Last week, we had a ton of fun shooting flowers. When capturing red roses, you might have come across a problem that has plagued me for awhile. Did your reds look like they were bleeding? Were they neon? Don’t worry. It’s a common problem. Photographing red items is not easy.

Aside from white, I find the color red to be a difficult color to photograph. Red is a very saturated color. Add in a little sunlight and you could find yourself scratching your head trying to figure out how to fix it!

Don’t worry. I’ve got you covered.

How to Shoot the Color Red

1. Read your histogram. This is a time when reading your histogram will help you out. The red channel blows out faster than other channels.

You can see on the histogram above that the reds are definitely blown out!

2. Look for shade. Shooting the color red in direct sunlight can be difficult. Try to find some shade and lower your ISO. I walked around the side of the house and found some nice shade. I kept my ISO at 200 and got better results!

3. Shoot in RAW {if using a dSLR}. I have to admit, I just started shooting in RAW. I don’t know what took me so long. When shooting in RAW, you can recover color better in post-processing in RAW than in JPEG. I shoot in both RAW and JPEG. Here is a side-by-side comparison of the two files.

Now you be thinking, hey Steph, the JPEG is nice and vibrant and the RAW is blah. Well there’s a reason for the that.

4. Check your color setting. Did you know your camera has a color setting? You can find the color settings in the shooting menu of your camera. When shooting in JPEG, you can control your color settings. However, if you are shooting RAW + JPEG, it will only affect the JPEG file {as seen above}. The JPEG picture above was shot with the vibrant setting. If you are shooting reds with the vibrant setting,  you may find that your reds look like they are bleeding. Try the portrait or normal setting {and while you are at it, play around with the other settings to see what they do!}.

5. Adjust your white balance.  If you can, set a custom white balance. {Don’t know how? Read this tutorial.} If you don’t have the time to set a custom white balance, my go-to is cloudy.

Now that you are armed with some tips on shooting the color red, it’s time for your weekly challenge:  Go find the red in your world. Make sure you keep in mind the tips above. Did you have difficulty in shooting red? Share your red pictures on the Picaboo Facebook wall along with any tips that you found worked best for you. If you missed a photography lesson, check out our photography tutorial library.

And don’t forget, Mother’s Day is right around the corner! Check out our 9 Gift Ideas Under $20.

To see our gift ideas, click on this image!


Did you see this post? It’s all about making a yearbook for your kid’s school. It also includes info on joining the Picaboo Dealer Network. To read the post and learn about this opportunity, click on this image!


Ready to turn your digital images into photo books, calendars and more? Click here to see our weekly specials!

Ready to turn your digital images into photo books, calendars and more? Click here to see our weekly specials!