Color grading and color correction are two features of editing software that are used most of the time.

Some editors have a misunderstanding between these two terms, as they are similar in sound.

But in fact, color grading and color correction are two totally different processes that have a significant impact on your photos or videos. 

Now you may wonder what the difference is.

Well, color correction refers to correct problems to normalize the footage.

On the contrary, color grading adjusts the color and contrast to provide an artistic look to your footage.

Read this context to know more about the distinction between color grading and color correction.

What Is Color Correction?

Color correction of an image refers to editing the color and appearance of the picture.

Basically, color correction helps balance colors, exposures, and finding issues to make a beautiful look of your footage.

This editing term works as ‘fixing’ of your footage. 

If you take different shoots all day, you will see a significant difference in your footage due to light throughout the day. 

That’s why color correction comes in.

Besides, before using any grain or style on your footage, you first need to make all your footage similar in color. 

Otherwise, color grading will not work on your footage properly.

You will find several color correction photography services online to correct the color on your footage.

Below are the three primary factors you should consider while color correcting.

  • Exposure
  • Contrast
  • Temperature

Why Color Correct Your Photos or Video?

Sometimes photos were taken outdoors that are not consistently looking the same.

Besides, if your photos don’t capture the hues of a scene, the photos will look more natural.

Through the color correction feature, you can improve the photos’ look significantly better.

The tool does not enable adding, subtracting, or enhancing any color in the footage.

It helps to make your footage look more flattering and prominent.   

What is Color Grading?

Color grading means giving an attractive look and style to your footage.

Making a filmy look or turning videos into black and white are both terms of color grading.

After fixing the footage through the color correction process, color grading is used to stylize it. 

Although color correction seems to be frustrating and dull, color grading is quite fun to do.

Color grading helps to apply an artistic look to your footage that significantly influences the viewers. 

Below, we have pointed out some significant factors that you will be editing while applying color grade. 

  • Color saturation and intensity
  • Sharpness
  • Hues
  • Grain Level
  • Color curves

Why Color Grade Your Photos or Videos

Color grading on your footage will offer an extra attractive look.

It helps to change the atmosphere of your footage and allows you to create your own recognizable styles.

Besides, color grading is used to ensure the footage’s curated color palette that carries a specific atmosphere, style, or emotion.

You can enhance the emotional scene to affect viewers psychologically.

It helps to change how you perceive footage and also affects your mood. 

Difference Between Color Correction and Color Grading

As we have said earlier, color correction and color grading are two different editing features used for various purposes.

Below, we have described some significant differences between color correction and color grading.

Color correction is the pre-process of color grading that doesn’t allow you the freedom to add a creative look to your footage.

It only makes your regular footage into a natural look.

On the other hand, color grading is a creative process that helps to give a creative look to your footage. 

Color correction is the first process of the coloring of footage that doesn’t connect DP or director.

Color grading is always in sync with DP and the director of the footage and helps to express how the footage looks. 

The color correction does not enable adding, subtracting, or enhancing any color in the footage.

It only corrects color based on color, exposure, saturation, contrast, etc.

On the contrary, color grading allows you to add, subtract, or enhance colors not included in the original footage.

Color correction is a beginning process of footage, where color grading works as a finishing process.

If the color correction is not done properly, the footage will be ruined during color grading.

With color correction, your footage will not get any distinct look.

On the other hand, color grading provides a distinct look to your footage that helps people remember.

Basically, color correction is used for tiny commercials, interviews, YouTube videos, and other non-professional work.

Color grading is used for films, product commercials, music videos, etc.

Ways To Color Correct On A Footage

Following the simple steps, you can easily do color correction on a fundamental level.

Remember, every step is to follow each other, so if you fail to adjust one step properly, it will ruin the next one.

1. Adjust White Balance

First, you have to adjust the white balance to get the true white color on your footage.

This will help you to fall all the colors in the right areas.

White light ranges from warm to cool, so adjust the range to add more warmness or coolness to your footage. 

2. Tweak Exposure

Exposure helps to determine how bright or dark the footage is.

To set an accurate exposure, adjust the levels of brightness, contrast, shadow, highlight, white, and black using the curves option.

3. Use Three-Way Color Corrector

The three-way tool allows you to adjust the hue, brightness, saturation, and contrast within an interface.

It is an excellent way to determine several looks for your footage by changing the color wheel.

With the three wheels, you can easily control your footage’s mid-tones, highlights, and shadows.

Ways to Color Grade on a Footage

Color grading, a simple process that just requires only adding color information of existing color values.

Following the process, you can easily color grade any footage.

1. Apply Split Toning

It is an excellent way to add a particular color to the lights and dark area of footage.

Split toning doesn’t affect the brightness or amount of shadows and whites of your footage.

For instance, without affecting the skin tones, you can easily change the tone.

This is the simplest way to add split toning to adjust saturation and hue within shadows and highlights.

Besides, using the balance feature, you can easily qualify the brightness levels as highlights or shadows of an image or video.

2. Use Scopes

Using scopes, you can translate the edited colors across different screens.

It ensures the proper levels of exposure, color balance, and saturation that help to make each footage match visually.

Below, we have pointed out four primary video scopes to use: 

  • Histogram: It is used to display the distribution of luminance within the footage.
  • Waveform: Waveform allows you to see the luminance organization throughout the footage and show the distribution of bright and dark areas.
  • RGB Parade: RGB Parade enables you to divide waveforms for the green, red, and blue color spots.
  • Vectorscope: It helps to adjust color hue and saturation using a six-point color wheel.


Both color grading and color correction play a vital role in providing your footage with an attractive look.

Although these two terms give a professional look to your footage, they function in different ways.

We hope you might have understood the significant difference between color grading and color correction through this article.

In simple words, color correction is the adjustment of the color of your footage.

These adjustments contain a white balance, tint, exposure, whites, blacks, highlights, saturation, etc.

On the other hand, color grading is adding the final layer of your footage.

It helps to make your footage look more creative and professional.