Magic Decoder Rings

I’ve been experimenting with capturing RAW images from the Canon 5D mk3 using the Magic Lantern ‘hack”. With all that amazing image latitude going to waste in “normal” mode how could you resist! But now I have that power there comes a great responsibility. What is the correct way to move forward with this new power? Magic Decoder Rings, of course! This is my none technical way of describing LUT’s or Look Up Tables (not so sexy). They can transform an image from an ugly duckling into a magnificent swan! Below is an example of a few ways to get the most out of the RAW image. Going from quick and easy to a more complex approach that balances three different “Magic Decoder Rings” to emulate the look and feel of images the way they were created before the age of computers. Using exotic media like Kodak Eastman Vision3 5219 negative for the creation phase and out putting to Vision 2393 Positive Release Print film for the distribution phase (movie theaters, web or marketing), see last example below. Why go to all this expense and trouble you ask? Well, if you want an aesthetic that people see as natural, authentic and beautiful, the film look is the only way to go. For more about the amazing power and beauty of “Film Emulation”, Vision Color is a great resource.

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Shooting Raw

Here is a great example of one of the many advantages of shooting in a RAW format, it captures a scene more closely to the way in which the human eye see’s it and, as a result, looks way better than even an awesome codec like ProRez, which has only 10 stops of dynamic range compared with the 30 stops available in Raw. Even the human eye can’t beat that, at 24 stops, although the eye does have a uber, high tech auto exposure system attached to it called the brain.
If you’re wearing your pocket protector you may want to find out more at this great resource. Cambridge in Color

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