Lightroom Color Grading Explained: Masterclass #6 (VIDEO)

Over the past several weeks we’ve been bringing you helpful tutorials from an amazing free Lightroom Masterclass presented by the PHLOG Photography YouTube channel. Today is Part 6 in the series, and covers all the basics of Color Grading using split Toning.

German landscape photographer Christian Mohrle is one of our favorite image-editing instructors, and he says the technique you’ll learn below in barely seven minutes is, “Lightroom’s coolest feature.” In simple terms, this method is employed for adding color to highlights, midtones, or shadows in an image.

Mohrle says this tool may not seem very powerful upon first glance, “but it’s best way to create unique and cinematic looks.” As you’ll see, applying different color tones to various portions of a photo enables you to imbue an image with harmonic color themes.

You can follow along and make the recommended adjustments as they’re explained by downloading the demonstration image using the link in the description beneath the video.  The lesson begins with a quick discussion of how Lightroom’s Color Grading panel works.

Mohrle prefers to tackle the highlight adjustments first when editing Golden Hour photos like the one you see here. After opening the panel you’ll see a large Color Wheel and a prominent Luminance slider. There are additional settings for more precise results that Lightroom hides by default. These options are revealed by clicking on an arrow beneath the Color Wheel.

One of the newly visible tools is a Hue/Saturation slider that provides maximum control over the color you want to modify. Mohrle demonstrates how easy it to warm up the highlights in his image for a realistic Golden Hour look—when used in combination with the adjustments that follow.

Mohrle takes an equally straightforward approach for Color Grading midtones and shadows. He follows this up with some important tips on blending and balance to get the image just right. All that’s left are a few global adjustments and the transformation is complete.

Mohrle's popular YouTube channel is full of outdoor photography shooting and editing tips, so be sure to pay a visit when you have time.

We also recommend watching the tutorial we posted recently from another accomplished pro, explaining why says, “Luminar Neo is better than Lightroom.”