How to Fix Blue Waterfalls in Photoshop or Lightroom

7/28/2017 ISO 1200 Magazine 0 Comments

How to Fix Blue Waterfalls in Photoshop or Lightroom

Blue waterfalls are a side effect of white balance and your camera compensating for the colors coming into the sensor.  You may have everything dialed in perfectly, but when you edit your waterfall pictures they result in an electric blue haze around the highlights.

Why is that?  Well

Well, our cameras can only have one white balance recorded at any given time.  but what about RAW,  it doesn't record any white balance that is just the JPEG preview.  Hear me out!

Our cameras can only capture one instance of light at any given time within the exposure value that you set.  However, when you edit that Raw file you can adjust for more or less exposures with the exposure slider and fine tune the highlights and shadows which then results in an image that shows more than one exposure value for the elements in the photo.

Consider that thought and apply it to colors.  Our cameras can only record one instance of color and much like tone, we edit them accordingly.  However, the difference lies in what tools we have to edit our images.  With Tone, we have Highlights, Shadows, Whites, Blacks, Exposure, Clarity (if you remember it from the CS5 days, Fill Light) but with color, we see tint and temperature.  Rarely do we think to go into the HSL and fine tune our colors, but that is what is required of us to avoid blue waterfalls!

Instead of thinking of HSL as a set of creative color adjustments, think of it as your Highlights, Shadows, Whites, and Blacks equivalent within each color of the photo.  Now you have access to so much more and can fix those ugly electric blue waterfalls!

You may also like: Selective Color in Photoshop, is it the best-kept secret?

About Blake Rudis : is a High Dynamic Range photography blog dedicated to being a 100% free HDR resource. There are a plethora of tutorials, tips, and great photos to stroll through. After checking out this Youtube channel, why don't you head on over to!

Text, image and video via f64 Academy

Get Latest Videos,Promotions & Exclusive Offers Via Email:

We don't send spam!