Coloring your footage used to be a thing you would hand off to a dedicated colorist and for good reason - colorists can make a huge difference in the way your film looks as they are masters at understanding and manipulating luminance and color.
Not every project can afford to bring on a colorist which is a shame - with a lot of filmmakers shooting log and raw footage from their digital cameras, there is definitely color work needed in post.
I have personally struggled with color for years. I taught myself to color correct an image but creating a look for a film or having all my shots across a film look consistent was hard and at times frustrating. Working on short turnarounds probably didn't help any.
When the whole LUT thing started, I saw it as a solution to my problem. I would color correct all my footage, trying hard to get everything to match, then start sifting through LUTS to see which would look best only to find that the one I liked looked great with some shots, okay with a few, and terrible with others. (Does this sound familiar?)
Don't get me wrong - LUT's are cool. I use a C-Log to Rec.709 LUT to get my grade going if I'm finishing in Premiere. I like to see how LUT's affect my image, but in order for me to become a better filmmaker, I decided it was time to really start to understand color. I've spent the last six months studying Davinci Resolve as well as studying the principles of color. I have a long way to go, but here are some resources that are helping me create footage that looks better:
FilmSimplified - http://filmsimplified.com/
On sale during the Christmas season, I purchased the Davinci Color Grading Simplified course which served as a great introduction to understanding DaVinci Resolve. The lessons are simple and short, and quickly detail how to work in the Color Tab of Davinci Resolve.
After viewing these lessons and practicing, I was able to take my C-Log footage shot with my C100 Mark II and start to grade a series of images from scratch - no LUTS. I started to get better at quickly correcting a shot and being able to start to match the looks of different shots.
I immediately began to realize how much more powerful Davinci is then grading in the Lumetri panel.
Matt Scott Visuals - http://mattscottvisuals.com/tutorials/
I've mentioned Matt Scott's blog in another post, but it's worth mentioning here. There are only two Davinci tutorial videos on this blog, but I think they are both excellent for both beginner and intermediate users of Resolve. Matt approaches color in a very logical way and hearing him break down his thought process helped me to think about my images in the same manner.
David Torvicia - https://www.youtube.com/user/davidtorcivia/videos
There are 11 tutorial videos on David's Youtube channel all about working with color in Resolve. They range from 10 minutes to over an hour long. David does some interesting work and talks a lot about the decision making and reasoning process a colorist uses to shape the images they work on. There is a lot more to color than pushing some buttons, moving some sliders, and loading some LUT's and David walks through a lot of videos and commercials he has worked on and why he made the color choices he did.
Goat's Eye View - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC0xNsrzO-7vnWuCKwqgw2ng
This is a Youtube channel with over 100 tutorials that walk you through using Davinci Resolve 12 and 12.5. If you can't afford the Film Simplified course, then this is a great place to learn about Davinci for free and in bite sized chunks. Daria takes you not only through the color tab but also through the editing and importing sections of Resolve as well. The content on this channel keeps coming and at this point is more comprehensive than what you will learn in the Film Simplified course.
If you really like color, Blackmagic announced two super low cost interfaces for color grading with DaVinci Resolve - considering these typically cost about $30,000 and you can now get in the game for either $1,000 for the Micro Panel pictured or the Mini for $2995 I'd say that a lot more enthusiasts are about to start calling themselves colorists.
I have no idea how Blackmagic makes any money with these low price points but I'm not complaining.
Have a nice day and leave a fucking comment already.