Three Tricks for Battling Neon Greens in Lightroom

May 31, 2016

Summer has finally arrived and with it comes sunny days, blooming flowers, and green growing grass!  While my husband takes great pride in his (neon!) grass, as a photographer it can be a bit of nightmare.  There are many methods to combat greens, but I always start with my Lightroom tools first.  Here are a few tricks that help me:

1.) The HSL (hue/saturation/luminance)Panel is Your Friend: Keep in mind that the “green” that we are trying to adjust is also made up of yellow.  And remember that not all grass  is the same – some are more yellowy and neon than others.  My lawn, for instance, is St. Augustine grass and has a strong yellow-green that always requires some HSL work. Starting in the Saturation panel, I almost always decrease the saturation of my greens and yellows.  I also bring down the luminance of the greens quite a bit.

Screen Shot 2016-05-30 at 3.13.42 PM

(Before HSL adjustment on the left and after HSL adjustment on the right)

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One tip that often helps color casts on skin is to play with the hue adjustments for orange and yellow.  By pushing them both to the left, it made a big difference on my son’s chest!

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* The saturation adjustment in Lightroom will increase your yellows and greens and the vibrance adjustment will increase your blues.  So if you have a lot of green grass, lay off  the global saturation slider and pump up color with vibrance instead.

2.) Create a Colored Vignette: The radial adjustment filter ROCKS.  It’s the only way I add a vignette to my images because it allows me to control exactly where I want the vignette, what level of contrast I want, and how I can add a bit of color to my vignette.

In this image of my sister and sweet nephew, I really wanted a “forest” feel. A simple dark vignette would have lost the green that I still wanted to keep.  I also wanted the greens to have a blueish tint that went with my sister’s shirt.  Below you can see the difference that the colored vignette added:

Screen Shot 2016-05-30 at 3.35.42 PM

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3.) Brush on Problem Areas: For specific problem areas (such as color casts on a face), you can use the adjustment brush.  I typically add magenta, lower the saturation levels a bit, and sometimes increase the exposure or shadows a tad. I find it helpful to feather the brush and reduce the flow from 40-80% so that I can control the adjustment a bit more.

Screen Shot 2016-05-30 at 3.48.55 PM

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