The Stari Most (Old Bridge) of Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Correcting Colors in Night Cityscapes Using Adobe Lightroom

Sometimes it’s hard to capture nighttime photos of cities when multiple light sources with varying colors conflict with the color of the sky. I’ve seen a number of nightly cityscapes where the sky looks muddy brown or dark orange rather than a nice, deep blue.

In this video, I demonstrate a few tricks for these difficult situations to get those colors right and to create images with rich, vibrant, and natural colors. No software other than Adobe Lightroom is required, but it is imperative that you shoot RAW.

Here are the steps that are illustrated in the video:

  1. Correctly set the white balance.
  2. Apply global tonal corrections.
  3. Set temperature and tint.
  4. Use the HSL panel for more targeted corrections.
  5. Apply local corrections to problem areas.

While the workflow I demonstrate in this video is generally applicable, the precise values to use for the parameters depend on your particular image, so there is no substitute for playing with the sliders until you get the right look.

Having a properly-calibrated monitor that faithfully displays the final colors is also very important for color correction, especially if you intend to print the processed image.

About Author Ugo Cei

Ugo Cei is a fine-art travel and landscape photographer from Italy. He believes this is really an amazing planet that we live on and every place and every culture possesses beauty that deserves to be shown, so he tries to catch every available opportunity to travel and to create new images of foreign cities, their inhabitants and of natural landscapes.

He is passionate about sharing his knowledge and his work has been published on magazines and exhibited in art galleries worldwide. He is also the host of the popular travel photography podcast, The Traveling Image Makers.


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