Blue Waterfalls?  Yeah, they aren’t supposed to be!

Blue waterfalls are a side effect of white balance and your camera compensating for the colors coming into the sensor.  You may have everything dialed in perfectly, but when you edit your waterfall pictures they result in an electric blue haze around the highlights.

Why is that?

Well, our cameras can only have one white balance recorded at any given time.  but what about RAW,  it doesn’t record any white balance that is just the JPEG preview.  Hear me out!

Our cameras can only capture one instance of light at any given time within the exposure value that you set.  However, when you edit that Raw file you can adjust for more or less exposures with the exposure slider and fine tune the highlights and shadows which then results in an image that shows more than one exposure value for the elements in the photo.

Consider that thought and apply it to colors.  Our cameras can only record one instance of color and much like tone, we edit them accordingly.  However, the difference lies in what tools we have to edit our images.  With Tone we have Highlights, Shadows, Whites, Blacks, Exposure, Clarity (if you remember it from the CS5 days, Fill Light) but with color, we see Tint and Temperature.  Rarely do we think to go into the HSL and fine tune our colors, but that is what is required of us to avoid blue waterfalls!

Instead of thinking of HSL as a set of creative color adjustments, think of it as your Highlights, Shadows, Whites, and Blacks equivalent within each color of the photo.  Now you have access to so much more and can fix those ugly electric blue waterfalls!

Blue Waterfalls fix

In today’s tutorial, I will show you how to fix the electric blue color cast in both Adobe Camera Raw (or Lightroom)  and Photoshop!

Blake Rudis
f.64 Academy and f.64 Elite are the brainchildren of Blake Rudis. While he is a landscape photographer, he is most passionate about post-processing images in Photoshop and mentoring others.

For Blake, it's all about the art and process synergy. He dives deep into complex topics and makes them easy to understand through his outside-the-box thinking so that you can use these tricks in your workflow today!
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