More Photoshop Buried Treasure: Color Lookup Table Effects

Happy Tuesday everybody, and here’s another in my series of Photoshop buried treasure — this time it’s in the form of a little-known Adjustment Layer called “Color Lookup” and what Adobe did was hire a color expert to create color “looks” based on classic films, and all you have to do is find one you like, and boom — drop the mic, you’re done! It gives you some of those Instagram old-school film looks, and cross processing looks, and a lot of those looks that are popular in fashion post-processing these days. Here’s how it works:

STEP ONE: Here’s our original image. At the bottom of the Layers panel, click on the Adjustment Layer pop-up menu and choose Color Lookup (as shown here).

Above: That brings up the Color Lookup options in the Properties panel. One reason this panel hasn’t taken off is — if you click once on any of those three panels, it brings up an “Open” dialog asking you to load a LUT, Abstract Profile, or DeviceLink Profile, to which our answer is, “Huh? What are those” so we hit cancel, never to return (and if that sounds like you, don’t feel bad, this has happened to right around a ba-zillion people so far).

STEP TWO: If instead you click and hold (in this case, I clicked and held on the 3D LUT menu), a pop-up menu of predesigned color looks appears (as shown above). Just choose one and you get a color look applied to your image (as I did here where I applied a Crisp.Winter.look).

Above: Here’s another one of the look — filmstock_50.3dl. What’s nice is — these appear as Adjustment Layers, so if you feel the look is too intense, you can simply lower the Opacity of that Adjustment Layer.

Above: here’s another look — this one is based on a Fuji F125 Kodak look. Another benefit of these being Adjustment Layers is that you can change the blend mode of this layer to get different looks as well. Surprisingly powerful little tool, this one.

Okey, Dokey — that’s it for today’s “Photoshop Buried Treasure” hunt.

Hey, did I mention Moose Peterson is on “The Grid” tomorrow? 
Well he is, and we’re talking about getting sharp shots, so come on by at 4 pm ET tomorrow at this link (or over on my Facebook page, where we simulstream).

Heads up KelbyOne members: Moose is doing a live Members-only Q&A Webcast, tomorrow, too!
Moose will be answering your questions on wildlife, aviation photography, and landscape photography — just for KelbyOne members at 2PM ET tomorrow. Stop by your Member’s Dashboard for a direct link.

Have a good one everybody! :)


  1. Hey Scott, another great tip – thanks for that! :-)
    I’ve just tried it and most presets from the 3DLUT panel work great, but some of them make the image co completely black (e.g. the winter crisp preset). Do you know why that’s happening?


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