What is color grading and how do I use it?
Learn all about color grading for photography.
Color grading helps you create a mood or coherent sensibility with your color palette. Different from color correction, which makes your images look exactly like they appear in real life, color grading conveys a visual tone. Learn what elements to tweak to achieve a cohesive, artistic, evocative color grade for your images.
How to color grade your images.
With color grading you’ll want to focus on adjustments in curves, brightness and contrast, color match, and white balance. When you use a good editing software, these tools and features will help you to alter your color palette.
- Curves: Curves remap the brightness and color of your image and can be used to control shadows, midtones, and highlights as you edit, as well as red, blue, and green color channels to create different color effects. This tool is great for subtle adjustments, as it gives you a good range of control over how much the colors shift.
- White balance: White balance helps you make your overall image warmer or cooler. Adjusting this consistently across your photo shoot will change the general mood of your images.
- Color match: Color match tools (or match color tools) analyze the colors of a reference image and automatically adjust the colors of your own image to match it. This is a useful tool to use if you have a specific example of how you want your color-corrected image to look.
- Brightness and contrast: These features do exactly what they say they do — alter the brightness and contrast of your image. Brightness means the overall lightness and darkness of your image, while contrast refers to the relative lightness and darkness of your image (e.g., higher contrast means lighter lights and darker darks).
Create stunning color grades.
Explore how Adobe Photoshop can help you achieve this editing effect, and learn what more you can do for your photos.