Find Out How to Use Color Grading in Adobe Photoshop

Find Out How to Use Color Grading in Adobe Photoshop

By camilaforero

In this opportunity we can find out what color grading in Photoshop, Premiere Pro and DaVinci Resolve does and how it works, since this tool helps and does the job that natural lighting cannot. This is more for videos or recordings, however, in case you want to know about apps that help you with your pictures, you can check by clicking this link. 

What is color grading?

This is a process that manipulates color within videos and helps create a stylized look, much like an app filter. Color grading can sometimes be confused with color correction, but they are actually quite different.

Color correction:

This process corrects the content, and is used to return your content to natural, neutral colors.

Color grading:

On the other hand, this process, despite having a degree of color correction, is used to achieve a certain look or feel, beyond natural lighting. This is used a lot in cinema, to create sensations and also to create a different visual palette.

Is color grading difficult?

To be able to do this process, trial and error is needed, since it is not just putting a preset filter. However, once you know how it works, it is much easier to use.

What do you need to know about color grading?

There are three main things you need to know about color grading, which are: Hue, Saturation, and Brightness.


This is the color itself, and it is sometimes called ‘Pure Color.’ You might remember the Hue spectrum by thinking of a rainbow, since it cycles through the same colors in the same order, plus it measures from 0 to 360.


It is a scale between gray and pure color, which is measured from 0 to 100%. It also shows how intense a color is, and with more saturation, colors become more intense and vivid. If it is at 0%, the image will be washed out and soft.


This is also measured from 0 to 100%, plus it is practically the difference between black and white, which changes the mood of the image.

After these terms, you can learn RGB, which is red, green, and blue. Each pixel in an image is created with these three colors, and manipulating them gives you better control of color grading. Also, once you know all this and can use it, you will be able to know how colors work with different media, actors, stimuli and other elements that can affect the image.

Use contrast to set the mood

With high saturation you can achieve high contrast, this works well for cinematic content. However, this depends a lot on the content you are going to make and the feeling you want to show, also you have to find the best way to use it.

Don’t just rely on saturation

You can use cool, dark colors for the shadows and highlight the warmer, sunnier colors. It depends on what you want to transmit with the image.

Use color grading to emphasize skin tones

Many times color grading makes skin tones look unnatural, therefore, a good alternative is to remove these tones and then recover them.

Always consider the mood of your content

With color grading you can express emotions, feelings, moods, and this can totally change the style you want to give to the image you want to show.

Think of color palettes you love

You can take inspiration from other content, in this way you can already have a clear idea of what you want to achieve and transmit.

How do you do color grading in Photoshop?

  • You must first select the media file in Photoshop, then click the ‘Filter’ button found in the toolbar at the top of the screen. Then you should look for ‘Camera Raw Filter’ and click on it.
  • You will be able to see a menu on the right of the screen, there you must select the option ‘Color Grading’, where there will be many more options. There you can play with tones, reflections and shadows.

How do you do color grading in Premiere Pro?

  • You need to create an adjustment layer, which is an overlay that you can move around the project timeline, so there’s no need to edit the source footage.
  • You must go to the Project panel, select ‘New’, then ‘Adjustment Layer’. Once you find it you must drop it in the project timeline, where you want to edit.
  • In the ‘Color’ workspace you can find the Lumetri Color Panel with the same color wheels as in Photoshop.

How do you do color grading in DaVinci Resolve?

  • When you have your project in the system you must click on the ‘Color’ page, which is between the “Fairlight” and “Fusion” pages.
  • There you can find all the functions you need for color grading, just click ‘Color’ and that’s it.


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