How to Rid Outdoor Photos of Ugly Color Casts That Can Kill an Image (VIDEO)

There are a variety of reasons that unnatural color casts may appear in in your outdoor photographs, and when they do they can really spoil a shot. Fortunately, whether you’re dealing with unwanted blue, green or magenta tones, there’s a straightforward way to eliminate them in in Lightroom.

Instructor Neil Borg is an accomplished pro specializing in travel and landscape photography, so he’s experienced this problem more than one or twice. He introduces today’s episode like this: “I’ll guide your through the fastest and easiest way to banish color casts from your precious shots. I’ve got you covered.”

Borg notes that color casts are quite common—especially when experimenting with new techniques, using ND filters, or shooting long-exposure imagery. And if you choose the wrong White Balance Setting in your camera, color shifts can easily occur.

The demonstration photo was captured from the shore of a lake in New Zealand. As you can see, the image is sharp and nicely composed, and there’s no problem with the exposure. Unfortunately, as Borg notes, “there are magenta hues that are sort of taking over the whole scene.”

Borg begins the rehabilitation process in Lightroom’ Calibration panel. As he explains, “this panel allows us to, first and foremost, shift the tint from either towards the green or towards the magenta. It also allows us to calibrate the primary colors of red, green and blue.” He then demonstrates how to make these preliminary adjustments.

Now that the image appears much more realistic, the next step is correcting White Balance. He selects a pure white area in a cloud and uses this as his point of reference. Then by clicking on this spot, the Color Balance immediately shifts toward the blue. Borg also has a quick method for refining the affect.

Now we’re getting really close, and Borg makes a few basic adjustments “just like I would when editing any other photo.” He straightens the shot, makes a Profile correction, adds a subtle vignette, and makes enhancements to exposure and other common variables.

The transformation concludes by employing masks to make a few selective adjustments to specific portions of the scene. Now he has a final result for which he can be justifiably proud. Borg’s popular YouTube channel has other simple lesson like this one, appropriate for photographers of all skill levels. So be sure to pay a visit and explore what’s available.

And be sure to check out the tutorial we posted with another expert, explaining how to speed up your Lightroom workflow by copying edits from one image to others with a similar look.