How to Create LUTs in Photoshop for Better Color Grading

Color grading is an essential skill for both photo and video editing. Check out this great video to learn how to become a better colorist using Photoshop. 

Nathaniel Dodson of tutvid demonstrates the power of Photoshop to color grade still image and video content through the use of look up tables or LUTs for short. First, what is a LUT? At its essence, a LUT is a table of numbers that is used to transform a file into a specific set of values for characteristics such as RGB color, brightness, contrast, and saturation. Done well, a LUT can be used as a great starting point to add an initial base color grade to a photo or video and then perform further tweaks and fine alterations as needed. 

Dodson walks through the steps to create, save, and load LUTs in Photoshop. For video work, if you're more comfortable editing in Photoshop, you can export frames and color grade them in Photoshop and then apply them to the video in Premiere. I strongly recommend spending the time to learn how to utilize the full functionality of Premiere, but this is a good option if you're just getting started. 

Do you use LUTs in your editing workflows? Do you have any tips or best practices? Please share them in the comments below. 

Aneesh Kothari's picture

Aneesh Kothari is a Houston-based travel, landscape, and cityscape photographer. He enjoys reading, traveling with his family, and making lists of things he enjoys. He yearns to be a Civil War buff but has yet to finish the Ken Burns series.

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