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Blue LED Lighting showing up as purple


Using a Canon 60D and having some issues taking photosgraphs that use intense blue LED lighting and showing up as purple instead of blue


Below is an example of  a set I am trying to shoot but the blue is turning out purple.



I have tried all the different color balance settings which will affect white causing it to be a cool white and all the way to warm white but the blue uplighting remains purple.


What I also found interesting is that I took some shots with my iphone and the blue comes out correctly.


Anybody know how I can fix the problem or is this a limit with the sensor on the 60D? Would a higher end Canon camera fix this?



Hey, I was just there this past weekend.


It mostly looks to be an issue with your white balance.  You can manually select your white balance to get that blue, but it's going to change what is white in the rest of the photo.  It looks like there's a lot of florescent lighting there, which is pretty much the bane of photographers.  Florescent lighting is actually a sickly green color though you can’t see it as much with your eyes.  It’s fine if everything in the scene is green, but when the lighting is mix you have to choose the lesser of two evils, and that usually is to make the florescent white and everything else gets shifted.  If you shoot in RAW you can choose your white balance in post and play around to see what you like most.  You can also expose the same shot twice, once for the white balance of the florescent, and once for the LED colors, and then combine them in something like Photoshop to get the color you want. 


It looks like there’s also some chromatic aberrations, which produce fringes of color on high contrast areas, but that’s not your 60D, that’s your lens.  This scene has very bright light, and very dark areas, something called a wide dynamic range.  High quality shots of a scene like this would use a variety of techniques to get results that look like it does to your eyes, or to really make those colors shine.  Kind of like I described above, combining multiple exposures in post processing.  It’s not hard, but it’s more time intensive than a simple snapshot.  A scene like this really isn’t going to capture well with a snapshot.

Thanks for the quick reply. 🙂

I tried changing the white balance and even manually selected many color temperatures between 2500 and 10,000 and could never get the blue. I will try maybe shooting RAW and seeing if I can get it back in post processing.

Here are two different shots with different color tempetures but still showing up as purple.

Interesting.   This is just a WB adjustment of a JPG, correct?  I suppose it could be all purple fringing, but it shouldn’t show up to the same extent in the reflections. And that would be a lot of CA.  Likewise, color shift due to overexposure should be lessened in the reflections.   What lens are you using?  Is there a filter on the lens?


Also, out of curiosity, what shutter speed did you use? I'm guessing those are neon lights, not LED.

All I did was adjust the the color white balance on the camera and they always come out purple. They are LED flood lights and I was one of the people that installed it. The red and green Christmas lights on the house can also go blue and they pick up fine with the camera but the floods are washed out because they are so intense but wash out purple.

The Lens is a Canon EFS 18-200mm and it was shot at 1/15 of a second.


I will try some more test with less exposure.

what software are you using to open/process the image? And it is JPG right ? Try to change to picture style to Neutral or Faithful also.

Weekend Travelers Blog | Eastern Sierra Fall Color Guide

I'd be interested in seeing how it came out if shot in RAW (which would not apply any color correction at all.)


Also... in addition to the "white balance" setting on the camera, there are "Picture Style" settings.  Note that all of this is only ever applied when shooting JPEG (or video) -- but not to RAW (although the tag is recorded with the RAW so that post processing software that knows how to read the tags (such as Canon DPP) can apply it later).


Your camera would have also come with Picture Style Editor software for your computer.  You can use this to apply either global color shifts -OR- targetting color shifts.  E.g. you could actually create a picture style that targets that violet color and migrates the hue away from red so that it appears more blue.  Picture styles can be saved and loaded into your camera.


Note that the default picture style when shooting JPEG will be "standard" if you have not changed it.  This picture style does punch up the color a bit.  If you want to see what an unaltered image looks like, either shoot in RAW -or- select either the "Neutral" or "Faithful" picture styles (which do the least adjustment to color.)\


BTW, you can download new picture styles from Canon here:

(in addition to making your own).  But notice the picture style they call "Twilight" -- it's basically doing a targeted color shift which is exactly opposite of what you want (in the case of Twilight, they are deliberately rendering blues as more violet.)  That's just an example of targeted hue shift (rather than global hue shift.)


Tim Campbell
5D III, 5D IV, 60Da

I am just using Photoshop to open the files but they also show as purple on the camera display.

The camera display is a jpg that has the white balance and camera style settings applied, even if you're shooting in raw.


Also, when you go back, if you have another lens try a photo with that, even if it's a different focal length.  I'm guessing it's probably a combo of white balance, over-exposure color shift, purple fringing CA, and maybe some camera settings tossed in for good measure.  I'm sure I'll be around there this weekend, I'll drag a camera around for grins.

Various picture styles can have different effect on your image. I know for certain some of them turn the red color into orange while other turn blue into purple. So take a few images using different picture styles. I have some shot similar as yours, I'll take a look at them later to see if I can reproduce your symtom using different picture style (I'm shooting RAW so I can change it).

Weekend Travelers Blog | Eastern Sierra Fall Color Guide