Not Your Everyday Banana

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Here is a picture. How do I remove the blue glow that surrounds the windows in the top right corner?

Blue glow image

Here's a second example:

enter image description here

Not sure if this information is any use, but the picture was taken during daytime. The room is mostly lit up by the ceiling lights and only a small part by the windows.

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3 Answers 3

up vote 7 down vote accepted

In brief, this is happening to your pictures because you have more than one type of lighting going on in your picture (daylight through the windows and the overhead lights). These two different light sources are actually different colors (we call it 'color temperature' if you wanna get all sophisticated about it). Although our eyes are capable of looking at two (or more) different light sources with different temperatures and seeing them all as 'white' in our mind, in a scenario where there are multiple color temperatures our cameras are only capable of resolving one of the sources as 'true white.' Thus when there are multiple light temperatures in a picture, some funky colors can result!

So that's a 'layman's explanation' of what's happening. Fortunately it is possible to correct for the differences in color temperature after the fact using Photoshop (or other photo editors such as GIMP). Were I in your shoes, I would first stitch together my panorama (so I only had to work on one photo) and then correct for the blue in the windows by masking the window section out (probably I'd just use the balcony railing as my masking line) and shift the window color to better match the rest of the scene.

Alternatively, if you'd rather skip the post-production work and are in a position where you can take the pictures again, there are a bunch of different ways that you can correct for the different color temperatures that are going on in your pictures. I've outlined the various options you might want to consider in a more comprehensive answer.

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Thanks, what about if the light is coming from outside and I have an option to shoot at night, would that work? –  Alberto Korda Jun 30 '11 at 18:03
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You'd definitely eliminate a light source that way. Another option may be to shoot it during the day but turn off the room lights. Both are potential solutions to the problem... –  Jay Lance Photography Jun 30 '11 at 18:37
    
Not sure if turning off the lights would work. It's really dark in there without lights. –  Alberto Korda Jul 1 '11 at 11:13
    
That's why I said it may be an option. I've never been to the location. The bigger point is that if you have more than one temperature of light source, one option to get the white balance right is to eliminate one (or more) competing light sources. It's not the only option. Read my more comprehensive answer (linked above) for some of the other available options... –  Jay Lance Photography Jul 1 '11 at 16:46
    
@Jay, How would you go about correcting this in post? I can't see how to do it easily. Won't he have to mask round the windows area quite precisely and alter the colour temp there? Is there an easier way? Many thanks! –  AJ Finch Jul 6 '11 at 9:49
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I don't think there is a way to do this without resorting to manual changes done with a dropper/brush combination, it's a result of some specific lighting in a particular part of the room.

Would cropping the photo be acceptable?

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Well not really, it actually forms part of a panorama and there are more windows like that in the other parts of the picture that I just didn't put here. –  Alberto Korda Jun 30 '11 at 17:03
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As Jay says in his comment above, it's due to different color temperatures of light in the same photo. I'm guessing you had the camera set for Incandescent (or auto) white balance. The outdoor light from the window, relative to the indoor lighting is therefore rendered very cool. I think you'll have to spot correct it.

I'm not a photoshop heavy, so I'd probably use Viveza and put a control point in the blue light area and reduce saturation there. There are a million ways to approach it, though.

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