What Color Grading Means, Practically

What Color Grading Means, Practically

Sometimes it’s difficult to explain what color grading is. If you’re a geek, or part-geek, I’ve written about it from a more technical perspective in the past. We have the only full color bay in the state of New Hampshire and we often get clients that have only worked with videographers in the past and are looking to step up their video marketing game.

To be brief: color correction is mostly “fixing” things (but that often we shoot in a way that looks dark or flat (grey, muddy) on purpose, needing correction by design). Color grading is the creative side of things, e.g. creating blue shadows to create a somber mood. Except we often in the film biz refer to both grading and correction as “grading.” It’s dumb. We know.

And then there are the odd client requests to “fix” other things. Like brown patches on golf courses. So this is what happened…

Sky Meadow is an epic golf course. (Grant can never stop talking about it.) Most of the time the golf course looks lovely. But, like every other golf course, sometimes the weather just doesn’t cooperate. The three or four days we filmed at Sky Meadow, there were a few brown patches. Since we really wanted to get everything filmed before the weather turned (it’s snowing as I write this), and we’re often booked a month in advance, we had to make do.

Luckily, crafting a video doesn’t stop after everything is filmed. There’s a lot we can’t do in post, but there’s a ton that we can. It’s our job to show Sky Meadow how it really is, not just how it looks when it’s having a bad hair day.


William Litwa
Post-Production Manager at New Sky Productions

Before joining us, William worked on a wide variety of films, including commercials, music videos, documentaries, and short fiction. He’s lived in Arkansas, California, New York, and now New Hampshire. He has an MFA in Photography from Brooks Institute in Santa Barbara, CA and a BA in Studio Art / Emphasis in Photography from UALR in Little Rock, AR. He also works as a fine artist, and bases his work around concepts found in both contemporary theoretical physics and mythology, synthesizing the two fields to create experiential work.

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