Workshop – Colour Grading

Visit Unsplah and download some images and then open them up in Photoshop

In films the colours will not look real/ unnatural

  • Open the photo in Lightroom
  • Decide which part of the picture is your primary focal point
  • Check the exposure is correct, if not then change it
  • Check the white balance is correct, if not then change it (this won’t work if you have mixed lighting).
  • Turn on lens corrections, tick ‘enable profile corrections’
  • Lens profile should be filled in already, if not then put in the brand of lens

Gradient map

– Adjustments – click gradient map (will make a new layer, the picture will be black and white)

– Click in the middle of the gradient colour (black and white)

– Open up the gradient editor and have a play with the colour or gradient you like.

Once you have found a colour you like, make adjustments to the  shadows and highlights.

From ‘Normal’ to ‘Soft light’

Turn down the opacity to change the colour.

Colour Filter

Adjustments – Colour Lookup (grid)

‘Load 3D Lut’ – change this to a new filter. I chose –  ‘2Strip. Look’


  • RGB
    Line up – brighter
    Line down – darker
  • Red
    Line up – more red
    Line down – Cya (opposite side of the colour wheel)
  • Green
    Line up – more green
    Line down – magenta (opposite side of the colour wheel)

R – C
G – M
B – Y
      K (black)

  • Using curves allows you to make changes to the shadows, midtowns and highlights of an image.

Selective Colour 

Selective colour (triangles)
Click colours, change it from reds to whites

Cyan – R
Magenta – G
Yellow – B

Layer Masks

Target specific parts of the image using layer masks

– Create luminosity masks (press play)
– Create all the layer masks you might need – in the channels pannel
– Select the layer you would like to use, command + click on it to create a selection
– Distribution folder, Photography, Colour Grading, drag it to the workspace
– lumensier free masks
– luts

Layer Masks

Select a part of the image and make changes to it, using layer masks.


I looked at the colour grading for the film ‘Lost in Translation’ as I  found the colours used were visually pleasing to me, and so I wanted to see if I could create this type of colour grading myself on photoshop.

I applied what I had learnt from using the ‘Gradient Map’ tool in the adjustment options.

I then adjusted the purple colour to something much lighter.

I then did the same to the orange colour – making it much lighter.

I then turned down the opacity from 100% to 35%

To finish the image I used the curves tool to bring out the highlights more – making the image brighter.

Before –

After –


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