Quick Tutorial on Removing Red Fill Light from Concert Photos in Lightroom


After posting a before-and-after of a concert photo she had taken and edited in Lightroom, photographer Kohl Murdock received several requests to post a tutorial on how exactly she edited it.

The photograph was taken at a Shiny Toy Guns concert and is a great straight on portrait of lead singer Carah Faye Charnow with the exception of the massive amount of red fill light plaguing the snap. This is a common problem with concert photos, and so we’re as glad as everyone else that Murdoch obliged and created the tutorial.

The final product was produced by messing with tint, temperature, exposure, saturation, contrast and doing quite a bit of work with her highlights and shadows in split toning. Obviously, there’s more to it than just knowing what values to adjust, so if you wanna try your hand at it, check out the video and give it a shot.

You’ll have to ignore Murdoch’s apologies at not being a good enough teacher, as she does a great job explaining/showing you how to take care of that fill light and then some. If you want to see more of Murdoch’s photography, concert and otherwise, head over to her website by clicking here.

  • siva

    Please get rid of the background music.

  • Brandon Delano

    Ever thought of making your presets available

  • ripley

    I wish I had Lightroom that time I shot that gig, and ALL of the lights on stage were red. I could get no detail in the photos at all.

  • Andrea Boyle

    Great Job, Kohl. No apologies accepted! I learned a new way of LR edits, including your split tone work and your inverted gradient on the bottom. Thanks a bunch!

  • Mansgame

    I can see wanting to remove some of the lights to make skin look somewhat natural but I think she’s overdoing it to the point where she looks nothing like she actually did on stage. Wouldn’t leaving on a little of the red be more truthful and realistic?

    Also, what’s up with the background music?

  • dan a’vard

    Thanks so much for sharing this. It’s always good to see how other people use lightroom and I’ve learnt a lot from this.

  • dan a’vard

    She’s good enough to put a few tips out on the internet (she doesn’t have to do this), I reckon we can deal with the background music.

  • Lars Blackmore

    Agree… She did a great job accomplishing what she was after (and taught me a few LR tricks that I’ll definitely be using), but I don’t get why she’d want to completely loose the funky distorted coloration that comes from the stage lights — that’s what was on display at the concert, that’s what the audience saw. If she wanted a perfectly color balanced shot, she could’ve done it in a studio and saved the trouble of going to the live gig.

  • siva

    Sorry, but I couldn’t deal with the background music. I barely made it through the video without going insane. Musical taste is surely personnel and it should be kept that way.

  • Roy

    If you tend to go insane over some background music, you have bigger issues than a red cast in your concert photos.
    As for it being personal: it was her personal decision to include the music, as it is your personal decision to skip the video if you are “going insane” because of it.

  • Bry Guy

    yo i know this girl! eee!

  • Courtney Navey

    has she ever talked to a human before? that was the most awkward tutorial i’ve ever watched.

  • slvrscoobie

    and remember kiddies, dont try this with JPG!

  • Harriet Vinson

    This is good, but a lot of that work could be condensed using the eyedropper tool. Pop the exposure, use the eyedropper tool. The second half is pretty useful!

  • Scott Gallagher

    I agree. The music was horrible and her direction wasn’t much better.
    “Do this…and stuff. …and that, and stuff.” Bam it looks great!

    She is really great at what she does, but if she turned off the music and gave an example of of what she is doing and why she is doing it. That would have been helpful.