Colour grading is a process of changing the appearance of an image or video to alter the feel of the presentation. Changes can be made to colour, saturation, brightness and contrast, through the videos/images highlight, mid-tones and shadow pixels.
Watch the short split screen video clip above to get a sense for how colour can affect the feel of footage.
Colour grading is usually done last in the post editing process after everything else.
I use Vegas Pro to do any video editing and it has everything you’d need to get the feel you want in your videos.
Vegas Pro allows you to make alterations to the pixel histogram, manipulating via the “levels” and “curve” control, as you would with photo editing software such as photoshop. This allows you to lighten or darken pixels across the range of pixels that make up the image, from shadows, mid-tones and highlights.
You can also make alterations to the colours in those areas, making the shadow areas of the image (darker areas) more blue, to add a feeling of coldness to them. Or you could add yellow into the mid-tones to add some warmth to your footage. In fact, you can add or take away, intensify or tone-down any colour you’d like.
If you have Vegas Pro you can fine-tune adjustments to your colour grading using some of the following options:
Lift affects all areas. Gamma affects the middle or main area of your image. Gain affects the brightest highlights but leaves the middle and darks alone.
You can also make use of LUT’s to your video. LUT is an acronym for ‘Look Up Table’ and these hold a set of numbers which are looked up by the software you are using in order to change the colours of the image to a pre-determined setting. You can save your own settings into a LUT or download those done by other people.
The best way to get good at colour grading is to experiment and practice, to see what you like and don’t like. You can carve out your own colour grading style to your videos, so that they become a kind of signature for your work.
I don’t like to dwell on loss and death, particularly on a business website which celebrates love and life through photography but I thought I might share this personal story with you to inspire you to make more out of the photographs that you and your family may have taken a lifetime to collect.
Last year my father sadly passed away, and having organised most of the funeral arrangements, I wondered about his eulogy.
Dad was keen to speak at a number of funerals I’d attended with him, his brother’s and his wife’s (my step mother) particularly and I understood he felt it the right thing to do on such occasions.
I’d thought about what I might say at his funeral, but kept hitting something of a block. I’d shared many memories with dad, but didn’t have the feeling that I needed to share any these stories with other people, for some reason. I felt some guilt and a certain amount of pressure to do or say something at this funeral service, rather than leave it to someone who didn’t really know him very well.
With so much to do after the death of a loved one, I put it to the back of my mind, at least in the short term, until the date was looming and it became more pressing to organise something suitable.
As part of clearing out his house, I’d come across Dad’s old photograph albums, he loved taking photos and lots of them too. As I started to go through them, the idea came to mind about doing a presentation of his favourite images for the funeral, a kind of collage of his life.
I spoke to the funeral directors, who in turn spoke to the venue and after a day or two they said it would be fine to present on a screen at the venue, if I forwarded the slideshow ahead of the day, which I did.
The more I thought about it, the more it made sense to celebrate Dad’s life with photos of his life, shared with the family he loved, many of whom would be at the funeral. It would give them a chance to reminisce the good old days, and to feel part of the day rather more than they would at a funeral.
It turned out to be a nice surprise for many of the people attending the funeral service, and seem to go down well with all.
I liked the poem by LInda Ellis called “the dash” so incorporated it into the slideshow because we were celebrating Dad’s dash after all.
Hope it inspires you to make the most of those precious memories that you’ve captured in the past and are going to capture years into the future.
We believe family is the most important aspect of life, and we’re not just talking about blood relations but also dear friends, and our animal companions. Anyone we love and share some aspect of our lives with, can be thought of as family. It’s all about connection and bonding and a sense of shared history and shared memories.
We have great privilege in sharing time with families, both big and small, from little as two to as big as you can imagine.
Photoshoots are a unique thing for family’s to share and enjoy together. We have lots available for families and the individual members of families.
Families are as unique as the characters that make them up. Let’s celebrate family together. Please have a look around the site and check out some of the many photoshoots we offer.
Somebody recently asked me, why I’d gotten into photography. My explanation, at the time, was that I was interested in capturing memories, and while that is very true, it’s much more than just that.
Photography is a form of visual storytelling, and as human beings, we’re wired to pay attention to stories, it’s ingrained in our DNA.
We make sense of the world around us through stories, our internal thought processes are formed into self-talk stories.
Stories stimulate our imaginations, and the interplay between our creative mind and our rational mind can take us on something of a journey.
Here’s a little game to illustrate this fact.
Here are three sentences….
- He went to the store
- Fred died
- Sharon went hungry and wept
Think about them for a moment, what is going on here?
Are Fred and Sharon married?
Who went to the store, Fred?
Why is Sharon hungry and weeping?
There are no right and wrong answers, but you’ll undoubtedly find your mind fills in the gaps, and looks for explanations to make sense of each of the sentences, and how they related to one another.
Great movies work in the same way, giving bread crumbs of information, and letting the viewers imaginations go to work in finding meaning in them.
We do the same with photographs, we look at the visual information presented to us, and ask why? What can I to take from this photograph? What is it trying to communicate to me?
As photographers, we can use devices like focus and depth of field to direct the viewer’s eyes and attention to a particular part of the photograph.
We use light and dark to do the same thing..
Learning photography is not just about understanding about shutter speeds and apertures, it’s about learning how to see, how to pay attention, it’s about being immersed in the moment.
Through photography, we start to see how light falls onto different surfaces, how it bounces, scatters and reflects back into the eyes.
How colours are intensified on bright sunny days and how shadows add contrast.
We see how light adds drama to a scene.
Using light to tell the story we want to tell.
Photography helps us get out of our heads and the abstract ideas and thoughts that so often consume our full attention and instead get out into the world, fully immersed in life as it unfolds, in the moment.
It’s teaches us to see and appreciate the beauty in simple and unexpected places and things.
Strip away the labels and judgements and see what’s hidden in plain view.
In the studio we help tell stories about people, pets, relationships and family dynamics. Each family is as unique as the individuals that make them up.
Each person is a dynamic story, still unfolding and growing, made up of experiences, memories with hopes and fears. We all embody a unique perspective that each person holds. I like the idea that we are the universe experiencing itself from infinite points of view.
Away from the studio, Hazel and I like to walk in nature, often along canal tow paths or in parks or even occasionally, in the hustle and bustle of cities, taking lots of photographs as we go.
Life is ever changing, moments are fleeting, nothing is permanent and photographs help us experience these moments in life, over and over, to relive the story again and again. To help us remember a place, a person and a time we enjoyed.
If you’d like to learn more about photography, check out my one to one tutorials.
If you’d like to come for a photoshoot, or buy a voucher for family, friends or colleagues, check out the links at the top of this page.