Media Production Mentoring

Free online film school designed with beginning filmmakers in mind.



I was looking at some footage recently, and while I liked the color, I felt it could be better. So I tried color correcting it, but I wasn't very impressed with the result. Then I tried adjusting the contrast and I was blown away.

Contrast Difference

(I didn't realize that my computer took two different frames when I exported until I got home to write... sorry.)

The effect works better in moving video with the full frame, but this is just to give you an idea of the "pop" difference I achieved just by increasing the Contrast a little bit.

Note that I also reduced the amount of Red in the image at the same time. Often when you bump contrast you'll get too much of a color, so you'll want to bring that back down a bit.

When I see raw film footage, I'm usually very unimpressed, but then after it's been corrected it looks really nice. Perhaps the reason video footage doesn't pop as much as film is because we don't take our video tapes to a professional colorist to tweak it. The fact that my footage became something completely different just by tweaking a couple little values blows me away.

I've got a lot to learn and experiment with in this area of filmmaking, but seeing such an incredible impact from this is inspiring.

~Luke Holzmann
Your Media Production Mentor


Anonymous said...

Another thing to note about contrast is that it is much, much better to get in post than in-camera. Some prosumer cameras offer a nice look up front by adding contrast (which, if there are no plans to do post, then I guess it can work), but once you crush the blacks in camera, you lose the details in the shadows and can wind up with some image noise. Keeping it 'gray' or not crushing the blacks lets you keep the detail until you work your magic in post much more effectively.


Luke Holzmann said...

Excellent point, Ryan. Thanks so much for the feedback and welcome to the community!