Five Tips for Capturing Perfect Color with Your Camera

Your images on video or on a still camera will only look as good if you manage to capture the right colors as well. In film, this is even more crucial because color (or the lack of it) can communicate emotion and your story through to your viewers. Here are five crucial tips you can use to make sure you capture the right color each time.

1. Always Have the Right Light

Most people have a problem with not having enough light for their scene. While it’s good practice to have well-lit subjects, there are times when you might need to take away some light to convey the mood you’re after. Know what your scene requires each time.

2. Go for Manual Mode

Automatic camera settings make your job easier, but there are times when they shouldn’t be used. As a filmmaker, it’s best to know how to achieve the look you want using the manual settings on your camera. This is especially true concerning ISO settings or how bright or dark you want a particular area in your subject to be. Having the advantage of manually setting your ISO in the right places means there’s less chances of having a heavily compressed and muddied black on your shadows.

3. Pay Attention to Your Light Sources

Not only do you need to pay attention to where you light sources are coming from and what this does to your scene or subject, it’s also best to know how different objects in the scene affect the lighting. For instance, you have lights coming from behind the curtain, are these curtains red? If yes, then chances are, the light on your subject will also reflect this – same thing with the walls in the room or the floor.

4. Always Correct Your White Balance

The light source you’re using whether they’re tungsten, fluorescent or the sun, will have different properties of their own. Some of them will echo a reddish/orange tint, others a bluer hue. To combat this, correct your white balance each time. While your camera can do this automatically, it’s still best to go manual in this instance.

5. Go for a Neutral Color Profile Setting

Depending on the video camera you’re using, each one has a unique color profile you can choose from. Some of these mimic certain looks like old film or even more neutral ones. To make it easier for you to capture colors, find out which of these profiles work best with your project and use it. There are times when certain profiles are great for translating colors outdoors but horrible for human skin and vice versa. Pay attention to this and use it to your advantage.