• Jay

Color Grading Playgrounds: Photos

I was poking through my blog feed the other day while eating lunch and catching up on some things. Clicked a link from Alexis’ blog to Robbie’s blog where I read this article which got me thinking about photography and as the blog points out, arts vs. tech. I’ll structure this with two thoughts.

Thought 1: Stretch Yourself

If you’re of the thought as I am that moving images are nothing but a series of still images strung together in a sequence, then you’re in fact only grading several individual still images. Even in Resolve which does a wonderful job of taking my still image grade and letting me manipulate that grade across a series of images, I find myself primarily grading a single still in the context of other still images.

My approach is different though with a still vs. a moving. I’m an avid photographer- I usually have a camera within ready reach wherever I’m at and I spend hours editing photographs. But I find when I edit a photo, I’m letting the image talk to me about what it wants and manipulating the image for the most appropriate emotive effect. This is opposite my moving image work that tends to lean on neutrality, focus, and isolation. I wouldn’t have discovered this difference had I not been editing photographs- now I can disseminate my moving image grading approach and work on applying a more artistic, emotive feel to the moving images.

Thought 2:  Use Photoshop RAW or Lightroom or Aperature

Photos then become a perfect, low-impact, low-cost way of playing with things and honing some skills. The tools are different, but the process and art-form is the same. I’ll be the first to admit, while I LOVE grading my moving images, going to down the studio, turning everything on, finding some clips, loading a timeline etc., etc., can be a long process when I’d rather sit on the couch and play with something here or there. Editing photos is perfect for this. I constantly find myself trying different looks I used in a photo, in a film.

Finally, programs like Photoshop RAW, Lightroom and Aperature make it easy. You don’t have to think about the tech. You can just play with the image. They let you focus on the art, not the tech.


©2019 by Jay Friesen.

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