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COMMENTARY: The World is Colourful, So Why Aren’t We Showing It That Way?

3 April 2019

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COMMENTARY: The World is Colourful, So Why Aren’t We Showing It That Way?

Look at any forum or Facebook page where the conversation falls to talking about different cameras, and the subject of skin tone comes up time and again. From how wonderful a certain camera makes people look, through to disagreements as to whether somebody looks too orange, or magenta, or green. But there’s an irony in a lot of discussion I see going on, because a lot of the videos I see posted all seem to aim for what I can only describe as a wishy washy pastel-like palette with colours so subtle that they are barely noticeable.

Look around you right now. Take a look outside the window. Does everything really look that grey and dismal? If it isn’t desaturated colours being the ‘in’ look of today, it’s lens flares, which reduces contrast and makes everything look flat. Sometimes the look works. For example a nostalgic summer evening look. But it doesn’t need to be used all the time.

The world is an amazing place. Particularly the natural one. Colours are all around us, from the skies through to the plants, and even the way people dress. Yet from the look of a lot of grading that takes place, it seems filmmakers often inhabit a world where the most vibrant colour is ‘hint of beige’.

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Image credit: Merydolla

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