The Creative Mama » inspiring art, encouraging women

Shooting the Color Red

how to shoot the color redHave you ever been taking some pictures of red roses and noticed that they are almost neon?  Or tried to take a picture of a bowl of strawberries and they look like they are bleeding?  It happens to me all the time.  I am a food photographer and it is extra important for me to get the color as true to life as possible.  My strawberries weren’t bleeding, so what is the deal?  I have done Google searches and there is not a lot out there on the topic, but here are a few tips that I have figured out to get a true to life red image.

how to shoot the color red1.  Shoot in RAW.  You have much more control over the individual channels and the exposure when you shoot in RAW.  Camera sensors have a very hard time processing red (and yellow, hot pink, and orange).  I tend to underexpose my red images because I can pull out the detail later in post-processing.  You can expose the red portion correctly and use the adjustment brush in ACR to expose the rest of the image.

how to shoot the color red(This is the edited version, I opened it in Photoshop cropped, added a defog, a curves adjustment, and added more yellow and red to the image.)

how to shoot the color red2.  Do not shoot a red image in direct sunlight.  It will blow out the red channel completely and you will have a very hard time trying to correct it.  I shoot my red images in open shade with a low ISO.

how to shoot the color red3.  You can try bracketing your image or using the negative exposure compensation.  Play with it until the your histogram (the red channel) is even and not clipping on either side.

how to shoot the color redHere are a few websites with some great tips on shooting the color red.

Do you love red? by Isabelle Lafrance Photography
Why are my roses bloody? by The Pioneer Woman

Do not forget to enter your red images in the week’s Creative Mama Photography Challenge.  We are celebrating all things red.  Add your red images with the tag TCMV5 to our Flickr pool.  This week our prize is from The Makerie.

Do you have any tips for shooting red?


About Bree

Bree is the founder and writer of, a recipe site that shares her love of cooking, baking, and entertaining with others. launched in February of 2010 as a way to merge Bree’s love of photography with her love of food, and share both with friends and family. Currently, Bree lives in the suburbs of Washington DC with her husband and 3 children.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Print Friendly