how to remove color cast from hdr



how to remove color cast from hdr
how to remove color cast from hdr

Hi everyone! Taking HDR photos can be a great way to capture the detail and richness of a scene, but it's not without its challenges. One of those challenges is dealing with color casts, which occur when there is an imbalance in the colors of the image. Color casts can be hard to spot and frustrating to deal with. But fear not — with the right knowledge and tools, you can easily remove a color cast from your HDR photos!

In this article, we'll break down what color casts are, how they happen, and how you can remove them from your images in easy steps. We'll learn about the Visual Color Picker Tool in Lightroom and the HSL Sliders for adjusting colors in Photoshop. We'll also explore secondary editing tools that you can use to further fine-tune your images for perfect color balance. So pull up a chair, grab your favorite image editor, and let's get started!

What Causes a Color Cast?

Have you ever had a photograph that looks slightly off-color? Or maybe a little too blue, or too green? That’s what is known as a "color cast", and it happens often when you’re shooting photos in High Dynamic Range (HDR). A color cast can be the result of your camera settings, the lighting in your environment, or the specific angle of light hitting your subject.

Fortunately, there are ways to remove this pesky color cast and get your HDR photograph looking its best. The key is finding out what’s causing the color cast in the first place. It could be something as simple as incorrect white balance settings on your camera, or perhaps poor weather conditions like bright sunlight. Whatever it is, recognizing the cause will help you to tackle it head-on and adjust for it appropriately.

Adjust the Color Balance in Your Post-Process

You've just shot your HDR image sequence and you're getting ready to start post-processing, but first you need to deal with the color casts. The good news is that there are a few simple and effective methods for removing color casts from HDR images.

The first and most straightforward way to remove color cast is by adjusting the color balance in your post-processing tools. Most software, such as Adobe Photoshop, have sliders available to let you balance the different colors in your image - red, green and blue - to ensure that the colors in the image look more natural.

Another way of removing a color cast from an HDR image is by using white balance presets. These are adjustable settings that allow you to quickly change the colors in your image by selecting a preset for daylight, tungsten light, clouds or even fluorescent lighting. This can be especially useful when shooting in complex lighting conditions or when dealing with difficult colors like orange or yellow.

Finally, if neither of these two methods work for you, then try manually adjusting individual sliders such as saturation or luminance levels until you achieve the desired results. With a little bit of trial and error, you should be able to find the right combination of settings that removes any unwanted color casts from your HDR images.

Use Masking and Gradient Tools

If you want to remove color casts from an HDR photograph, why not use some of the many available masking and gradient tools? Masking and gradient tools give you great control over which parts of your photo will receive editing.

Gradient Masks

Gradient masks are a great way to selectively target a color cast in your HDRimage. By applying a gradient mask to your image, you can selecta particular region in the photo to edit without affecting other areas. This makes it easy to quickly remove a localized color cast and restore your HDR image to its original glory.

Luminosity Masks

Another way to remove color casts from an HDR image is by using luminosity masks. Luminosity masks allow you to target specific tonal values within your photo, and make adjustments that only affect those tonal values. This makes it easy to selectively target and adjust specific regions within your HDR photograph, making it perfect for removing localized color casts.

By using masking and gradient tools, you can quickly and easily remove unwanted color casts from your HDR photographs with precision and accuracy, restoring themto their original beauty.

Consider Altering the Color Temperature

When your HDR image has a color cast, one trick you can use is to adjust the color temperature. To do this, open the "White Balance" slider in your editing software. If the photo looks too yellow-ish, you can drag it to the left to cool it down, and if it looks too blue-ish, you can drag it to the right to warm up the image.

You'll be able to observe the changes real-time as you adjust the White Balance, so stop adjusting when you feel like you've achieved your desired effect. On top of that, this method also comes with a few additional benefits:

  • It can help create a more natural look

  • You'll have more control over your overall photo edit

  • You can use it to add warmer or cooler tones

So if you're having trouble getting rid of your color cast and make sure that your HDR image look perfect, tweaking the Color Temperature until it's spot on is definitely one way to go.

Use Split Toning to Improve Your Image

Do you want to add some extra polish to your HDR images? You might not know this, but split toning can do the trick.

Split toning is a technique that adjusts the color balance of highlights and shadows in the image, so you can target different parts of it. It's like using a virtual light filter over your pic.

This process includes two steps:

  1. Select a color for your highlights, and then set its saturation levels.

  2. Select a different color for your shadows, and then set its saturation levels, too.

Using split toning allows you to correct any awkward color casts or low contrast in your HDR images so that they look their best, whether you're sharing them on social media or adding them to an online portfolio. And if it still doesn't look quite right, you can always try tweaking the hue and saturation levels until you get the perfect result.

Experiment With Hue, Saturation, and Luminance

When manipulating high-dynamic range images, you'll want to get comfortable with the color correction tools like hue, saturation and luminance. These tools can help you make subtle shifts in colors, and can be combined with other adjustments to help cancel out a color cast.

When you're trying to remove a color cast, start by shifting the hue of your image. Hue allows you to select a specific color in your image and adjust it, so it’s perfect if you have an area of your photo that is too blue or too yellow — it's like correcting the white balance without actually changing the white balance.

Then move on to saturation and luminance (also known as 'brightness'). These tools allow you to adjust how vibrant the colors are in your photo, as well as the brightness of individual colors — for example, if your sky is too blue or too dark.

Finally, once you've made all of these adjustments to hue, saturation and brightness, take some time to assess what else needs tweaking — such as clarity or contrast that may have been affected by your adjustments. A few minor tweaks should do the trick and you'll be ready to show off your beautiful HDR photo.


Removing color cast from HDR images is a simple but important part of the HDR post-processing process. The key tool used to achieve a well-balanced HDR image is the Color Balance adjustment layer. With it, you can even out the colors in an HDR image for a more natural and realistic look.

And, of course, don’t forget the basics: Try to shoot in a low-cast environment and use a color profile that will ensure color accuracy across all tones. It’s also important to make sure your camera's white balance settings are set correctly. If you’re dealing with a particularly complex HDR image, you should consider using a professional photo editor to ensure the colors come through as they should.

Ultimately, a correctly balanced HDR image will look its absolute best. Proper color balancing of your HDR images can take a while to perfect, but the results are well worth the effort.


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