Simple Color Shift in Lightroom

Shifting Color in Lightroom (Originally posted on the Kira DeDecker Photography blog)

For the walkthrough, I’m going to be using Lightroom (*le gasp*)! Yup, this is my first ever all Lightroom tutorial! A recently goal of mine was to start using Lightroom more for my basic workflow. Now, mind you there are still a lot of things that I prefer or just need to be done with Photoshop still, so I’m not completely ditching PS.

So why do I say this a ‘Simple Color Shift’? Because at no point do I brush, or hand color anything – I simply shift a couple of sliders – which means I can create a preset as well as sync and batch edit my photos. This particular technique works best on big blocks of even color. If you want to do complicated color changes, covering a wide range of hues and custom colors, then that would probably be something that should be done in Photoshop.

Now for this tutorial, I’m going to be using a photo from a session I did with Waffles on what is suppose to be a sea green backdrop. I order all my seamless papers from a local Arizona company called Savage. I have a pamphlet with swatches of the paper of every color they offer and I feel in love with ‘Sea Green’. When it came in the mail, it was perfect, I put it up in my wall-mount, took a few photos and when I uploaded them they were all GOLD! No matter what I did – change the camera profile, tweaked the Camera Calibration, messed with the White Balance, tried natural light vs my speedlite – but the color was always a pee yellow. I suspect that short of using OFC and possibly gels, I am never going to get that ‘Sea Green’, straight out of camera.

Simple Color Shift in Lightroom 01Alrighty, here is the SOOC (Straight Out Of Camera) shot. As you can see, the seamless looks more pee-gold than Sea Green.

Simple Color Shift in Lightroom 02For the RAW edit, I up the Exposure, decrease the Shadows and the Blacks, add some Clarity, add some Saturation (of course), custom color the White Balance, add a touch of contrast with Curves and then top it off with a vignette. Oh, and I also used the Healing Tool to touch up the background and Waffle’s fur.

I now have a nice clean image, and even after I adjusted the White Balance, the background is still more yellow than green. Blerg.

Simple Color Shift in Lightroom 03Since I’m going to be color correcting with a certain color in mind, I went next door to my studio and tore off a piece of the seamless I wanted to color match. I scroll down to the HSL/Color/BW section of the Lightroom panel and click All (it’s just easier to have it all open when working with color – but then again, I have a huge screen to work with) and shift the Green Hue towards the blue green instead of yellow. It looked a bit washed out so I went down to Luminance and dragged it back.

Simple Color Shift in Lightroom 04Since this in an ongoing issue, I open the left handed panel and click + to create a new preset. Making sure that I only have the Color selection checked off, I name my new preset and I’m done!

For realsies, it is that easy! Make sure to stick around because I have a follow-up to this on creative uses and some more example photos that I’m going to post tomorrow.

Simple Color Shift in Lightroom 06

Kira DeDecker is an on-location, natural light, lifestyle pet photographer specializing in one-of-a-kind fine art and modern portraits. She works exclusively with pets to create vibrant, quirky and soulful works of art. In addition to her dog photography, she also photographs needy animals pro-bono for non-profit animal organizations.

Kira DeDecker Photography is based in Glendale AZ and serves the Metro Phoenix area (Scottsdale, Peoria, Phoenix, Suncity, Surprise, Goodyear, Avondale and Tempe) and beyond.

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