In music photography there is nothing more frustrating that solid red lighting at a concert. When faced with a stage awash with red light there are a few things you can do in an attempt to counteract the colour such as custom white balance or manual exposure but no matter what, red light is always a challenge. Welcome the Lightroom Preset : Red.
I’ve been playing with a Lightroom preset that goes some way to counteract the red and attempts to draw out both the green and blue channels. I should say it isn’t perfect but should be seen as a starting point for further Lightroom processing. I’ve used this Lightroom preset on RAW files from both the Fujifilm X-Trans and Canon full frame sensor with some degree of success.
Before and After
The following image is the red image straight out of the camera, yes it was that red! the right-hand side is the same image with the preset applied.
The Starting Point
When you use this Lightroom preset treat it as a starting point and remember every image is unique so you might need to make different adjustments on each photo after the preset is applied depending on any changes in the amount of red light. The Lightroom preset has been designed using the heaviest of red images (as you can see in these two examples) so you will need to make adjustments depending on the amount of red in your image and how exposed the image is. I try to underexpose in these situations so I have more to work with.
Adjusting the contrast, highlights and exposure sliders can offer a fair amount of control and you can adjust the temperature depending on the level of red. Be warned though, even the smallest adjustment will have a big impact on the image and getting the skins tones correct can be mean a fair amount of work, remember if all else fails there is always mono conversion.
As I say, this Lightroom preset isn’t perfect but it will be a help, as you can see from the original Duke Special post I ended up using this preset and then from there converting to black and white. I hope this Lightroom preset is of some use to you in your music photography processing.