Archive

Friday
May042012

Entrada 

Most of my recent work has been on projects yet to be released, but in the meantime here's some work you can see. I did the color grading as well as the fire, sparks, and smoke for the indoor welding shots on both of these.

The Ads are now live and can be viewed on the Entrada website.

Tuesday
Apr032012

Mr. Bellpond's Masterpiece wins 2 Student Emmys!

Hi folks! 

It's always thrilling to do great work. Bellpond was only my second project in DaVinci Resolve. It was exciting for me because it would be an opportunity for me to really take some artistic liscense with the images.

The director, A. Todd Smith contacted me early describing the look he wanted with some samples from films like Jean-Pierre Jeunet's "A Very Long Engagement" which uses color in specifically stylized ways to excentuate the production design and build on the emotional performance.

Color is usually imperceptable. Like great sound work, it ties together the constructedness of a film- the clips and lighting, and varous moments that all come together to make this cohesive fictional moment the audience buys as playing out presently before them. It should be invisible... yet it can profoundly influence the emotional beats in the story. That made it both the challenge and the joy of working on this film

Here's a BYU News report on it!

Monday
Mar262012

Pretty Darn Funny

 

 Here's a new project I've been working on from Jeff Parkin and Jared Cardon. The trailer is up now and the first episode is just around the corner.

These are some before and after stills. The project was shot on Canon DSLRs with Technicolor Cinestyle. I've read complaints about the limited 8bit color space of the DSLRs, but in the hands of a capable director of photography, they perform beautifully. I've colored a lot of Red raw files and the bandwidth is luxurious, but I've got to admit I didn't feel as constricted by this footage as I thought I'd be from all the complaining and whining out there. 

click through the before and afters on these.

 



 http://www.prettydarnfunny.com/

Wednesday
Mar142012

Luminance First

Have you ever been blown away by the cinematography in old movies?

I have.


We're so used to little color screens on everything it just seems natural, but back then, what you saw through the camera wasn't what the movie would look like. You saw color. There weren't any electronics. You were looking through a series of mirrors and through the lens at the people on set in front of you. Cinematographers had to translate in their head what sucking the color out would do to the image... and they were GOOD at it!

They had to think in terms of luminance. 

How to use luminance to sculpt your images

before

after

This is a good example of what I'm talking about. The raw image is pretty flat and uninteresting. But switching to black and white to work with luminance saved it.

I worked with eye first.


That's not good advice. Its just where I like to start because its usually my focal point and I always find it most interesting. I painted in light highlighting the bright points in the iris all the way around the pupils. the left eye is out of focus so I needed to mirror that with my brush strokes. If its blurry, use bigger brushes.

With that same light I went ahead and highlighted the highs in his features beginning to sculpt the face more. Then I countered that with the shadows painting darkness in around the iris and back out to the rest of the face. I finished with a few separate passes on the image as a whole to direct the light subtly across the eyes to add some feeling.

 

By this time I was getting it where I wanted it, but I decided to add the color back in.

I liked it. I compared the two a few times and yeah, I liked it.

With just a quick adjustment to tweak the color, it was done.

When I first started doing this, I'd spend all my time shifting the color around and maybe ten seconds on a quick contrast tweak at the end. More and more I find that working to get the lighting right first makes all the difference. Your eye can be fooled by color contrast and saturation. Taking it back to black and white helps you focus on what you're actually doing. Then, any color work just adds to that. This isn't a hard and fast rule, just a suggestion. So next time you've got something that's just not getting there, consider switching to black and white!

 

Wednesday
Feb292012

Josh and Keri's Engagement Photos

 

 

I had the chance to borrow some L-series glass from my friend Devin Graham. If you haven't seen his rope swing video you should:

The amazing thing about DSLR's is the difference a lens makes. Its basically like grabbing a whole new camera. My kit lens that came with my 7D is the same lens that went through the accident with me. When I mention the accident I'm talking about this one:

 

I barely made it out of that one. My camera was in the fiberglass reinforced bowling case I built for it:

It did a good job of holding up through the roll over. Only the zipper had to be replaced. My camera seemed to be fine, but ever since then the lens has had some image stabilization issues and sometimes the zoom and focus lock up. Kinda dumb, but the chance to borrow some real glass was a wonderful experience. We hurried around Provo from about 4 in the afternoon to sundown an hour and a half later. 

Working on a wacom tablet makes photo grading so astronomically better than anything I've ever done with a mouse. I'm in love, but so are these two. Hopefully I've captured their essence a little bit. Lots of fun. Here are some before and after pictures to show off the might and power of adjustment layers.