Day for Night

Ever color graded a day for night scene? It’s frustrating. You start with the usual adjustments: lower highlights, midtones, push in some random blue and cross your fingers. The results: unconvincing shots and wasted time. That’s how it went for me until I was working on a film that couldn’t live without a night time shot.


We spent several days filming in Iceland. The edit was lacking a clear transition from one day to the next. The solution: a landscape in the dark.

I needed to try several shots as day for night, but I didn’t have hours to spend grading each test shot from scratch. I had to create a consistent way to transform day into night. It had to be adjustable for different lighting situations and easy to use. If it worked, it’d be like magic.

The Solution


So I created a new and easy way to color grade. It’s a set of LUTs that work in series called a LUTStack. It simplifies the grading process but still gives you control over the contrast, color, and light level. The dusk for night settings even keeps the streetlights looking true. Best of all it works with programs like Premiere, FCPX, and Resolve.

The Results :

An easy 3 adjustment day for night

day for night example day for night example

day for night of a waterfall in Iceland

day for night example day for night example
day for night car day for night car

dusk for night + headlight replacement (guide included with LUTStack)

Final Thoughts

Because of the LUTStack I was able to get fast results. I also got to try out dozens of shots quickly to find the one that worked best. If I had sent all of those shots to a colorist to be graded, it would have cost me over $800.

Check out the link to try the Day For Night LUTStack on your films.

Day for Night LUTStack

Matt Harris

Matt is the lead filmmaker and educator at The Film Poets.