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Picture Profiles & Color Grading

Lesson 7 from: Filming Families: The Modern Family Video

Courtney Holmes

Picture Profiles & Color Grading

Lesson 7 from: Filming Families: The Modern Family Video

Courtney Holmes

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Lesson Info

7. Picture Profiles & Color Grading


Class Trailer

Class Introduction


The Spark That Inspired Me


What Are Family Films?


Gear for Family Films


Camera Settings for Video


Frame Rates & Slow Motion


Picture Profiles & Color Grading


Settings for Audio Capture


Lesson Info

Picture Profiles & Color Grading

White balance, picture profiles, and color grading. Show of hands, who's using Kelvin, and who's using auto white balance? Raise your hand if you're using auto white balance. (laughing) Raise your hand if you're using Kelvin. Okay. So, I have played around with a mixture of shooting auto and shooting Kelvin. One of the things, there's pros and cons, I think. With shooting auto white balance, it's just one less you have to think about, and it is generally when you have a lot of things going on, shooting video in client sessions for families, white balance is kinda one of the last things that you wanna worry about. But, that said, it is worthwhile considering shooting Kelvin because you're also moving through lots of different light and when you're, you wanna think about the video, the film that you're making almost like you're putting together an album. So, you still have to make sure that you have consistent color throughout the entire thing, and if you have, if you're using Kelvin, yo...

u can keep that consistent a little bit easier. You have more control. It gives you more control over your color. Another thing that helps you with that is you can learn to anticipate the light changes, and you make them in advance, and it helps you in post-production, saves you time editing. You don't have to deal with potentially as many color casts, and things like that. So, especially if you're like outdoors, moving between shade and full sun, and all of that. I'm not gonna go into Kelvin, or how to do it, or any of that. There's so many classes at CreativeLive that can take you through that information, but I wanna just highlight the fact that as a videographer, when you're adding video, it can be beneficial to start, to at least experiment with Kelvin, and start learning how to use it, and decide for you whether it's important, or worthwhile, spending time practicing shooting your video, 'cause it can help in post-production later. Picture profiles. So, this is something that you probably wouldn't be worried about as a photographer, because it doesn't affect you when you're shooting raw images. Picture profiles are basically like a built-in preset from your camera that gives you, so it's a preset in your camera that grades your jpegs, okay? So, it's like you can decide on things like contrast, and adjust the highlights, and the shadows, and all of that in camera, and so your camera will be built-in with things like standard picture profile. I think they might also be called picture styles in camera in Canon, maybe, and they are, there's also, I think, portrait, and there might be a landscape, and it does things like adjust saturation of greens, and things like that. There's lotS of things that you can do custom in your camera to the picture profiles. Now, why this matters for video is that you essentially are working with jpegs, okay? So, whatever picture profile you have set is going to apply that to your video footage. So, you're not working with jpegs, you're wor-- It's a similar concept. You're obviously working with video, but that's a way that I think that it makes sense for photographers, so picture profiles. Now, about picture profiles. I used to shoot standard all the time, and I liked it because it made, it kind of had a built in contrast, and it worked well. I actually didn't have to do as much color grading in post because a lot of it was already done for me. The problem with it is that you don't get as much flexibility to color grade later, okay? So, you already have a little bit of contrast added, it's harder to take it away than add it in. So, when you're shooting standard, you have to be better at getting it perfect in camera. You already have to better at getting it perfect in camera when you're shooting video. You just don't have as much flexibility. You're not working with raw files, so you have to be more careful. So, what I wanna tell you about is that you have the option to shoot in a neutral picture profile, and if you do that, it gives you more flexibility to add in color, to change color, to add in contrast, so it just, it's more of, it's what's here on this left side. This is neutral. This is neutral straight out of camera, and this is it color graded. This is the color that I've added to it. This is what I've changed to it. It already is pretty contrasty just 'cause of the light, but it is a lot, it's flat. It's more flat, so the shadows aren't as deep, highlights aren't as high. So, you have more range, more flexibility, if you're shooting neutral. So, my recommendation, which is the same with everything, is to try it and see what works for you, and there is no right or wrong. You do not have to shoot in a specific profile, you just need to experiment, and test them out yourself, and pull the footage into Premier Pro, and start working with it, and see what you think, and see what works best for your workflow, and what you like to do. But, I want you to know that if color grading is a thing for you, and like you really wanna spend a lot of time on that, then you should really shoot in neutral. It's gonna give you a lot more flexibility, and a lot more options, but it's still, I wanna really be clear about this, it's still not the same as shooting a raw file, okay? So, and that's with the cameras that we have. There are lots of cameras on the market that give you much more flexibility, but that's, I'm just talkin' the cameras that we have, that we're shooting family photos with. So, setting your picture profile to neutral is gonna give you a lot more flexibility in post-production.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Shot List Worksheet Template
Shot List Worksheet Example
Ideas for Your First Film
Discount Code

Ratings and Reviews

Adam Nicholls

Worth a watch! Courtney provides a clear and organised class, she is also very passionate about what she does which is always nice to see. She has a great back story which is fantastic. This course is good for beginners who have some knowledge in photography and want to learn more about video. I would recommend that people do not refer this class to the bible of filmmaking as I feel you can expand further on what Courtney teaches. Some useful tips for beginners but some methods I personally feel can be taught differently. I feel a gimbal is a useful bit of kit if used correctly. You can still use a gimbal when in manual mode providing you follow the basics rules! Obviously if Courtney prefers not to use a gimbal then that's also fine but I wouldn't discourage students from exploring useful filmmaking tools. Slow motion can be achieved with 50/60fps however I feel other frame rates should have been discussed like 120fps. I liked that Courtney engaged with the students as it gets them involved and will help them remember what they have learned during the class. Thank you for taking the time to share some of your knowledge

a Creativelive Student

Courtney's work is absolutely amazing and inspiring. I feel lucky that she has chosen to share her process and that this class is available! After watching all the videos and trying my hand at this video thing, I am feeling really encouraged and inspired to do more- both personally and professionally. I appreciate the way that she breaks things down in the video and that she shares her thought process. A really great course!


Courtney’s course completes me! I have storytelling “holes” in my film previously, but this course helped fill those holes to create a flow and a film with emotion. Not only is the course wonderful (and well worth every penny) but Courtney is wonderful as well! I had such an amazing experience at Creative Live!!!!

Student Work