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Colour grading exercise

Colour G 1Colour grading exercise.

To begin with I played with the grading on the shot of the dumpling baskets. It was the most obviously over exposed shot of our shoot to me and quite an iconic image for a story about dumplings and chinese culture.

I first wanted to warm the shot up and bring out the baskets so I drifted the master over towards the orange/yellow, section. Then I played with the brightness/contrast bringing them both down.

Colour G 2

I think this has a nice effect and more accurately resembled what I picture of steaming baskets when conjuring their image in my mind.

To contrast with these warmer tones I was also curious what taking it to a cooler place and then amping up the brightness/contrast would do. I took the master of the three way colour corrector towards the cyan/blues and then, as i said, amped up the contrast. I was surprised to find that I actually like the look of the cooler tones on this shot. The contrast might be a bit extreme – I don’t want it to have an obviously edited look.

Colour G 3


I then had a crack at another shot, this time with the dumplings in the basket out in the dining room – a vastly different lighting situation from the kitchen. This shot was taken in a much calmer setting so I think on a basic level the colours are pretty good.

colour G4With the first attempt at altering I just brought a little more blue in to give the shot a cooler look. Again I was surprised that I liked the blue tones through the image. I had just roamed around the circle seeing what I liked and I think because the yellows and oranges were brought out in quite a true way with the original shot it was nice to have a hint of blue come in.

I then lowered the brightness a little and upped the contrast a schmick. I am quite happy with the result. I think it helps to focus the eye on the details a bit more.

Colour G 5


Feeling confident using the master track, I decided to venture away from it in the second attempt and see what the effects were of bringing out the blue in the Shadows and highlights but bringing out a tiny bit of pink in the midtones. I decreased the brightness more so than the last attempt and hightened then contrast likewise.


colour g 6Similarly to the first attempt I think the contrast works well in highlighting more so the details of the image. I don’t think I like the greeny tinge to the image though so I think I’ll probably pursue the blues more in the final piece.

Going forward we’ll need to make a decision as to what kind of hues we want in the film. I think I am leaning a little more towards blue rather than orange/yellow now after this exercise. Time and time again in Film and TV I have learned that as soon as I actually take the time to give something a go, the task seems far less daunting and colour grading has been no exception! That being said, I think I wouldn’t want to underestimate the fastidiousness required to do a good job of it!



Film and TV 2 – Week 3 Reading – Aesthetics and Authorship

Rabiger, M. Direction the documentary, (p. 54-57). 4th ed. Burlington:Focal Press, 2004

Rabiger discusses the different modes of documentary storytelling referencing both Renov and Nichols break downs. In Nichols’ definition of his 6th category, Performative Documentary he highlights the characteristics as “concrete and embodied, based on the specifics of personal experience, in the tradition of poetry, literature, and rhetoric.” This struck me as a style to be considerate of when approaching our documentary (tentatively titled ‘Adulthood’). My group members seem to be very interested in pursuing an abstract take on the documentary and I think it will be useful in informing the narrative structure to recognize that we will be asking participants to reminisce¬† and/or articulate their own personal conception of adulthood and we want the abstraction to be grounded in something. (is that an contradiction of terms?!)

The other message I took from the reading was that while there are different modes of documentary, you don’t need to be bound by the characteristics of any one mode; you can assemble and personalise the stylistic qualities depending on your motive.