Do your food photos seem a bit blue or yellow? Are your whites not white? Let’s look at how to fix blue photos in LightRoom and prevent it from happening again.
HOW TO FIX BLUE OR YELLOW PHOTO CASTS
It’s easy to fix photos with a yellow or blue cast on them in LightRoom. In the Develop module, at the top of the Basic adjustments panel, there is a temperature slider: slide to the left to make your photo cooler (less yellow) and to the right to make it warmer (less blue).
If you don’t want to fix blue photos by eye, or that isn’t working well, you can use the eyedropper tool, next to the temperature slider. Click the eyedropper on a neutral area of your photo. A neutral is a colour that has roughly equal RGB values (see what that looks like in the screenshot below).
OTHER REASONS FOR A BLUE COLOUR CAST
If your photos are still blue, something else is going on beyond white balance. This could be down to your photos themselves or your eyes.
– Reflections from the environment: you took your photos wearing blue clothing, tablecloth or walls.
– Editing environment: your computer monitor and your editing area are very important in producing accurate colour photos. Monitors need calibrating (you can read how to do this [here]). And ideally, the place where you edit your photos should have neutral furnishings, you would use a screen hood on your monitor to reduce reflections and the room would be relatively dark, with low level lighting from daylight bulbs.
If you have blue in your photos and it’s not your white balance, you can correct this in LightRoom in the HSL/Colour/B&W panel by clicking on the appropriate colour and reducing its saturation.
PREVENTING BLUE + YELLOW COLOUR CASTS
The best way to get your white balance correct is to shoot raw, or the native format in your camera. It will give you the best results. Yes, you can alter a jpeg’s colour temperature, but it just doesn’t give you as good a file as one coming from raw. Sorry if that isn’t the answer you wanted.
You also want to tell your camera what ‘white’ or a neutral is. You do this by taking a correctly exposed shot at the start of your shoot of a white or neutral object. A sheet of bright white copier paper will do the job for starters. You can also get neutral grey cards or colour cards from photography stores, which will give a more nuanced result.
When you’re editing your shoot in LightRoom, use the eyedropper tool in that first neutral shot to get a white balance and sync it across the rest of your shoot. That’s your white balance done.
By getting your photos as good as you can in camera, it saves you editing time and headaches in LightRoom. And surely that’s what we all want: good looking photos in the minimum amount of time!