advanced color grading lightroom

Advanced Color Grading in Lightroom Classic


Color grading is one of the most expressive parts of the photo editing process. With the power to make an image feel dark and mysterious, light and airy, cool and tranquil, or warm and kinetic, color can take your images to surprising places.

In this course we take a look at the advanced coloring tools in Lightroom Classic. From the Tone Curve and HSL controls to workflow enhancers like Lightroom Presets, we break down everything you need to tell wonderful stories with color.


  • 4 Sample Images
  • 3 Lightroom Presets


Table of Contents

Course Preview
  • 01 - What You'll Learn
Advanced Color Grading
  • 01 - Tone Curve
  • 02 - Range Masking
  • 03 - Color Grading Tool
  • 04 - Working with Presets

Advanced Color Grading

advanced color grading lightroom


Master the Art of Color

Professional color grading requires care and precision. Learn how to create beautiful looks by controlling highlights, shadows, hue, saturation, lightness, vibrance, detail, and more.

advanced color grading lightroom

advanced color grading lightroom



What is Color Grading?

You’ve probably heard the terms ‘color correction’ and ‘color grading’ before, but what do they mean? And what’s the difference? Color correction is about helping your images look balanced and natural. It’s important to have a steady, neutral foundation before adding more stylistic adjustments. Color grading, on the other hand, is all about stylistic adjustments. In this course we show you how to use coloring and color tools to give your images a stunning, evocative look.

Color Grading in Lightroom Classic

Lightroom has a robust suite of tools to help you color and tone your images with precision and care. From basic adjustments like white balance and exposure to more advanced options like the Tone Curve and HSL sliders, we break down each and every tool you can use to take your images to the next level.

Professional Color Grading

Professional color grading is all about precision, control, and taking ownership of every color in an image. We show you how to analyze colors, target specific areas of an image to apply color, and use basic color theory to create beautiful looks.

advanced color grading lightroom

advanced color grading lightroom



Change Colors in Lightroom

Getting the exact look and feel we want sometimes requires us to completely change the colors of objects in our photos. Learn how to accurately select and change any color in Lightroom

Range Masking

Range Masking is one of the most powerful and advanced editing tools Lightroom has to offer. Learn how to use Range Masking to target specific areas of an image to make extremely accurate, localized edits for a polished and professional result.

The Tone Curve

Similar to Curves in Photoshop, the Tone Curve in Lightroom is a workhorse for making advanced adjustments to exposure and color. By the end of this course you’ll be a master of this important tool and you’ll feel confident using it to make a wide variety of edits to your photos.

Professional Color Grading Tools

advanced color grading lightroom

advanced color grading lightroom



The Color Grading Panel

Relatively new to Lightroom Classic, we cover the appropriately-named Color Grading Tool. This tool has everything you need to apply beautiful coloring to an image faster than ever before.

Highlights, Midtones & Shadows

Light and shadow are the defining features of any photograph. We show you multiple tools and techniques that allow you to edit those areas of light and dark independently–carefully sculpting your edits for a more professional finish.

Lightroom Presets

Want to share your looks with others? Try looks from your some of your favorite artists? Apply consistent coloring across an album of images? Speed up your workflow? Lightroom Presets can do it all and more. Learn how to create, save, and load Presets into Lightroom Classic. Best of all, we include 3 exclusive Presets in the course! And if you’re looking for more, check out our growing library of Lightroom Presets and Color Grading LUTs.

Class Instructor

Aaron Nace

PHLEARN Founder – Class Instructor

Aaron Nace is a photographer, Photoshop artist and founder of PHLEARN. He is the #1 Photoshop instructor in the world with millions of YouTube subscribers.

View More Classes by Aaron Nace


  1. Thank you so much for explaining color grading, which used to be a little difficult for me. Now I understand that very well.

  2. After those long time using Lightroom, now I finally have a good knowledge of using the powerful HSL through range masking. Thank your for your great lesson!

  3. Another Great Lesson!!!!

  4. Ur lessons are superb,funny and super easy to follow. Thank you.

  5. Thank you so much. I love and learn a lot from it.

  6. Wonderful and to the point. Everything you need when it comes to color grading in LR and managing your presets!

  7. Great and up-to-date section in Phlearn. It was my excuse to subscribe for another year 😉

  8. Perfect quick explanation of the tools and always something new to learn.

  9. Another great tutorial! It has made me want to learn more about color theory now. Would love to learn about cinematic colors like teal and orange and why they work so beautifully together.

  10. Great tutorial as usual. I actually prefer to use LR to PS. I get that PS is much more powerful than LR and I do use it for individual edits but I just find LR so much more intuitive and user friendly. Looking forward to more LR tutorials as this has improved my workflow greatly. Thanks a lot Aaron,

  11. Thanks a lot Aaron. Clear and essential.

  12. Excellent demonstration of latest LR capability.

  13. Hi Aaron, Thanks for a great tutorial. I’m a big fan of your way of teaching. Personally I don’t use Lightroom a lot, but I picked up a few great skills that I intent to use. One tip (you probably figured out yourself by now or already know): When you double-click a slider it resets. It’s faster than right clicking. Jurjen de Boer (Netherlands)

  14. Thank you for this! Learned a ton just in the first section. It’s an eye opener!

  15. You the best, Aaron Nace! This is so well explained that I have no problem understanding even though I’m not a native English speaker. Awesome job!! I’m off to the next lesson!

  16. Great…as always! Short, concise, with examples. 3 different techniques to gain assurance with colour grading.

  17. Wow Aaron! This is gold!!! I had a basic understanding of some of these tricks before, but you filled in all of the puzzle pieces for a complete picture. I love how you relate it to Photoshop as well. I am probably in Lightroom more often so I greatly appreciate these tutorials. Ultimately I want to be proficient with both programs. Your way of teaching has really enhanced my editing!

  18. Great class, Aaron! With Lightroom Classic’s new color grading capabilities, what are the scenarios that you would still color grade in Photoshop? A better way to ask this: Are there limitations in using Lightroom for color editing? Thanks!

Artist Credit

Special thanks to Maria Orlova, Rachel Claire, Tony Schnagl, Ivan Samkov. Images for this PRO course were sourced from Pexels.

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