I am terrible at color grading.

Got a new tripod this past week the Manfrotto 055XProB.

Went to the park to try it out with my fluid head, I’ll a review later after I use it more.

I used the digital cinema light flat picture style.

Color grading is hard, for me I am just having a hard time with the first step of adding the contrast back in if it needs, and then trying to figure out what to do with the color.

For others out there I just want you to know that you are not alone!

Check out Luke Neumann’s new YouTube Channel.


  • Hey Dave I have a question and its a problem i have and maybe you might have it to, after i color correct any of my lower light footage and put it on youtube, it seems like the blacks get crushed a lot and in after effects or just on my computer it looks fine but when it gets on youtube its really dark any tips to fix this, check out my vids if you like http://www.youtube.com/houston47420000

  • Hey Dave, just a quick word of warning about your new tripod. I broke my one this weekend after only owning it since the 25th Jan. Seems they wern’t meant for big fluid heads, more of a photography tripod I fear.

  • Hi Dave, color grading really seems hard to do in a good way, I’m also eager to learn more and even if it seems that everybody use and can afford the Magic Bullet software I would have thought that basic nice color effects would have been possible with the 3-way corrector.. question to Adobe, why are there no presets available like there seems to be in MB? Also I think that much of the heavy handed MB stuff out there has way to much noise in it, color grading on the expense of quality does not look so good.

  • I’m w/ u Mr. Dugdale. I suck at color grade’n too. I just play around w/ things until I get someth’n I think is acceptable. It’s a pain and I can’t wait until I get a hang of it…

  • Check out Stu Maschwitz’s book “The DV Rebel’s Guide”. It has some color grading tips and also just a lot of great ideas on shooting video that looks like film.

  • Hey Dave,

    I’ve found this film riot episode very useful for correcting exposure and coloring:


    Using color corrector and RGB to correct exposure before using 3 way color corrector to grade the look you want.

    Thanks for your great articles and interviews!

  • Dave,

    if you want to get serious about color correction, I highly recommend this book:


    It is a really well written book by a pro. It lays out everything you need to know to get started.

    The book by Stu is great (I own it), but this deals only with color correction.

    I can summarize one of Stu’s strategies on color correction:

    Crush the blacks, raise the whites, adjust mids to liking. Then push the highlights warm, and the mids cool. I’ve tried this a couple of times and it does give you a nice grade to play around with.

    Also, why can’t I put my vimeo page under “website”? It asks me to enter a valid website. Made me feel like an internets noob 🙂

  • Im new to the whole color grading thing to bur from what I do there is not wrong way to do it its whatever looks good to you 🙂

  • Start with LEVELS/CURVES, and when you have mastered that, then move onto 3 way color corrector. You will have much more success this way, I promise you!

  • Yeah I have been learning as much as possible about coloring.
    I haven’t had any luck with the super flat styles, and I think they may be bad for increasing noise, well that is what it says here:

    My method is to shoot with a user defined neutral picture style with sharpness and contrast right down. For me this is much easier to grade than the super flat styles.

    This is my latest effort filmed on a t2i/550d and the color done with just the fast color corrector in premiere:

    I welcome any comment from you guys who know what you are doing 😀

  • I have been following you since very beginning and I know you as a person who won’t be satisfied with 99.99% kinda result. You need 100% and only 100%.

    That makes me wait for more color grading tutorials. And I am still waiting.

    ur follower

  • As a Colorist. I have to admit that DSLR footage is an interesting beast. It can be a joy to work with if properly exposed but if not it is a bear! Use your ND filters and by god protect your highlights. I started out using Apple Color and then moved on to Davinci Resolve. While these programs provide the tools, they do not provide the knowledge. That book mentioned above is a great start. I am always shooting and learning. I find being a shooter is helping me be a better colorist. Training your eye is never a bad thing. http://simplexitydigital.com Take a look at the gallery and demo reels. Feedback is always welcome. I am always willing to work with DSLR shooters.
    CJ Adams