Fixing the Fire

Photoshop the fire

How to get the colour back in a fireplace when shooting at Twilight

One thing that happens when shooting at twilight is that your white balance turns from daylight to tungsten.  Which means that the camera sees everything as being more yellow than blue.  

When this happens you’ll notice that the color of the lights turn white and the windows turn a nice blue, but when this is done and there is a fireplace in the back ground, your fire starts to turn WHITE!  Here’s an example.

Color white balance

So how do you fix this?

1. Shoot in RAW – this is essential!

2. When converting from RAW color white balance properly to match the lighting – this may mean that you’re setting the temperature to 2600k or 2700k.  Save this file as your main file

3.  Convert the same file again, color white balance to hotter than daylight or 7000k.  Save this as your fireplace file.

Color white balance
4. In Adobe Bridge select both files and under Tools > Photoshop > Load Files in Photoshop Layers… 

5. In Photoshop make sure that the fireplace shot layer is on bottom and the main file is on top. 

Color white balance

6. Get the eraser tool, right click and set your tool size to an appropriate size and make sure that the hardness is set no higher than 20.  Start erasing the fire on the main file layer and you should start seeing the fireplace layer come through nicely. 

Color white balance

7. If you make a mistake – you can always click on undo or move back in history. Once you have finished, flatten the image and save. (Layers > Flatten Image)

And that’s it! Your nice twilight shot will now have a beautiful warm fire. Be sure to visit us frequently to get more tips on how to make your photos look their best!

Color white balance


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