Inside: Do the greens in your photos sometimes look more yellow than green? Lightroom has a simple fix! Watch this video tutorial to learn how to edit greens in Lightroom.
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How To Edit Greens in Lightroom
Ah, spring, such a lovely time of year! Everything’s in bloom and the world is awash in…yellow?
Often, through the camera lens, fresh green grass and new foliage can look more yellow than green.
If you prefer a warm look in your images this can be a big problem. Yellow grass <<cringe>>.
True story, I dislike the yellow grass look so much I’ve been eyeing darker grass varieties for our yard. But as a new photographer I didn’t notice yellow grass in my images. It wasn’t on my radar.
Now it’s hard for me to miss, and an adjustment to the grass and foliage in my images is an important step in my editing workflow.
Before Grass Adjustment:
After Grass Adjustment:
White Balance and Grass
I often set a custom white balance before I take a photo. White Balance, if you’re unfamiliar with the term, refers to an image’s temperature (how blue or yellow) and tint (how green or magenta).
A good white balance setting will balance temperature and tint so the whites in the image are white (not yellow or blue) and the color of the image reflects the real colors in the scene.
An accurate white balance setting is often warmer than the camera’s auto white balance setting would render it, and a warmer white balance often renders those greens more yellow than green.
Lightroom offers an easy way to deal with this problem. This tutorial explains how to edit greens in Lightroom in the HSL/Color Panel.
Beginners, don’t miss How To Use Your DSLR Camera.
How to Edit Greens In Lightroom – Step 1
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How to Edit Greens In Lightroom – Step 2
Click on the yellow square and slide the yellow saturation slider to the left. This will, as the name suggests, desaturate the yellows in your image. If there’s yellow in the grass you will see the color of your grass shift away from yellow.
Important note: this is a global adjustment – ALL yellow colors in your original image will be impacted. In images with lots of yellow throughout the image you’ll need to be careful with this overall adjustment so as not to lose other elements where you may want to keep the yellow.
In this image yellow tones are confined to the grass (note: the yellow sun flare was added and wasn’t part of the original image, so the global adjustment didn’t affect it).
See my suggestions at the end of the post for selective reduction of yellows in your grass if a global adjustment causes problems for other parts of your image.
No Magic Number
In this image, I adjusted the yellow saturation slider to -37. This isn’t a magic number. How you render grass in your images is a matter of preference, not right or wrong.
But consistency matters.
Some photographers prefer more yellow in their grass, some much less.
A popular editing style renders grass blue and desaturated.
Don’t stress over it! Exercise your artistic choice and preference. Play with the sliders until you like it and try to apply similar adjustments to all your images.
How to Edit Greens in Lightroom – Step 3
A Selective Edit
If an adjustment to your yellow or green saturation and luminance dulls other important colors in your image, like a yellow shirt or yellow flowers, try the adjustment brush.
Click on the adjustment brush and bring down your temperature, exposure and saturation sliders. Then paint it on the grass with the adjustment brush.
This will be more tedious but will help remove the yellow saturation from your grass and won’t affect other important colors in the image.
For visual learners, watch this video tutorial on how to edit greens in Lightroom with the HSL/Color panel.
Pretty simple! Keep green adjustments on your radar and be sure to add this step to your future editing workflow.