“The Art of Colour Grading”
by Pana Argueta
(reading time 3 min.)
Creativity has never been more vital and our industry has been forced to change quickly during these times. We are being pushed to be more flexible than ever in order to find solutions and to be able to create results to be proud of. While we are now more limited in terms of production, we are still nearly unlimited with post-production. If there ever was a time to explore what we are able to create in post, it would be now.
It only feels right to start this series with one of the most artistic, valuable and powerful specialties in post-production: Colour Grading.
As the art historian Alexandra Loske puts it in the prologue of her wonderful book “Colour: A Visual History”: “Throughout history, artists, scientists and philosophers have attempted to explain and picture the order of the visible colour spectrum. The order of colour, both practically and conceptually, is a mirror of its time as well as the person who created it, and is of universal appeal. An artist’s pallet is largely influenced by the medium the artist works in, where he or she works but it is also an expression of personal taste, style and the greater cultural context.”
With that said, and retrospectively having a look at the achievements of the 19th and 20th centuries like Levi Hill’s Hillotypes, James Clerk Maxwell and his colour vision and additive colour investigations or going a little further in time, to 1908’s Kinemacolor then jumping to 1939 when Technicolor gave us the beautiful Wizard Of Oz, we can imagine why the search of colour images for still photography and motion picture films became an obsession for physicist, photographers, directors and cinematographers for decades.
In this scheme, we can interpolate the nature of Colour Grading. As the search continues with every project colourists, directors, cinematographers, creatives and clients are nowadays teaming up to achieve the right look to enhance their message. Working in an industry where it’s all about the impact of visuals and communication, the power of Colour Grading stands out, as colourists are able to emulate different epochs, film stocks, as well as develop director’s interpretation and take audiences on an emotional perceptual journey through the senses.
We might just be getting ready to deal with all the challenges in working remotely but at the same time we have to figure out how to support and engage each other further than that.
Together we can take this opportunity to rethink established processes, make a difference and add extra value and quality to our projects.
We all need to be as positive and optimistic as possible and if we do our job right, stay focused but open-minded, art and creativity can thrive in these circumstances and true purpose will shine through.
Have a look at our artist’s work: