typical villages in Greece or in Portugal have a lot of blue and white in their building’s facades, plus the blue from the sea.

How can I enhance the blue and make sure that the blue is dominant, just with the setting of the digital camera

Note: I'm trying to shoot picture postcard style images

like this one: but with the whites staying much whiter

enter image description here

  • 5
    Is this what you shot or is it what you're trying to copy? That image looks like a complete blue overlay was used, drowning all other colours. Even the poor woman's face is purple.
    – Tetsujin
    Jan 2 at 14:58
  • I want to shoot something like this, where the blue really emerges, but on this example it is too much
    – Vickel
    Jan 2 at 14:59
  • I think you could reconsider. Maybe what you need is just careful composition - more than adjusting colours in post-processing.
    – osullic
    Jan 3 at 0:53
  • @osullic thanks for your comment, I want to achieve the result of Tetsuijn's answer through camera setting (not post-processing), but with much more blue enhancement, than in Tetsuijn's answer example
    – Vickel
    Jan 3 at 0:58
  • The good pictures you saw of these places are very likely to be post processed images and not straight out of the camera...
    – MrUpsidown
    Jan 4 at 12:32

Rather than just wash the whole thing in blue, or set the white balance completely out of whack, if your camera has 'scenes' or Picture Control modes, then set to 'vibrant' or sunny beach or similar, depending on what your camera has.

That will emphasise all colours, but without just washing it all in blue like above. You might get something a bit more like this, which then looks like it's got some 'sunshine' in it. It's not a perfect job, because the original has been pushed so far, but the woman's face & the stone look a bit more natural...

enter image description here

There's a particular picture postcard look that seems to involve just pushing the Vibrance slider in Photoshop until it's just under… painful to look at.

As regards trying to do this with white balance alone - yes, you will emphasise the blue, but you will skew everything in the image towards blue, even things - like the stone-work & the woman's face, which should not be blue.

  • what do you mean with set the white balance completely out of whack?
    – Vickel
    Jan 2 at 15:24
  • If you intentionally set the colour temperature hard towards cooler or warmer, it will generate a similar effect as your original picture, but it will push all colours away from 'natural' which isn't really what you want. You really want to emphasise the 'vibrance' of the colours whilst keeping them reasonably natural.
    – Tetsujin
    Jan 2 at 16:17
  • Interesting, this image is perfect now after your rendering. Jan 3 at 1:24
  • @U12-Forward - I'd hardly call it perfect, but thank you. Some of what was lost with the initial filter cannot be properly regained. If the original had been reasonably well-balanced but just a bit drab & dull, then we could have pushed it to "postcard perfection" with not a great deal of effort ;)
    – Tetsujin
    Jan 3 at 11:53

Even the white walls have a tint of blue in that example. If you want that kind of result set your camera's white balance to tungsten or ~ 3000k (lower number).


If you know GIMP or Photoshop, or some similar image manipulation tool, and know your way around color spaces the way a fish knows it way in water, a hopefully easy way is to decompose the image in LAB images. Use the curve on the B channel, strengthening the negative values. Compose into a color image.

An alternative: decompose to HSV and also to RGB. By whatever means, make a mask where B is greater than R or G. Use that on the S channel image, increasing S only in those areas. Then put the HSV back together into a color image.

If you don't know Photoshop or GIMP, or know nothing of color spaces, learning this can make for an interesting afternoon.

For an in-camera way, one trick I had fun with some years ago, is get some filters of various colors, pale amber, pink, pale green, violet, etc. Not just those filters for dealing with indoor/outdoor or florescent/incandescent situations. Get interesting colors, a variety. Put a color filter on the lens, aim your camera at something white, and tell your camera to do a white balance. Take photos. White is still white, black is black, but colorful objects will look different than normal for that camera. For more vibrant blue, it's more trial and error than reasoning, since characteristics of the camera and its internal processing of color make it hard to know just how a photo will turn out. Experiment.

  • thank you for your answer, I know PS. Your hint with the filters and WB setting intrigues me, I'll try! Specially since I want a camera solution and not a PS solution.
    – Vickel
    Jan 17 at 16:21

I'm with the others on colour balance first, then saturate. Go with making the whites white. Make the standard colours help the viewer know what they are looking at. Then use a colour correction software that allows you to work on specific colours - such as selective curves or colour sliders - to adjust specific colour ranges. Shooting in RAW will help with this kind of adjustment too.

  • OP specifically asked how to enhance the blue [...] just with the setting of the digital camera.
    – MrUpsidown
    Jan 4 at 14:59

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