Color Grading

What is color grading?

Color grading is the process of improving the appearance of an image for presentation in different environments on different devices. 


Various attributes of an image such as contrast, color, saturation, detail, black level, and white point may be enhanced whether for motion pictures, videos, or still images.

We use color grading to express a particular feeling or look. 

Imagine you watching a movie that shows or talk about summertime, and the image is just cold (mostly blue), you won't feel the summer in that story, because when we talk or think of summer, we see heat, warm climate, and happy moments, which the colour that works best with that is warm tones (orange), so a blue image won't tell the story because Blue signifies calmness and Isolation, but with a warmer tone, we picture out the story and the feeling comes naturally. 

These work the same for photos as well.

How do filmmakers use colour to tell a story and set a tone then?

In filmmaking, color is used to set the tone of a scene before any of the actors have even uttered a word. 

Before the movie or scene is been shot, the cinematographer first tries to understand the feeling which a particular scene is to have, how do we want the viewer feel when they watch the scene, when they have the feeling and tone of the scene, they pick the colour that best matches the feeling and every piece and part of the scene evolves around that feeling. The set design, the costume and the props match that feeling. 

Filmmaker use;

Red to denote passion, danger or power. 

Pink to show innocence, femininity and beauty. 

Yellow to portray joy, naivety and insanity. 

Blue to demonstrate isolation, passivity and calmness.

Green to show Nature, Danger, corruption, immaturity and darkness.

Orange to show warmth, happiness, youth, sociability, friendly and exotic. 

and other colours to express and set a better tone for the movie or scene.