Quick Study of a Work in Progress

I'm not immune to the oddness of the extremes of the majority of my work. I've fallen into a position where I'm very often either shooting a)Very beautiful woman doing very beautiful things or b)very cute babies doing very cute things. I guess you can't have one without the other, so it does make some sense if you squint your eyes at it. 

After my last video, which I made as a promotional tool for newborn photographer Jenny Kruger, I was sure I would take on something a little different. However, opportunities, ideas and inspiration arise when they decide, not you. So, again I find myself in the land of babies. This time for the amazing Sugar Free Photography. This is one of my best and favorite clients. Oh, and Amber, the owner/photographer, also happens to be my amazing wife. So, there's that.

As mentioned in my previous blog, due to a studio theft, we are down to one camera. This can become a problem when you're trying to shoot simultaneously. That's the position we found ourselves in just a few weeks ago. We ended up having to pass the camera back and forth, her shooting stills and I shooting video.

With babies time is never on your side. One second you've got a perfectly cute sleeping little peanut, the next it's an all screaming all kicking terror. Which meant that when passing the camera back and forth, there was little time to change specific settings from photo video. Since the photos were the priority, I had to keep most of those settings while shooting the video. This created some not ideal images the most noticeable being the color temperature of the video. 

But, after some effort in post, I was able to get the colors to pretty much where I would have wanted them originally. 

Here is the original video. The skin tones and everything overall is clearly way to orange. 

After many a tweak, the close to final results. 

After many a tweak, the close to final results. 

A drawback of shooting on a Canon 5D MkIII is that to shoot in slow motion (which I almost always do with newborns), you must shoot in 720p. While this isn't the worst thing in the world, particularly for video that will mostly be seen on phones and computers, it doesn't give you the most latitude when getting deep into the color correction. There is noticeable banding in the after image, which I am currently working on cleaning up. 

Another Before/After example:

Before: Yet again, everything is just an ugly, ugly pee pee yellow. 

After: Still a little over exposed, but at least the whites are now whites and the skin tones look much softer and more real. 

Since I find this stuff interesting when I see other peoples work, here are some of the color settings I used:

Sorry, probably should have dropped down the RGB curves to show those settings. That's where most of the heavy lifting is taking place anyway. I'll do better next time, promise. 

So, yeah. The video is almost done, with just a handful of tweaks here and there. We can't wait to share it with everyone and hope that it is well received. I'll post about it here when it is. 

Wonderful light.