15 Replies Latest reply on Apr 2, 2013 6:20 PM by the_wine_snob

    Help with yellow walls!

    pete424 Level 1

      At one time many years ago I had used a program that came with my Nikon camera that allowed adjustments to a small area of a photo. As I recall you could adjust the size of your problem area and then use sliders right in the center of your image's problem area. As a Creative Cloud subscriber, with all the Adobe software available to me, I was thinking I must be able to do a similar sort of thing. The problem is in interior real estate shots where the room is various shades of browns and gold with maybe a window letting in natural light. Your white balance is fine until you have lamps turned on and you find very warm (read yellow) splashes behind the lamps. If the room has hardwood floors and brown or gold walls a global desat of the yellow channel takes out needed information of the entire photo.  I have attached an example. Suggestions would be welcome.





        • 1. Re: Help with yellow walls!
          the_wine_snob Level 9

          Do you mean something like this?




          • 2. Re: Help with yellow walls!
            the_wine_snob Level 9

            For a very quick treatment, I first did a Path for the TV, and the windows. I converted that Working Path to a Selection (I did not Feather, but might add about 3 pixels, were I working on the original PSD, or TIFF). Then, I did a Color Balance Adjustment Layer with that Selection active. I then did a Path of the ceiling (with a higher rez image, I would have added a gradient, and also masked off the fan), and Deleted it at about 50% from the Adjustment Layer Mask, so that it only got about 50% of the treatment.


            With that same Layer Mask, I then did a little Levels Adjustment Layer.


            Good luck,



            • 3. Re: Help with yellow walls!
              the_wine_snob Level 9

              Leaving PS for a moment, here is how I would have done the shot:


              Shoot with strobes, to get closer to the very cool window light.


              Add blue bulbs to the lamps, including the fan's lamp, so that the color temp would be closer to the 5K - 5.5K strobes. I like "practicals" to be a bit warmer, and for such a livingroom, a little "warmth" is not a bad thing. It is seen as "homey," and "inviting."


              I would have used an artificial log in the fireplace, if it is a working fireplace. If not, and is gas, or electric, things get a touch dicey. I usually had someone from the builder turn UP the gas fireplaces. This often meant removing a restrictor plate, to get a larger flame.


              OTOH, I would shoot just fireplaces with real logs, and flames, or the artificial logs, again with real flames, to be dropped into some gas, or electric fireplaces. I would shoot them with glass doors, and some with the screens. Those were my "stock" fireplaces, to be used later.


              Along with lighting the room with pretty broad, and diffused strobe lights, I would have hit the sofa with a few 100 WS of additional strobe power.


              Good luck,



              • 4. Re: Help with yellow walls!
                Semaphoric Adobe Community Professional

                Or you could do the converse: the old cinematographer's trick of putting a larger orange gel over the outside of the window to balance the light.

                • 5. Re: Help with yellow walls!
                  John Danek Level 4

                  I adjusted the entire pic, sort of neutralized it somewhat using LAB curves.  This is entirely subjective because noone really knows what the house interior really looks like.




                  The important thing to remember here is the original shot was taken with the lights on.  In order to retouch the lighting down to what the post requests will take a considerable amount of time.  So, you end up with a compromise.

                  • 6. Re: Help with yellow walls!
                    conroy Level 5

                    Somewhere between these two?





                    • 7. Re: Help with yellow walls!
                      the_wine_snob Level 9

                      While I have gelled many windows, if one is looking "through" those, the gelling must be nearly perfect. With snow outside, that will be hard to achieve.


                      I would choose to balance to that, cool off the practicals a bit, and shoot that way.


                      Just my personal preferences,



                      • 8. Re: Help with yellow walls!
                        the_wine_snob Level 9

                        Also, with residential interiors, one must ask the question: "What am I selling?"


                        If it's for the interior designer, then one would approach it slightly differently, than for the builder, who probably wants to sell "a warm environment to raise a family." Are you selling a "life style," or "the furnishings" inside that room?


                        Good luck, and I see that Conroy has some other examples to choose from.



                        • 9. Re: Help with yellow walls!
                          the_wine_snob Level 9

                          Based just on my aesthetics, I like # 2 best.



                          • 10. Re: Help with yellow walls!
                            conroy Level 5

                            Me too

                            • 11. Re: Help with yellow walls!
                              Jeff Arola Adobe Community Professional

                              Have you tried using the various adjustment tools inside Camera Raw or Lightroom such as the Adjustment Brush?


                              Sounds like maybe you were using Nikon Capture NX.

                              • 12. Re: Help with yellow walls!
                                pete424 Level 1

                                Wow, look at all the help. It is going to take a bit of time for me to digest all these great ideas. First, the original was very close in terms of balance (with the obvious exception of the lamps). As I stated in my original post I don't want to do much globally because I wanted to keep the rest of the color as close as possible. I do these shots for Realtors, which usually means they just got the listing; they call me on say Monday, they are taking the listing live on Tuesday. "I need the photos and a tour by tomorrow." Because of that compressed time element, I have very little time for things like gelling windows. I shoot 3 shot brackets, -1stop, 0, +1stop. I make adjustments to each RAW file in LR, blend them in LR and then take the bended .tiff to PS for the final bit of tweaking, straighten verticals crop. On a large home, I will have 250 to 300 RAW files, so you can see I am scrambling to meet time constraints. I have 35 regular clients, one of whom is my wife.


                                I am shooting with 1 flash on camera. I should take your advice and add 2 or 3 slaves to my kit. The learning curve would be daunting I'm sure. You're right R_Kelly, it was Capture. Thanks for all your help. I really do appreciate it!

                                • 13. Re: Help with yellow walls!
                                  Noel Carboni Level 8

                                  Sometimes just Image - Adjust Hue/Saturation (or the equivalent adjustment layer) might be all you need.  Desaturate yellows tapering off into reds, and maybe increase the lightness a little.




                                  Add a bit of Contrast to the above and you're good to go...





                                  • 14. Re: Help with yellow walls!
                                    Noel Carboni Level 8

                                    One other option...


                                    If you really only want to affect one part of an image, add an adjustment layer (which by default affects the entire image), add a Layer Mask with the Hide All option, then just paint the parts you want the adjustment layer to affect white (e.g., with a fuzzy brush).






                                    Edit:  Corrected a wrong word ("plain" -> "paint")

                                    • 15. Re: Help with yellow walls!
                                      the_wine_snob Level 9

                                      With the various "corrections," you have a lot to work with.


                                      I would experiment with those, to see what looks best to your eye, based on the client's desires, or comments.


                                      As I did years of such work, I tried to balance my personal aesthetics, with what they wanted. As mentioned above, I tried to gear any adjustments to "what we were selling."


                                      As one who has won so many MAME's and MIRM's, that I cannot count, I tend to go for "warm, and comfy," over cool and austere, in most cases - still, it depends on what I was selling. If I was shooting for the laminate mfgr., the carpet mill, the wallpaper importer, the furniture mfgr., etc., things would be different, and I would shoot specifically for that purpose.


                                      Warm practicals, in a "cozy room," is not a bad thing, IMHO.


                                      Good luck,