Colour Grading Exercise

One of the (very) old image I often use to experiments with different looks/grading. Not an optimal camera setting (underexpose, shot while walking, wide-open aperture, soft, bloom + CA everywhere, don’t zoom it in very often, you’ve been warned :wink:)

I hope to see a different colour grading style, but feel free to edit it as you wish, this is Play RAW after all.

_MG_3103.CR2 (21.9 MB)
_MG_3103.CR2.xmp (83.0 KB)
dt 3.7

PS: I’ve never intended it to be a natural-looking image at all.

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Purple and yellow should work together but I find it rather hard to get that to work. Thought this is a nice image to try this colour combo as overtones with, together with slightly washed-out shadows.

Done with RawTherapee and Krita.


Nice exercise!

_MG_3103.CR2.xmp (14.2 KB)

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Thanks for posting
darktable 3.6

_MG_3103.CR2.xmp (8.6 KB)


My version in GIMP

Thank you for the play:
First RT:
_MG_3103.tif.out.pp3 (12.0 KB)

Thereafter GIMP and G’MIC:

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An interesting exercise. Quick try in GIMP.

Non-realistic it is. Welcome in my dreams !

_MG_3103.CR2.xmp (41,9 Ko)


Dt 3.7
_MG_3103.CR2.xmp (9.6 KB)

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DT 3.6

Color correction to get a “neutral” starting point (I used one of the buildings as grey)

Classic Orange/Teal grade in Color Balance RGB

Some Contrast EQ work to enhance vanishing point and horizon (sense of Depth)

(nice photo, BTW)


One more quick one:
Graded as if we are in the “Matrix”

Not my best work… but a better challange (without cheating and just using a LUT :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


Using LUT is fine (sometimes I use it too), as long as we’re not dependent on it too much, experiments on different grading is better IMO because that way we can understand the tool we used better.

Nice grades and thanks!

Agreed: I was mostly joking about LUTS. I can’t live without them for video work.

You are correct: another great reason to use darktable (or, any open source software). Your understanding of the process yields better control, quicker paths to what you want, and more pleasing results. I’m a fan.

Same for me too, I used it a lot in video works (especially FPE), what i mean is a lot of the time someone just searching for stylized LUT/preset, slap on the image and call it done without knowing what it’s happen to the image :grin:.

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Split toning with two different “cool” (according to Pantone) color combinations of 2021:

Green Ash / Raspeberry Sorbet

_MG_3103.CR2.xmp (20.0 KB)

Ultimate Gray / Illuminating

_MG_3103_01.CR2.xmp (20.0 KB)

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Hi, not natural, but my trial for a special atmosphere :grinning:

_MG_3103.CR2.xmp (10.9 KB)


I am sorry. I can’t upload my image.

are you sure? some of your posts already has the image attached as far I can see.

_MG_3103.jpg.out.pp3 (20.5 KB)
Just a blue sky with some color pop, which is tamped in the foreground with the Local Adjustment tool.


_MG_3103.CR2.xmp (27.9 KB)