How to edit photos taken in tungsten light

Ok I know I’ve MASSIVELY neglected my blog but I’ve been instagramming heaps and well.. the struggle is real! Honestly it takes so much time and effort to make a beautiful looking Insta page and I’m still learning so much.. BUT, I’ve basically mastered the art of ‘faking it’ which is pretty much essential if you don’t have the time or resources to take the perfect well-lit photo every time.

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@white.plans insta page

So, this is how I’ve been taking my photos at night. I’ve included alternatives along the way for those of you who may not have a DSLR or Adobe Lightroom, so no need to fret if you don’t have the fancy stuff!

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1. Don’t use flash

As tempting as it is to use flash at night, its actually so much better to turn the flash off and simply edit the photo later. Of course this is just my personal preference, and using flash will obviously be better than nothing if you don’t have time to edit – but it will also highlight any mistakes you’ve gone over with whiteout which is why I prefer not to.


Flash on – makes mistakes stand out – big time.

2. If possible, turn camera settings to ‘tungsten light’

Of course this is only possible if you have a DSLR camera and is not a complete necessity – but will make it easier when you come to editing later. Below are the settings I used. Also note that you may have to adjust your shutter speed to let more or less light in to the lens depending on the amount of light already available to you. Have a play around!


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LEFT: normal settings, no flash. RIGHT: tungsten light settings, no flash


3. Develop in Lightroom (or other software)

Now for the fun part! Regardless of what your photo looks like, you’ll be able to make some INCREDIBLE adjustments in Adobe Lightroom. Obviously if you don’t have Lightroom, I suggest finding some other program/online photo editing tool that will allow you to specifically adjust the saturation of various colours. This is the key to removing that yellow tinge that your tungsten light creates. These are the steps I follow, but once again, have play around to see what works best for the look you’re going for!

  1. Increase exposure, highlights and whites – but only slightly. Definitely go easy on the exposure and highlights as these will affect the entire photo whereas whites will specifically brighten any white areas.
  2. I like to decrease the saturation of my photos a little bit as well.
  3. Reduce the saturation of yellow in your photo.
  4. If you need to, you may have to use the adjustment brush to select specific areas in which to make these changes. e.g. if you don’t want to remove yellow from the entire image.
  5. Export!


And there you have it – a well-lit Insta-ready photo for a beautiful, bright, airy feed 🙂

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Before/After: DSLR photograph

Just to prove to you that this works regardless of the camera you use, the below is a before/after shot of an iPhone image using the same editing techniques 🙂

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Before/After: iPhone photograph

Happy snapping!



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