Instead of boring you with written words, below you can see a video that explains the technique I use in Capture One to apply color grading to my RAW images very quickly:


And here are a few highlights from this video and some extra thoughts:

  • Detach the Color Balance tool from the sidebar to give you a larger area where you can apply more precise changes.
  • Work with the shadows, midtones, and highlights one at a time.
  • If you’re happy with the color, but still want to tweak the amount/saturation for that color, you can use the slider on the left.
  • You can increase or decrease the luminosity for a channel using the slider on the right. This way you can, for example, make your shadows less dark and your highlights less bright, for a more vintage look.

How to Find the Perfect Color Grade?

If you’re not sure how to color grade a particular image, just play around and try to intuitively get a feel for where the image wants to go, color-wise. This is also something that you’ll get better with in time. Sometimes you’ll know exactly how you want an image to look, while other times you’ll have to play around and perhaps even create multiple variant clones with different grades to compare and see what you like best.