Since I haven't had time/energy/motivation to write anything for this blog in four months (thanks, Twitter!)I'm going to start posting some before/after pix of color grades I'm working on. This is an area where I have very little practical expertise and am hoping to increase my skillset via practice, practice, practice. So, without further blah bleh blah, here's #1:
Shot in MiniDV (NTSC) with natural light.
Here's the list of ingredients (all in Final Cut Pro), in order: 1. Color Corrector 3-Way: Slightly crushed black and brought the whites into line via Mid and White adjustment. Pushed everything in the to Reds/Mg ever so slightly, trying to remember the adage that slight adjustments are the best ones.
2. TMTS Custom Diffusion: This is also very subtle, really more noticeable in the motion than in this softer, de-interlaced JPEG.
3. Vignette: This one is less subtle and I might back it off a bit, or opt for two instances, one for focus and another for true lens vignette.
All in all, this was about 20 minutes, maybe less. If I go back for tweaks I'll update the post to track the progression.
I did not trek to D.C. this week for what turned out to be the most historic event that city may ever witness, but watching the inauguration from Mr. Jefferson's University was a pretty good second option. It's fairly difficult to elucidate how any of us feel at this moment, but one thing I know is this: in almost 40 years on this planet, up until a year ago I was convinced that my generation had blown it, that the great challenges and responses of Americans who had Come Before Us would be examples which we could look up to, but would never live up to. I think perhaps that more than anything I feel a sense of relief that, given the opportunity and the challenge, we have in this election been able to surpass our fears and our prejudice to do what we need, for the sake of all of us.
There's a long road ahead, but the record shows that with strong leadership, anything is possible. I was asked yesterday if I felt proud that I had "contributed" to the victory (I spent a few days canvassing, a small effort at most) and that's when it hit me: I'm excited about this leadership because it inspires me to action. It inspires we, the people, to do the work that no single person can, or can be expected, to do. It is what makes this a great country and despite all our flaws, all our bitter history, focuses us, in the President's words, "on what you can build, not what you destroy".
And then of course, there is what needs to be said. Despite growing up wrapped in the shroud of white privilege, nothing has scared me more in my life than seeing both the immediate and long-term effects of racism. Reflecting on his society's treatment of black men and women, Jefferson feared that "a just, vengeful God could not sleep forever"; I've often feared for our future because of the way we handled race relations in this country, and I think we've made a major step here by selecting leadership based on ability, vision, and education, putting anything aside that doesn't matter - in the interest of, well, a healthy self interest.
When I woke up this morning, without warning or prompt Reagan's campaign catchphrase popped into my head: "It's morning again in America", and I really believe it is. I'll close by adding that with this promising new leadership I'm really glad I won't have to tell people I'm Canadian when I travel abroad. That was just painful. Things are looking up.