Breathe new life into lost shots by exploring Lumetri Color panel options in Adobe Premiere Pro.

Teenaged boy looks at a television screen showing a man’s face.

As long as your shots are in focus and properly framed, any footage that has unfortunate exposure or color issues may provide you with opportunities to make entirely new color choices for scenes in your project. Starting in the Color workspace (Window > Workspaces > Color), select the clip in your sequence and then click the Basic Correction section of the Lumetri Color panel to expand it. For an overexposed shot, you’d typically want to lower the Highlights, Shadows, and Saturation values. Adjust a value beyond the constraints of a slider by clicking inside the numeric value and dragging farther left (or right). Depending on the camera or video format you shot with, you might be able to extract usable details from blown-out portions.

Clip needing color correction is selected. Lumetri Color panel opened, Basic Correction sliders are adjusted.

If you can’t achieve something that looks natural, consider using the shot for an entirely different purpose. Expand the Creative section, open the Look drop-down menu, and choose a preset that sets the mood you’re looking for. We chose SL Blue Day4Nite to give it a day-for-night effect and increased the Intensity slider to add drama.

Overexposed clip featuring man’s face is repurposed for a nighttime shot using the SL Blue Day4Nite preset.

Make further enhancements by adjusting the curves. After expanding the Curves section, click a control point (or more than one) in the RGB Curves box and drag the curve to change the overall shadows, midtones, and highlights in the shot to your satisfaction.

Further enhancements are made in the Curves > RGB Curves box.

To make more nuanced color adjustments within the shadows, midtones, and highlights, expand the Color Wheels & Match section. Click in the middle of a wheel and drag the control point toward a side of the wheel that either reduces a color cast you don’t want or enhances one you do want.

More nuanced color enhancements are made in the Color Wheels & Match section.

After making all these color grade adjustments in the Lumetri Color panel, you may want to return to previous sections and make more changes there to compensate. See what our version of the day-for-night effect looks like in the following video, and then try out these tools yourself using the problematic clips we’ve provided in our sample project.

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