Yellow – the hardest interior color to photograph

It isn’t unusual to find an entire house where every room has been painted yellow. It isn’t for everyone but it is a popular color especially in older homes. Bright yellow brings joy and energy into a room. Mutes yellows can make a room feel cozier and gold can make a room look elegant. Mustard yellow is a current decorating trend.

Over the years I have learned how to photograph yellow so that it always looks right. I am not going to give away my secrets but it has to do with white balance. The wrong white balance makes the photo look yellowish. The right white balance makes the walls look yellow. Trust me there is a huge difference.

Walls that are yellowish-green or umber or some shades of red can also be hard to photograph. I like to use the RAW camera format so that I can go back and change the white balance if needed.  I guess I just gave away a trade secret. 🙂  Using auto white balance rarely works out with yellow walls.

Yellow exteriors are easy and even fun to photograph especially with a blue sky or fall leaves in the background. These days I see a lot of yellow paired with shades of gray which is less of a challenge for interior lighting.

There is more to photography than pointing an iPhone at something but sometimes iPhone photography works.

queen anne
Mustard yellow on a Queen Anne in the fall
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