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LRC Adjustments: Color Grading

Lesson 23 from: Editing and Organizing your Photography in Lightroom Classic

Jared Platt

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Lesson Info

23. LRC Adjustments: Color Grading

<b>In this lesson you will learn how to use the Color Grading Panel in Lightroom Classic - with lessons on texture, clarity and a little masking as well.</b>


Class Trailer



A Tour of Lightroom Classic


Importing Images into Lightroom Classic


Selecting Images in Lightroom Classic


Importing Metadata and Catalogs into A Catalog


Organizing Images in Lightroom Classic


Adding Metadata to Your Images in Lightroom Classic


Bonus: Impossible Things AI Plugin


Lesson Info

LRC Adjustments: Color Grading

1 So, I love working on travel images. 2 Landscape was my first love in photography, 3 and I love going out into the landscape and taking photos. 4 So, I wanna go in and work on a set of images here 5 that I did in Iceland as I was traveling around. 6 And you can see that I'm kind of next to this river, 7 and there's this really cool kind of black, 8 volcanic sand on the edge of this river, 9 so this is really beautiful location, 10 lots of just kind of mossy grass. 11 It's September, late September, so it's not super green, 12 but I'm going to go and find, there's a sandy beach 13 kind of photo that's very, this is very artistic 14 and I love it, I love just the layers, 15 but we can really play with this 16 and enjoy working on this image. 17 I'm gonna go into the develop module. 18 And inside the develop module, 19 I can click on the masking tool and I can go in and choose, 20 you can see that I've done some masking already on it, 21 so I've kind of burned and dodged a little bit ...

