Color Grading Never Looked So Easy!


One of our primary jobs as photographers is to evoke emotion in our viewer when they look at our images.  Sometimes the subject matter speaks for itself and does most of the work, but there are other instances where the subject alone is not enough.  That is where Color Grading comes in.

Turn on your TV.  Watch any show, movie, or documentary and pay attention to the colors in the “moving picture.”  I would venture to say that the raw footage from their cameras is not far from the footage from your own.  What sets the two apart is how the movie industry color grades their footage.

We can learn a lot from watching movies and TV shows.  One of my favorites is the Walking Dead.  In the Walking Dead, the introduction is so eery and creepy, but the images in the intro are simple, stuff I’d see in my neighborhood.  What makes them so scary looking is the color grading they used on the footage.  Click here to see how I mimicked the Walking Dead intro.

In today’s tutorial, I am going to show you how to use the Solid Color Fill Adjustment Layer to give your images a wash of color.  It is a simple technique that can make a world of difference in your pictures.

The lowdown:

  1. Open your photograph.
  2. Make a Solid Color Adjustment Layer
  3. Fill it with whatever color you desire.
  4. Change the Blend Mode to either Overlay, Soft Light, or Color
  5. Adjust the Opacity to something between 10 and 20%
  6. (Optional) Change the Blend If settings, so certain parts of your photo are not affected by the Color Overlay.
  7. (Optional) Mix and match them.  Create  2 or 3 different colors, each with different Blend If settings.

The Zone System Express


Blake Rudis
f.64 Academy and f.64 Elite are the brainchildren of Blake Rudis. While he is a landscape photographer, he is most passionate about post-processing images in Photoshop and mentoring others.

For Blake, it's all about the art and process synergy. He dives deep into complex topics and makes them easy to understand through his outside-the-box thinking so that you can use these tricks in your workflow today!
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