is still blue (In my case there was)

Use the HSL (Hue, Saturation, Luminance) Panel and reduce the saturation of just the blues to about -40. (That’s the value that worked for the above image, yours might be different. Use your eye)

That pretty much takes out all the blue, but doesn’t affect the other colors in the image.

If I had used white balance to correct this problem I would have had to make such a severe WB adjustment that the rest of the image would have looked way too yellow.

Now to be honest this isn’t a technique that will work every single time. If you have some blue in your image (like a sky) you’ll end up reducing the saturation in those areas as well.

In that case you might want to try using the targeted adjustment brush and brushing on reduced saturation in the areas you want to remove the cast. I would only do this for pure whites and pure blacks (wedding dresses and black tuxes!).

It might seem like an insignificant adjustment but it’s a little detail that can really help out an image.

Rob Lim

Hi there, I’m Rob! I’m a photographer and head ninja here at Photography Concentrate. I love all things photography: shooting, teaching and always learning more! If I’m not reading up on the latest photography news, or studying a technique, I’m probably reading a book or planning our next adventure!

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Discussion

2 Comments // Leave a comment

  1. Wow, that's subtle. I wouldn't have even seen the blue had you not had the corrected version next to it. Nicely done. you're right, it's a small detail that makes a big difference. The more I edit, the more I'm finding the small details VASTLY improve an image.

  2. Thanks for the comment Nick! You're right, the small details definitely add up in photography :)

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