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1.0 out of 5 stars COLOR CORRECTION HANDBOOK professional techniques for video and cinema, Dec 7 2011
This review is from: Color Correction Handbook: Professional Techniques for Video and Cinema (Paperback)
The reason I bought this book was to:
1. be able to calibrate my PC monitor and HDTV to properly show the whole gamut of color and brightness in the videos I make.
2. know how to adjust the color controls of my video editing suite to get the results I was after.

This book totally fails in the first regard which the author says is vital, before any color correction is done. His solutions are to buy an unaffordable $10,000 monitor with a built-in calibration mechanism or to hire a professional to come in routinely to calibrate his monitor. In other words, a total cop-out. The least I expected is a chapter comparing a few of the monitor calibration devices on the market. The reviews of these $100 to $2,000 devices on the Internet show a lot of dissatisfied users, independent of the money spent.

The lighting and color of the room in which the color correction is done is vital. The room should be a neutral gray color, with a 6500K light giving a background brightness of 3.5 ft-Lamberts. The monitor should be set at 35 ft-Lamberts at full white. That's highlight of what I learned from this book.

The author references the operation of a handful of top dollar color correction suites throughout the book in his examples (FilmLight Baselight, Apple Color, DaVinci Resolve and ASSIMILATE SCRATCH). A $6,000 control surface, which is a dedicated control console with trackballs, rings, knobs and buttons, is recommended, as a mouse is just too tedious for this job. All high end stuff, totally out of reach to an amateur like me.

The basic principles of color correction are covered in the first couple of chapters. Luminance, (brightness/contrast) control entails being careful of the extreme whites and blacks, the effective brightness of the images, as well as manipulating the in between by curving the response (gamma), described as distributing midtone contrast. The techniques the author teaches rely on waveforms available only on the most expensive software. His techniques of color correction also rely on waveforms. Again of no use to limited budget types.

After that the author shows example after example of using the tools. To be honest, I didn't care for most of the results he obtained. It may be a mater of personal taste or else of poor color printing of the book. I was getting quite resentful forcing myself to get through the last half of this expensive book.

In the end, I'm no better off because no one can do proper color correction without a properly calibrated monitor. This book is an exercise in frustration for the cost conscious amateur videographer.

In the end, I bought the Dummies book Color management for Digital Photographers, which uses Adobe Photoshop Elements 5 with its limited capabilities, where I learned the principles of color correction. From there I was able to adapt what I learned from the Dummies book and apply it to my mid priced video editing suite. I'm still working on monitor calibration.
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