How to add color to your photos and videos

Spoiler alert! At the end of this post you can download a free LUT. What is a ‘LUT’? You will find out if you read on.

Shooting flat for more control

Digital camera’s tend to bake contrast, sharpness and saturation into their photos. This limits what you can do with the images or footage in your editing software. Sure, taking RAW photos is a great starting point for further enhancements. But filming RAW footage might be well above your budget. That is why you should change some important settings on your camera to get the most out of your images.

Shoot in a flat picture profile. These look unsaturated and lack contrast. Since these features are not embedded in your files, you have a wider range to play with in editing software such as Adobe Premiere of even PhotoShop.

Most Sony DSLR’s and film cameras have profiles called ‘S-log 2’ and ‘S-log 3’. Canon users can install Magic Lantern to gain more control over their camera. Or you can tweak contrast and saturation in your camera settings to a certain extent.

Remove digital sharpness. Again, digital sharpness can be added and tweaked afterwards. So don’t infuse it in your footage to start with.

Correcting the image

In your editing software (Premiere for video, PhotoShop for photos etc.) you first add color correction. Add the contrast and sharpness back in and tweak the curves to correct your flat images so it looks more natural. In this stage you match all your shots if you are editing your film footage. Make sure the contrast and colors look natural and are consistent in each shot.

A LUT as starting point

Lookup tables or LUT’s are color profiles you can add to your images. These files are like presets that manipulate certain colors and contrast.

Most LUT’s bring an interesting mood to your videos or photos. Make sure you tweak your footage after adding a LUT. All images and footage are different, so your LUT may behave different on each file. That is why you best use LUT’s as a starting point, a spark to start your creativity.

Quick recap & Grab some LUT’s and enhance your footage

Do you know the answer to the questions below?

Glad you made it to the end of this blog post! You can download a free LUT called Indiematic on http://www.thomasclaeys.be/lutpack/.

Feel free to consider getting all eight LUT‘s if you liked this download.

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