Photoshop Color Grading for Landscape Photography

A couple of weeks back I published a tutorial explaining how to apply color grading in Lightroom to a sunset photo to improve the appearance. This time, I’m going to show you how you can use Photoshop Color Grading with one of my landscape photos. I have to admit that although the results were good, Lightroom is quite limited. Photoshop provides lots of flexibility in applying color grading to your photography.

To apply color grading effects with Photoshop you will be using Lookup Tables. These are also often called LUT's. The correct term used in Photoshop is Color Lookup. You can apply this as a direct adjustment using “Image | Adjustment | Color Lookup…”, which is never a good idea. Alternatively, you can create a new Adjustment Layer of this this type (usually the best idea).

All this adjustment is doing is translate a tone into another tone, and by tone, we also mean colour.

The Photoshop Color Lookup provides the capability to load LUT’s or Lookup Tables from a variety of sources and formats. When the adjustment is applied as a layer, you can also control it as you would any other layer. This means you can change the Opacity, Blending Mode, apply a Mask and set the Blendif levels. Having created your bespoke look using one or more Color Lookup layers, you can export the Lookup Table to a new file for future use.

In this video tutorial I demonstrate all the above.


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