We’re starting a Pro Editing series, aimed at those who are serious about creating slick, professional looking photography and video content.
We will be sharing top tips from our highly skilled team, with tricks on how to get the best out of editing software and our thoughts on new developments and programs. We also have a lot to say about Mojave – but we shall save that for another day. Today, we are going to be talking about Colour Grading.
Colour grading is a powerful tool when it comes to telling a story. The whole mood of a video can change with some simple colour grading – providing you ensure all the frames flow and have the same look. Our 5 pro colour grading tips will give you a good understanding of what to look for and where to start.
The Key Light
The key light is the term given to the main light for your photograph, whether that be natural light (a window) or artificial (a lamp for example). You need to establish where the key light is coming from before your colour grade begins.
It’s really important to balance the exposure and ensure the white balance is correct at the start. This, in simple terms, is getting the white, white. It may not sound that important, but it sets the tone for the whole frame.
Use Hue/Saturation Curves Tool
Using the hue and saturation curve option enables you to make precise, easy adjustments to the saturation/brightness of specific colours. For example, if you want to increase the saturation of red in the frame, simply use the RGB Curve to alter the levels of red.
Consider using LUTs
A LUT (Look Up Table) is a modifier between two images. There are some great ones available online and if used well they will give your video a great effect (more in-depth post on using LUTs effectively soon)
Don’t go over board
When it comes to colour grading it is very easy to get carried away. Subtle changes are often the most effective. You want to achieve a polished professional look, not a fake one.