to try and, 22 you see here, I kind of brought down the water just a bit, 23 and maybe I'll bring it down just a little bit more, 24 maybe the highlights down just a bit more. 25 Not too much 'cause I want it to be bright, 26 but that looks pretty good. 27 You can see that I've done a little bit 28 of work up here on this top area 29 with another mask, which is a linear gradient. 30 And I just brought up the highlights, 31 and the interesting thing about a mask 32 is that even though you have this mask 33 that is fairly global, if you work on the right things, 34 for instance, if you work just on the highlights, 35 it's really just working on those highlights 36 and kinda the specks within the sand, 37 but it's not working on the shadows. 38 And then, you can take the shadows 39 or the blacks and kinda play with those, 40 and they would be a little bit more independent as well. 41 So, you don't have to be super specific 42 and go into a brush and really accurately 43 get everything perfectly, because you can work 44 on a certain section of the photo with a gradient, 45 and then you can further delineate 46 what you wanna work on, just based on choosing 47 the right shadows, highlights, et cetera. 48 And here, this mask, you can see I used a brush, 49 and I went in and painted a little bit more of the shadows. 50 So, I've done some pre-work on this photo, 51 so we've kind of got a normalized photo 52 with some burning and dodging. 53 I wanna show you something more that we can do with it, 54 especially since it is a very artistic shot. 55 There's not a lotta reference to what it should look like, 56 and so I can do pretty much anything I want to it. 57 So, I'm gonna play with the coloring of this photograph. 58 The best place to play with the coloring 59 is to go into the color gradient. 60 I could go to color mixer. 61 Like we talked about, I could click on this dropper tool 62 and I could choose any specific color 63 and work on that specific color, 64 but I'm gonna show you other tools as well. 65 I could work in the mixer, 66 which is going to just take all reds 67 or all yellows or all greens and do something with them, 68 but I'm gonna go into the color grading. 69 Color grading is a really fantastic tool. 70 It is quite powerful, and so I'm gonna show you 71 what we can do with it. 72 So, I want the water, let's start with the water, 73 so that's in the highlight area. 74 So, you can see that I've got highlights, midtones, shadows, 75 and then I've got these two tools down here 76 that I'll talk to you more about in a minute. 77 And you can use this in different methods, 78 so you could just work on one at a time, 79 and then just click on the midtones and then the highlights, 80 and you're working on 'em in a big version. 81 Plus, you have this chevron that you can drop down 82 and it gives you the hue and saturation sliders, 83 but you can do it all at the same time 84 with this little trifecta kind of situation. 85 This actually does everything you need it to do, 86 and it is very easy to see what you're doing 87 at the same time. 88 So, I'm going to work in the highlights, 89 and I'm gonna grab the center color point. 90 So, you can see that I am starting at zero, 91 so the highlights have no coloration whatsoever, 92 they're kind of in a neutral center position. 93 I'm gonna grab that tool and drag it 94 to one side, and then as I turn it around, 95 you can see I could add green to the water, 96 I could yellow, orange, and I like to pull it 97 all the way out to the outside edge, so that I can see 98 the color really well that I'm working with. 99 And I want it to look a little bit like a mineral water, 100 so more of, like a cyan or kind of blueish. 101 I don't wanna go too cyan 'cause that looks a little weird. 102 It looks radioactive or something, 103 so I'm gonna go to about, like, that. 104 That's a pretty good color. 105 And let me zoom back out, 106 so that we can see what we're doing. 107 Now, that's obviously too much, 108 but that's okay, we're gonna leave it there for a minute. 109 And then, I'm gonna go to my shadows. 110 And the shadows, I'm gonna pull 'em again 111 and I'm gonna just kinda circle around 112 and look at what I could do with this. 113 And I actually like the idea that the sand, 114 or the volcanic sand, would be a little cool as well, 115 so I'm gonna give it a cold, maybe even more of a blue. 116 That looks pretty good. 117 And then, I'm gonna take my midtones, 118 which is this center top area. 119 I'm gonna grab that and pull it down and start playing, 120 and I like the idea of, see how the sand 121 starts getting to be yellow or orange? 122 I'm gonna choose a sandy color. 123 So, I'm looking for a sandy color. 124 Is it more warm? 125 Is it more yellow? 126 I'd say that looks pretty sandy. 127 Okay, so now I've got all three of these colors 128 in the shadows, the highlights and the midtones, 129 and I've got 'em all at full saturation, 130 which I don't want at full saturation. 131 But what I'm gonna do now is I'm going to grab 132 this center tool here, and so you can see, 133 once I've got them there, if I grab this center thing, 134 I can move it up and down like this. 135 That's zero saturation. 136 And that is full saturation. 137 So, I kinda move it up and down, 138 and I'm just gonna bring it down a little bit, 139 but notice as I get rid of the saturation 140 of the blue and the highlights, 141 you start to see the midtones kind of sneaking through. 142 So, we gotta be careful about that. 143 And I'm going to just leave it kind of high, 144 and I'm gonna go up to my midtones. 145 And in the midtones, I'm gonna bring that saturation down, 146 'cause I don't really want that much warmth in the sand, 147 but I do want some, so I'm just gonna 148 kinda keep moving up and down and see where I like. 149 That's a good happy medium right about there. 150 And then, I'm gonna go to the shadows 151 and I'm gonna do the same thing. 152 I'm gonna up and down until I like 153 the amount of cold blue in the sand. 154 Oops. 155 By the way, see how it, once I got all the way to zero, 156 it kinda freed up the movement of the color itself, 157 so I'm gonna undo, Command-Z, so that it's back 158 to where it was, and if I hold the Shift key down 159 and then start moving it, it can't move. 160 Doesn't matter what happens, 161 that trajectory of the saturation bar will not move, 162 'cause I'm holding the Shift key down. 163 So, I'm just gonna move up and down until I like that. 164 I think I like that. 165 Now, we have further controls. 166 So, we've already done our saturation amount 167 and we've done the color choice, 168 and now we have further controls here 169 below each of these circles. 170 And this is the brightness of those areas. 171 So, I'm going to increase or decrease the brightness here. 172 So, I can kinda pull it down and give it 173 a little less brightness or I can make it really bright. 