The so-called “teal and orange look” has been one of the most popular color grading styles in today’s trendy photography. It’s especially prominent among Instagram photographers, especially when it comes to travel or outdoor lifestyle shots. It may seem like this look involves a complicated editing process, but you can actually get this look with some quick adjustments in Adobe Lightroom.
What is it about this color combination that makes it so popular on Instagram? There are a lot of theories floating around the photography world, but a quick brush up on color theory tells us that blue (or teal) and orange are complementary colors. We can also deduce that they’re popular for outdoor shots because it’s where these two colors typically appear together. Imagine some golden autumn trees set against a bright blue sky. Or the sunset casting yellow and deep orange through the clouds, against a deepening blue sky.
With the fame of this color grading style came a slew of tutorials on YouTube alone showing how to achieve the look using Adobe Lightroom or even Photoshop. One of the best we’ve found is from Denny’s Tips, who shows us it’s actually easy enough to try for beginners. Watch the quick video below:
This video tutorial is especially helpful in demonstrating two techniques to achieve the look with Lightroom. First is through the HSL sliders, but the quickest is through the Camera Calibration sliders. The trick for both is to set the Blue Primary hue slider all the way to -100, and the Red Primary hue slider to around 50. You can also set the saturation for both colors according to your taste to get the look you’re after. To give it an Instagram look, simply add the “faded look” using the Tone Curve to flatten or lighten the shadows and retain the midtones with an S-curve. Pretty easy, right?
The best part about this color grading technique is you can experiment with other colors to use other variations.
Check out this video tutorial if you also want to try out this look using Lightroom Mobile.
Screenshot image from the video