Been A While/Color Balance for the Holidays

HI Photo Enthusiasts,

I apologize for the lapse in posts about my most recent book ” Photographic Lighting for Everybody” and Tips you can use to improve your art.


Photographic Lighting for Everybody Amherst Media

What a great present for someone who loves taking better photos with a SmartPhone or DSLR

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This post is an article I wrote for Denver Central Park Living magazine, aptly entitled

“© Creating Better Photographs For the Holiday”

The holidays are quickly approaching and like everything else this year they will be a little different. Regardless of whether you’re entertaining extended family or just your immediately family, you only have one chance to capture the festive moments. As a professional photographer for over 30 years I wanted to share some tips on how to take better photos on your smartphone or Digital Single Lens Reflex (DSLR). The topic I want to cover for this article is color correction, which can be manipulated on the smart phone before or after you capture your timeless family photos.

Ever wonder why your digital photos on your smart phone or DSLR look yellow or orange? In the photo world we call it color balance. If the source of light does not match the color balance of your device, normally set for Daylight color balance, (technically a color temperature of 5500 Kelvin degrees for all you scientist) the overall cast of your photo will look “off.” Tungsten light (when the light bulb is on and too hot to touch it is a tungsten light) will yield a warm orange/yellow color cast if your phone/DSLR is set to daylight balance.

 Skin tones are the most notable as shown in the images below

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On the left the image of Central Park resident Susan Lee (great math tutor) was taken under Tungsten Light (too hot to touch) and my phone was set for Daylight.  As you can see her skin has a yellow/orange cast. Simple by going to the EDIT module on my smart phone, clicking on the three circles (Adjust color temperature) I can move the slider to the left to “cool off) the orange/yellow cast. In this image I set the slider to minus 58, to remove the yellow/orange cast to make the portrait look more natural.

Final notes: If you can identify the light source, tungsten; daylight or fluorescent before you take the photo you can adjust your phone or camera setting on your phone, matching the light source. On your smartphone you can choose daylight (sun icon); Tungsten (Lightbulb icon); Fluorescent (long rectangle icon) etc… To match the light source.


Example of what the presets look like

If you want more creative control on your phone, I would suggest you purchase the app Camera +2 for $2.99 or $4.99 which will give you access to the creative controls a DSLR has to offer.

Using the Camera +2 App I was able to manipulate the color of the holiday lights at the Denver Botanical Gardens during the festival of lights.

To learn more go to or contact me at for lessons.


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Thank you for reading and to keep up with the latest and to receiver FREE TIP about photography, subscribe and Share with your family and friends….

Be Creative ,


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