174 If I make it really bright, my eye keeps getting 175 drawn over there and I don't want that, 176 so I'm gonna bring it to about, just above 50%. 177 I think I like that. 178 And then, I'm gonna take the shadows 179 and play around with them, I can really brighten them up 180 or I can bring them down, so I can make 'em much more dark. 181 I'm gonna just kinda play until I like the way it looks. 182 And again, remember, there's no reference 183 to anything about this photo. 184 It's very separated from reality, 185 so I can do whatever I want. 186 So, I'm just playing with art right now. 187 So, I like that amount of darkness. 188 And then, I'm gonna go into the midtones 189 and this is kind of that area of sand. 190 How bright do I want the areas of sand? 191 I'm kinda mostly looking in that top left-hand corner, 192 but I think I like it where it is. 193 Gonna try one more. 194 That's good. 195 So, I think I like the colors there, 196 I like the brightness of each of the tonalities 197 of the shadows, the highlights and the midtones, 198 and so now I'm gonna go to these bottom two sliders here. 199 Let me explain what they do. 200 So, balance is the first one, 201 well, actually balance is the second one, 202 but it's the easiest one to understand. 203 Balance is just simply, which direction do I favor? 204 Do I favor all of the blue settings that I've put in, 205 or do I favor all of the warmer settings 206 or the highlight settings? 207 See how I'm going, so I'm balancing to the shadows 208 in the blue, or I'm balancing in the middle, 209 which is more to those warm midtones, or am I balancing 210 more towards the blue in the highlights, right? 211 So, I can kind of shift and say, where do I want my balance? 212 And again, I can just play, because it doesn't matter 213 where I put it, because none of this looks like reality. 214 So, I'm gonna play, I like that quite a bit. 215 So, it's kinda that, a little bit less than middle. 216 Now, blending here, this first tool up here is simply, 217 which direction do I wanna go? 218 How much do I wanna take the blues 219 and let them take over the photograph, 220 or take the oranges and let them take over the photograph? 221 And I get to blend back and forth and allow one or the other 222 to start taking over the photograph. 223 And so, as I go to the left, you'll see that the orange 224 starts to blend into all of the others. 225 So, see how we've got more orange 226 and that orange kinda blends into the blues? 227 I kinda like that. 228 Or I can go the opposite direction, and now we're getting 229 more of the blues blending into the sand. 230 And so, I like that too. 231 I think I like that better. 232 And so, if I go all the way, then it's just blue, 233 and if I go all the way, then it's mostly orange 234 with quite a bit of blue, because remember, 235 I've got quite a bit of blue going on in this stuff here. 236 And so, I think I like a little hint of the sandy color, 237 but mostly blue, so I'm liking that. 238 And then, I can come back into the colors themselves, 239 hold the Shift key down as I move up the saturation, 240 and I could play around with these in the final result, 241 just to make sure that, whatever I'm choosing, 242 I am giving the best possible version that I can get. 243 So, I'm just finessing the final resultant. 244 Do I really want that much of that sandy color 245 or do I want less of it? 246 I think I like the, right about there. 247 So, I have used this color grading tool 248 to manipulate not only the depth of the shadows, 249 but also the color of the shadows, 250 and the same for the midtones and the highlights. 251 Plus, I get to kind of finesse and blend those 252 and see which direction I wanna go 253 with the adjustments that I've already made. 254 So, this is a really powerful tool 255 and it does a great job at doing kinda cross-process looks, 256 but it also is great for artistic shots. 257 You're gonna love it. 258 Play with this, it's a fantastic tool. 259 So, this is before I did any color grading, 260 and this is after, and I'm pretty sure I like the after. 261 The before is interesting, but I think the after 262 is a lot more interesting and has a lot more to it. 263 Now, before I finish this, 264 I'm actually gonna go to the basic settings, 265 and I played around with the clarity on this photo, 266 which kinda helps to increase the edges themselves, 267 so as you look around in this image, 268 you can see these edges between the different levels 269 of sand are quite significant. 270 Like, they have nice, harsh edges, 271 and that's because of the clarity, 272 so as I do this, I get more clarity in those edges 273 and also a little bit more shine out of the highlights, 274 and out of the textures in the sand. 275 But watch what happens if I take the texture instead. 276 Do you see how now it's actually 277 focusing on the sand itself? 278 So, it's giving the sand a lot more texture 279 and it's really creating quite good separation 280 between each level of sand as well. 281 So, if I zoom out just a little bit, 282 I don't wanna zoom out too much, just, you know, like this, 283 I'm gonna get a real sandy look to this photograph, 284 if I use the texture slider. 285 If I don't use the texture slider 286 and I use the clarity slider, 287 I'm gonna get a little bit of sand, 288 but more so it's gonna worry about 289 the depths of these ridges. 290 And so, I like the clarity slider, 291 but I'm also gonna take the texture 292 and just beef it up just a little bit. 293 So, I like this image and I love the sandy nature of it, 294 that gritty nature of it, and so all of that grit 295 will look really beautiful on a paper 296 that I'm thinking about printing it on, 297 it's made by Hahnemuhle and it's called William Turner. 298 William Turner paper is very textured. 299 It's almost like there's sand on the paper itself, 300 and you print on the sand. 301 And you actually have to, before you put it in the printer, 302 you just use a brush and make sure you brush off 303 all of the excess sandiness of the paper, 304 because it kinda has a sand texture to it. 305 So, it's a beautiful paper and I think 306 I'm gonna print it on that, because looking at that sand 307 and then seeing the physical sand 308 on the paper will look awesome. 309 So, I love it. 310 This is great. 311 I'm keeping that.

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Ratings and Reviews


This is a good class, which includes the most recent Lightroom updates. I've watched plenty of videos on YouTube, but this class is much more thorough and is useful to learn more quickly than other options. I recommend it.

Scott Hicks

Just finished watching the entire course. This is filled with a lot of information and Jared takes his time, and goes into detail for you to understand the process of turning great pictures into fantastic pictures. I look forward to watching the other courses in this series.

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