I’ve noticed that my winter photos always shift to the blue spectrum so that snow is always a bit blueish, not white. Can I easily fix that with a Windows 10 program?
Ah yes, the old “why is snow in my photos blue?” problem. Turns out that’s a simple matter of physics: Since it’s white, it reflects the sky, which gives it a blue tint on bright, sunny days. If it’s an overcast day your lighting will obviously be different, but your snow will be white or grey, though that doesn’t really help you out with photos you’ve already taken. Now what you can’t ask is “then why is the sky blue?” because, well, let’s just say you can Google that question and find your answer!
What you need is a program that lets you adjust the tint of your photos, so you can pull out some of the blue and get that weird blue snow back to its pristine white as desired. There are dozens of photo editors of varying levels of complexity but it turns out that even Microsoft Photos can do the job if you know where to look. Or you can make it more blue and really go crazy.
To start out, here’s a photo of a snowy branch hanging over my BBQ in the back yard after a snow:
We’re so used to the blue tint that you might not even notice it on your computer in the above shot. But a closer look at the snow will reveal that it’s showing all sorts of colors when it should really be white.
Open it up in Photos and it’ll look the same, but now you’re ready to fix it.
Photos is an easy way to go through slide shows of your photographs and other images on your computer, but there’s a whole ‘nother program lurking underneath this simple face. Click on the crossed pen and pencil icon and it’ll reveal some of its power with this pop-up menu:
You can now go wild with 3D effects or animated text but let’s stay focused instead. Choose “Edit” to access the crop, filters and effects options, and a lot more. Click on “Filters” to see what you can do:
Sometimes filters are a great solution, but there’s not really a “subtly pull some of the blue out of my photo” filter. Of course, if you want ot add more blue and just make it really exaggerated, well, you can definitely do that:
The appropriately named “Arctic” filter can make things really blue. Interestingly, I look at this and think that it’s now a nighttime photo, which says something about the poor colors in snow photos that I’m used to seeing. Do you see it as weirdly blue, or just a typical, somewhat underexposed snow photo?
Go back and click on “Original” if you’ve been playing with the filters, and then choose “Adjustments” from the top menu bar. Now we’re talking:
Thought light and color are sliders – and this photo could do with a bit of an adjustment on the lightness – if you click on the word “Color” you’ll find that there’s yet another level of adjustments you can access:
Finally, tint! Here’s what I did: I pushed up the warmth a bit to get the trees and other non-snow elements a bit more saturated, then used the tint adjustment to, step by step, adjust leftward (towards green) until the snow looked more white and less of a weird color:
I’d say that’s an improvement, and the photo wasn’t horribly off in the first place. Fiddle, adjust, remember you can click “Reset” any time to go back to the original and when you’re done use “Save a copy” so you can compare your photo editing against the original.
Done. Here’s what I ended up with:
What do you think?
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