Leeming LUT One

Screen Shot 2017-04-03 at 3.02.11 PMFor years, I’d been struggling to get good skin tones and dynamic range from my GH3 and GH4 cameras using the Natural photo style with contrast dialed all the way down and applying LUTs in post. So when I purchased the G85 a few months ago, I decided to give Standard profile a chance, trying my best to manually white balance and get the image right in camera in order not to have to spend hours color correcting in post. I was getting pretty good at custom white balancing by eye, which is a valuable skill to master, as it isn’t always possible to use an X-Rite Color Checker when you’re doing street photography, where lighting conditions are constantly changing from one shot to the next. And after a couple of months, I noticed a significant improvement in skin tones, but contrast was still unacceptably high. Then the other night, I happened upon Paul Leeming’s LUTs over at DVXuser, where I learned about exposing to the right, which basically is setting your zebras at 105%, closing the aperture or adjusting the ISO until the zebras just disappear and the histogram is still ETTR, resulting in the widest possible dynamic range and the least noise in the shadows. I gave it a shot, and while I didn’t use a card for white balance, and I made the mistake of underexposing my clips, skin tones and contrast are much more pleasing than what I’d been able to obtain with Standard photo style. According to Paul Leeming, with the GH5, V-log Lite yields two stops more dynamic range than Cinelike D, so I’ll have to give that a go when my GH5 arrives in a few weeks.

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