Color Grading: What It Is And Why You Need It

This is what I had for dinner the other night, pork and green pepper, in a fragrant sauce, and of course, with rice. Now how does this relate to today’s topic? It all has to do with color grading, so let’s dive right in.

Color grading, or color correction, is the process of digitally altering the color of video, film, or photos. Color correction is present in most, if not all, movies, helping set the tone, scene, and attract the audience to specific features. Drone mounted cameras often provide limited hue options, and can deliver footage with muted colors, overexposed sky, or overly dark features.

Before Color Grading:

This first clip shows some raw footage from a shoot we did at a house in Southern New Mexico. The colors are all a homogeneous tint of brown, and the sky is dull white. Also, the foliage doesn’t possess any real depth of color. This is where color grading comes in.


This is that same clip, now color graded. Look at the difference. Watch this clip, then go back and watch the first clip. Watch both clips again, but play them in full screen. It’s a stark difference. The second clip is crisper, more colorful, and warmer. In short, more inviting.

Back to the food!

Below is the before and after of that oh so delicious green pepper pork. Drag the slider and take a peek. 

We’ve looked today at how color grading, digitally altering the coloring of an image or video, adds depth of information to footage, and how it can turn a mediocre photo of a plate of food into a mouth-watering teaser of Chinese cuisine. Next time you’re ordering aerial photography, be sure to request color correction so you can get the mouth-watering footage you need.

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One Reply to “Color Grading: What It Is And Why You Need It”

  1. It’s crazy to see how much color grading makes the same picture have more depth of information, as you put it. I hadn’t realized how much it made a difference, nor had it occurred to me that color grading was used in more than just movies. Thanks for helping me understand its application and its effect a bit better.

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