These color grading tips will help you create an endless summer for your next project.
We all wish that summer could last forever. Great weather, clear skies, but some bright light. However, we can work over harsh lighting. And unfortunately, summer doesn’t last forever, but some projects require summer to always exist.
Capturing that summer feeling is easier said than done. It could be that the camera settings are off or you are shooting in the middle of winter, but you can achieve a summer look with the simple magic of color grading.
The magic of creating a shot that feels like summer can be perfected with a little color grading. Shutterstock tutorials explains how to color-tone your recording so that it feels like summer, even if the raw material isn’t right. Check out his video below for some quick tips:
Create a white spot in the sky
Today cameras are getting better at capturing dynamic images that keep lights and shadows from washing out.
However, we don’t always want all highlights to be saved. When the viewer can see too much of the sky, the subconscious tells us that something is wrong with the picture when trying to depict summer. In summer the sun is high in the sky and is booked by the magic hour at the beginning and end of the day. Since the earth is tilted towards the sun during the warmer months, there will always be a bright spot in the sky.
To create that bright spot in the sky, bring the highlight level to the point where there is an area of the sky that is a little hot. Brightening the image, rather than overexposing it, reinforces the idea of a sunny summer day.
Adjusting the highlights and midtones in the curve box creates an image that is so perfectly colored that anyone can tell the time of year.
Warm up the image
Even if you took pictures in the summer and something doesn’t feel like it, it may be due to the temperature of the picture. Your first instinct may be to adjust the warmth of the shot, but that can do more harm than good.
The main purpose of the temperature tool is to correct the white balance of all areas of the image. Instead, you want the heat to only hit the highlights. The color wheels or curves allow you to add warm tones to the highlights and upper midtones to create a naturally warm image.
Follow the summer genre convention
As with any genre, some elements are essential to how that particular story is told. These elements may not be based on reality, but they are a trope that the audience has accepted. (Some of those tropics could do with it, like shots of Mexico that are always orange. In our opinion, that’s a little tired.)
Summer has gradient elements that are part of its genre convention. The heavy filter we’ve seen countless times on every show that takes place on the beach. To create this look, take the gradient tool and position it in the center of the sky. Then bring down the highlights to bring out the blue in the sky.
If you want a more stylized look, it’s better to keep the gradient line hard.
Make the sky teal
Changing the color of the sky sounds crazy, I know. As strange as it may be, a blue-green sky is an element that is part of the summer tropics. Children’s shows, advertisements and many popular music videos change the color of the sky to create a complementary contrast to the warm sandy beaches and the surrounding area.
To get the perfect teal shade for your picture, find the first Hue Tool and select the sky. Then change the hue slightly until the sky falls into the blue-green hue. To finish correcting the color of the sky, increase the saturation to make it stand out. A teal sky is a more stylized element that may or may not work for your shot, but give it a try and see if your shot feels more like summer.
Do you have any other tips for adding color to a shot to make it feel more like summer? Let us know in the comments below!