Color and Lighting Correction?

Discussion in 'Amateur Video Production' started by HerHusband, Nov 2, 2013.

  1. HerHusband

    HerHusband Guest

    I use a Panasonic TM700 camcorder to shoot my videos. I mostly shoot
    scenery from our vacations and whatnot. Overall the image quality is nice,
    but no matter what I do the image still seems a little "flat" to me. For
    example, I recently shot a bunch of forested areas with vibrant fall
    colors. Lots of reds, greens, yellows, and browns. Unfortunately, the
    vibrancy we saw in person just doesn't come across on the video.

    I tried bumping up the saturation, but that only works to a point. Too much
    and it just starts looking weird.

    I tried adjusting the contrast, but again that only works to a point. Too
    much and things start looking dark and unnatural.

    I realize it's probably just a limitation of the camera, but I'm curious if
    there are other processing techniques I could use to bring some of that
    original vibrancy back?


    Anthony Watson
    HerHusband, Nov 2, 2013
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  2. There are two things here: one is that the tiny chips (even
    with three, as in the TM700) and with relatively low resolution
    (1920x1080 is only a bit over two megapixels in the TV image,
    not really a lot considering that it is viewed on a 40" (plus
    or minus...;-) display, often viewed fairly closely (think
    what a print that size made from a pocket-camera with only two
    megapixels on its tiny sensor would look like...;-); the other
    is that bright, saturated reds mostly, orange some, and yellow
    still somewhat are very sensitive with this technology to
    blowing-out detail with overexposure and high-saturation/contrast
    subject material. With contrasty lighting and bright, saturated
    "warm" colors shot with small-chip, low-res. digital sensors,
    saving highlight and saturated-color detail in the finished
    product may require some underexposure along with the
    designed-in compromise of reduced saturation in the camera.
    I regard almost all digital original material as "beginning"
    material, requiring work to optimize results (within inherent
    limitations in the medium). With some underexposure of the
    original material, you gain some highlight and saturated-
    color detail, but then you need to correct the underexposure
    in ways that do not return you to the original problems.
    That means that you need to raise the shadow end of the
    exposure range without raising the highlight end, and do it
    without too much damage to the mid-tone contrast. That may
    sound impossible, but the tools for doing it are in any decent
    editor for stills or video. As you have seen, simply raising
    the saturation and/or contrast isn't the answer, since both
    will tend to worsen the original problems. Along comes the
    "magic" filter: "color curves". This filter allows you to
    "anchor" the black and white maximums (or even to modify them),
    and to adjust the tonal relationships between them, especially
    if used subtly, and in conjunction with both saturation and
    brightness/contrast adjustments (and also with sharpening and
    unsharp-masking, which increase local contrasts). The specifics
    of how to do all this here is a little too complex to describe
    here (I should get around sometime to putting up an article
    on it on my website...;-), but experimenting with a short
    clip (or a few photos) should get you started. BTW, I VERY,
    VERY, VERY rarely enter photo "contests", but I'm entering one
    now (at http:// - first seen in a
    recent article on since it is (mostly) "tongue-
    in-cheek". What I'm entering is a rather dark and soft still
    photo taken with a 500mm mirror lens on MFT-format (for 1000mm
    35mm-equivalent), shot hand-held of a very detailed subject
    about two miles away. The original looks terrible, with no
    shadow detail, low-contrast, little color, and not a lot of
    fine detail anywhere. After "processing" it, though, the
    result has the reverse characteristics, and it looks quite
    good (and sharp, with lots of fine detail evident, and with
    good color and tonality). While you cannot get things out
    of an image that were not in the original, it is VERY
    surprising how much you can "build on" what does exist
    that is often hidden in the image...;-) If you want to see
    the "before and after" versions, send me your email (the
    pair of images is about 11-megs, though...). Video is more
    limited in what you can do due to the greater limitations
    of the medium and the difficulty of adjusting local areas
    (especially if they are in motion), but there is still much
    you can do anyway to improve video with a little work.
    David Ruether, Nov 2, 2013
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  3. HerHusband

    Brian Guest

    If your using Vegas then Try using the Sony HSL adjust video FX, it will
    make weak colours stronger.
    Brian, Nov 3, 2013
  4. HerHusband

    Dan Wenz Guest

    On 11/2/2013 4:04 PM, David Ruether wrote:
    Can we hold you to that, as I hit 80 this year and time's getting
    short?! ;->
    Dan Wenz, Nov 3, 2013
  5. Hmmmmmmmm..........................., the list of
    "winter projects" is getting ever longer - of things
    to fill our 17-month-long grey-black-brown winters
    here... (and some of the unfinished-project "intents"
    date back MANY years!). I never seem to have enough
    time to do what I want (and I "retired" in 1962!;-).
    Lately, I've had a LOT of fun shooting hundreds of
    stills a day with the MFT gear I started buying (for
    video...;-) about a year ago, and other unfinished
    projects (in addition to finishing a video - "2 1/2
    years in the making!", and transferring to digital
    some recordings I made as long as 45-years ago...)
    are a detailed evaluation article on MFT lenses, and
    the one on optimizing still and video images, but I
    may yet finish them, uh, "soon"... (if my rapidly
    enfeebling memory lasts long enough............8^).
    Um, what was I just writing about?! :-{ Anyway, I
    discovered that if people make it to 85-86 in
    decent health, they are often good for "the long
    run" into their 90s and beyond, so you and I may
    still be hanging around long enough to see our
    "projects" completed...8^) But, feel free to "bug"
    me about this one, while it's still "fresh"!;-)
    David Ruether, Nov 3, 2013
  6. HerHusband

    Brian Guest

    The good news is that people are living longer these days. Due to this the
    retirement age in my country might increase from 65 years to 67 years as
    the cost in pension payments would cost the Govt more.
    Brian, Nov 3, 2013
  7. There are "before and after" examples (with URLs) showing
    some of the "magic" that can be had with the use of filters
    commonly available in photo/video editing programs in the
    post above, "Before & After Fixed Photo Example"...
    David Ruether, Nov 4, 2013
  8. Oooops! That should have read, " the post immediately
    *below* this thread, "Before & After Fixed Photo Example".
    David Ruether, Nov 4, 2013
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