6 Color Grading Mistakes You’re Doing But Don’t Know Them Yet

Updated on November 23, 2022 in Photo Editing by

6 Color Grading Mistakes You’re Doing But Don’t Know Them Yet

Color grading is the most important factor in video and photo editing. If you’re committing color grading mistakes, you ain’t just ruining the image, but you’re also ruining the mood, expression, impression, and story of that whole image.

The problem is, that most photo editors, professional or beginners, don’t even realize that they’re doing these common color grading mistakes.

But don’t worry, if you’re looking for solutions to correct these mistakes, then you are at the right place.

6 Color Grading Mistakes To Avoid

1. You’re overdoing it

One of the most common color grading mistakes is committed when editors feel that more is better. You might be ruining your image or video the whole time thinking that the more you color grade them, the better.

It is important to understand when to stop and how to find that sweet spot. The aim of color grading is to make the footage more appealing and natural. When you overdo it, it starts to appear fake and unnatural.

Thus, the whole goal of color grading collapses. So, it’s important that you avoid this color grading mistake at all costs.

2. Not following the color theory

Not following the color theory

Not following the color theory is one of the biggest color grading mistakes. If you’re a colorist, a photo editor, or a video editor, you should be very well familiar with the term color theory.

It requires you to understand the science and art of using colors and all that can be found in color theory. Taking the help of the color wheel can help you grade the colors in a better way. This may seem like a small tip but it puts a huge impact on how you color grade the frame.

The color theory teaches you how to put a contrasting, monochromatic, or complimentary effect in your footage.

Such color grading mistakes are

Such color grading mistakes are most common among beginners who are still learning how to use colors for best results. So, if you’re a beginner, then keep an image of a color wheel fixed to your wallpaper, this will help you learn and understand the color theory easily.

most common among beginners who are still learning how to use colors for best results. So, if you’re a beginner, then keep an image of a color wheel fixed to your wallpaper, this will help you learn and understand the color theory easily.

3. Not knowing the LUTs

LUTs or Look-Up-Table is a tool that helps you to save particular color grades as a layout. This helps you save time when you’re looking for the same color grades for multiple videos rather than doing it all over again each time.

But it’s important to know when to use LUTs and how because consistency is crucial. The viewers never notice things when colors are correct, but they’ll always pinch as soon as they see something irregular. And, it becomes necessary to avoid these color grading mistakes.

Ensure that there is consistent saturation, contrast, and colors throughout your footage. Since LUTs are a set of color palettes, they may not work for every setting, and it’d be wise to use multiple LUTs or create a new one when needed.

4. Underestimating color correction

It’ll be one of the deadliest color grading mistakes if you’re not doing color correction first. With color correction, you are already starting with the wrong foundation.

Before you start color grading, you must have the absolute right image. What I mean here is that you must correct the white balance, saturation, tone, and contrast and bring the image close to the original scene before making any other changes.

If your colors are already messed up, every other action will only make it worse. 

5. Not using a monitor of optimum calibrate

Not using a monitor of optimum calibrate - Color Grading Mistakes

For an editor, colorist, and designer, the monitor is what the camera is to a photographer. It is the primary and most important tool.

It is one of the color grading mistakes that you might not even know you’re committing. The sizes of files and the color grading software you’re using must be supported by your monitor.

Also, different monitors have different screens where the balance of blues, reds, greens, and yellows can be different. Your monitor must be of optimum calibration to show you the colors as they are.

You can not rely on a PC that is not meant for photo or video editing. Thus, switching your monitor to a higher and better-calibrated monitor can instantly make a huge difference.

6. Not catching a break

This is another one of the biggest color grading mistakes you’re committing, but don’t know yet. When you keep staring at your monitor and playing with the colors, your eyes don’t see what it usually sees.

What you’ll see after the 4-5 continuous working hours will not be the actual colors of the image. Now, your work will be based on those “incorrect colors” your eyes are reflecting.

Therefore, it’s essential to take breaks and give your eyes some rest at frequent intervals. This will allow you to see the colors as they are and avoid all types of color grading mistakes.

Bonus Read

Color grading is the most common practice in photography, designing, videography, and cinematography. Avoid these common but huge color grading mistakes to make your project the most appealing.

If you’re a professional product photographer or an eCommerce, you do not need to spend your time fiddling with Photoshop and the correct colors of each of your images.

Simply outsource with PixelPhant’s professional color correction service and get your thousands of images edited within 24 hours or even less!

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