Color grading of the week, Part 7


Picture by Alex Witherspoon, licensed under the Creative Commons “Attribution” 2.0 license.


Used Sony Vegas’ color corrector to fix the white balance, then used a modified “bleach bypass” Magic Bullet look, and a bit of unsharpen mask to give it a more filmic look.


Daren wrote on July 28th, 2009 at 6:52 AM PST:

I honestly don’t see anything wrong with the first photo. It looks warm and natural. The “fixed” photo looks cold. Is the wall opposite really supposed to be the color gray?

To critique the photo itself, shouldn’t the focus either be on the hand of cards or on a specific opponents face? The focus in this photo is on the back of the guys head. That seems kind of pointless.

Please comment and provide more insite. Thanks.

Alex Witherspoon wrote on July 28th, 2009 at 8:05 AM PST:

The photo was taken with the intent to blur faces for some anonymity. Due to the lens in use at the time, it was not possible to create the bokeh surrounding the cards themselves.

Some perspective on the coloring – As you noticed I did make the photo high in contrast during the shot because the warm feeling was desired due to the family atmosphere.

The wall was closer to the colors in the second photo. The thing I would comment on is that for the realism effect the second photo shows this well.

Fabricio C Zuardi wrote on July 28th, 2009 at 12:20 PM PST:

No offense Eugenia, but the before photo is better looking.

The second one looks washed out IMHO.

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Eugenia wrote on July 28th, 2009 at 1:18 PM PST:

>I honestly don’t see anything wrong with the first photo.
>The second one looks washed out IMHO.

Which is how traditional film looks like. Old movies are low-contrast, low-saturation, with less “red” color in them. If there was a movie shot with the look of the first photo and you were actually watching it, you would cry “video, video”.

This is a good example about all these hoards of people who want the “filmic look” for their videos, but when it comes to pictures they somehow have a trouble wanting the same look for them too. 😀

Fabricio C Zuardi wrote on July 28th, 2009 at 5:07 PM PST:

Ok, I haven’t noticed this post was filed under “filmmaking”.

Yep, movies are normally desaturated and people seem to enjoy it.

But there is nothing wrong in having a different taste for stills, I do have trouble wanting the same look for pictures. I don’t want it at all. And I find it quite normal 🙂

Daren wrote on August 3rd, 2009 at 7:56 AM PST:

Any thoughts on why the filmic look is popular in films? Is it because we don’t want to be overwhelmed with color and want to focus instead on the story?

It seems that HD television shows go the exact opposite and throw lots of additional color into the picture. A complete opposite direction from the filmic look?

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