TIP 1. SHOOT WITH A FLAT OR LOG PROFILE
When I shoot on the Canon 5D mkii, I like to use Technicolor Cinestyle or Canon Neutral with minimal sharpness and contrast. The camera companies often have stock profiles that look contrasty and rich in camera but when analyzed on a monitor, you will have crushed blacks and blown-out highlights. That is information that is gone forever and you cannot get it back. We, as filmmakers with the tools in our hands, cannot accept stock anything! Just as auto anything on the camera is a recipe for disaster, stock profiles are for rank amateurs. Tweak away!
TIP 2. TRUST THE WAVEFORM, VECTROSCOPE and PARADE SCOPES
TIP 3. ORDER OF OPERATIONS
To maintain image quality and to preserve as much info as possible, it’s important to do things in the proper order.
Not all steps are needed for every shot but in case you have to use them all, here they are:
1. Remove artifacts and de-noise.
2. Balance your shots by adjusting BLACKS/MIDS/WHITES, SATURATION and WHITE BALANCE.
3. Relight within a shot using power windows or masks.
4. Add gradients, diffusion and other lens filters.
5. Add vignettes
6. Grade your images
7. Simulate a film stock of your choice
8. Resize and sharpen