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An Introduction to Colour Grading
March 27, 2019

Photography for social media can be a challenging task, whether you’re looking to showcase your products, sell a lifestyle or share your latest recipe. We assume that you’re a dab hand at taking photos, so let’s skip the tips and focus on the editing.

At Rocaba Media, we’ve been creating photographic content for various social media platforms for over a year and a half and have learnt a lot about what people want to see on different platforms (which is a topic for another day). Thanks to Lightroom and Photoshop, there’s no limit to what you can do to enhance your photography. For example, we recently took some photos for a high-end restaurant in Mayfair London and really wanted the images to pop with excitement. The venue boasts a DJ and a live saxophonist after 6pm, transforming the ambience from relaxed to energetic, so our aim was to generate more ‘drama’ in the images. We achieved this by adding extra highlights, shadows and colour grading to result in a more cinematic mood.

Photography aims to elicit an emotion, be that happiness, sadness or anger, from the audience by visually representing a moment in time. For this scene, we wanted to show people having fun in a relaxed yet luxurious environment.

The image on the left is too bright and so doesn’t look and feel like it was taken in the bar of an exclusive restaurant. The whites are little overexposed and the overall tone of the shot is too neutral and clean. We therefore increased the exposure without any colour grading with additional highlights to make it look like there was an ambient light coming in from the right, just outside the shot.

The image on the right portrays a darker vibe and creates a sense of intimacy and glamour. The whites are warmer, and the shadows cooler, which was created by using a triadic colour palette (an almost teal and orange film look).

Colour grading should always enhance the story that your image is trying to convey.

Got questions? Get in touch.

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