Anyone who’s a fan of the movies knows that Color sets the tone and the mood of the movie. The same is true with photographs. The right color treatment can turn a good shot into a “Wow!” shot, adding just the right sense of drama that brings it to that higher level that commands the viewer’s attention.
So when photographer Stephanie Diani contacted me with this project I was immediately interested. Color grading is fast becoming one of my favorite parts of digital imaging. The opportunities for creative input and collaboration are really emphasized in this process, and when you arrive at that magical look there is a sense of great creative satisfaction with the transformation you were able to make happen.
Since this process can be very subjective we usually begin by looking at a variety of images the photographer feels have the right mood they’re looking for. Then the exploration begins. Since this was a series of images it was important to also create a streamlined workflow for getting that special look that was both easy to apply as well as allowed for just the right flexibility so the look could be tweaked easily on an image by image basis.
In the end Stephanie’s final look was accomplished with just 3 Adjustment Layers. And applying the look to all the other shots in the series was as easy as a few copy/past moves.
Here’s a side by side before/after shot followed by some of the rest of Stephanie’s series: