How To Correct Lighting Errors: A Step-by-Step Guide To Editing Your "Yellow" Photos


So you know how you're indoors (or outdoors even!) and you take in a beautiful scenery with white as the background and you later check the pictures only to discover that they're yellow-ish looking and not at all the beautiful crisp white you envisioned?

Yea, that was one of my frustrations when I first started taking pictures.

After several experiments, I finally learnt how to correct this and I'm going to show you how.

Honestly, when I looked up, the "After" was what I saw. Now, your pictures might not be this "yellow-ish" but I wanted a great contrast to exist between the before and after.

So we'll be using for this tutorial. It's quite similar to photoshop so it shouldn't be a problem.

If you're using a basic photo editor, all you need to do is reduce the warmth and adjust the brightness and contrast but you might prefer more complex editors to get the precise look you're going for.

Thee first step is to open the image then crop and edit other aspects of your photo ( I simply cropped mine).

The next step requires a basic knowledge of colour (which I covered here) and light. I'll explain.

White light is made up of three colours: Red, Blue and Green. So:

Red + Blue= Purple;
Red + Green= Yellow;
Green + Blue= Cyan ( a shade between Green and Blue).

This knowledge is important when playing with levels (the slider thingie with the histogram at it's sides in the picture below.

Ok, now click on "Adjustment" then "levels".

The letters "RGB" stand for Red, Green and Blue.

So according to the formulae above, If I were to unclick "G", the picture would look more purple.

Now, to our "Sliders". We'll only be dealing with the first bar in this case. The top slider makes the picture brighter and the bottom slider makes it darker.

The key is to play around with colour combinations of red, blue & green with varying brightness till you achieve the look you want.

Not sure how? No worries, here's a step-by-step guide of how I made my picture white:

I unticked the "R" and "G" then moved the sliders and I got the first picture. I realized it needed more green so I combined green and blue (I ticked both "G" and "B" then moved the sliders) till I was fine with the shade of white.

Next, I edited the pictured itself.

I increased the saturation (Adjustments >> Hue/Saturation) then adjusted the slider as a whole ( RGB= white).

I then made the pictures brighter (Adjustments >> Brightness/contrast), adjusted the saturation (intensity) and voila!

The end result. Now that's more like what I saw when I looked up.

I hope this tutorial was clear and helpful/useful? It's my first photography tutorial and I wasn't sure how to go about it.

Got any extra tips & questions? Let me know in the comments, I'd love to hear from you!


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  1. Looks great! I juat reduce the warmth, increase brightness, highlight and saturate.

    1. That's exactly what I do with mobile phone editors but sometimes, the picture might have too much green...

  2. I like this. I've been experimenting with the Whiten feature in Facetune and it works well. I'll give this a try.

  3. Replies
    1. Ha Ha. You could always use pickmonkey and play with the temperature like I suggested or use other editors.

  4. After reading this post I'm definitely going to check out Thanks for the tutorial.

    1. You're welcome.

      It might not be your cup of tea but there are so many other photo editors out there.

  5. Really great tip...I've been having problems with this yellow thing.

  6. Wow! This is nice, it's really hard to believe the before and after pictures are the same. So niceee

  7. To think that couple of days back,I still struggled with this problem,I just kept adjusting and playing around with the settings till I got a great result ,but if you ask me I can't explain what I did like you have done here!this is definitely gonna be save me time when next I find myself in this situation again!welldone Ij.....

    1. Thank you!

      I actually was editing a picture the other day, struggling to get the perfect lighting and that's when I realized I probably wasn't alone in the struggle.

      Glad I could help!

  8. Great job with the explanation. I use Lightroom now, but every now and then I go back to and even Paint.

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