Sometimes the hardest part about nature and wildlife filmmaking is editing. You can shoot the most incredible footage but if your goal is to make films from your footage, you need to learn to edit.

Editing however is more than just trimming clips down to size, placing them on a timeline and adding some music and you’re done. One of the most involved and often tedious part of editing is post processing.

Post Processing Is Where The Magic Begins

The most common post processing in any type of filmmaking is color correction and exposure adjustments. Color correcting is where you adjust the colors of your footage to either to eliminate any color bias your camera may have or to change the “look” of your footage to set a certain mood.

A lot of filmmakers will shoot their footage “flat”, meaning they have a large dynamic range and the colors are rather dull. In post processing, they’ll adjust the contrast and tweak the colors to get the look that they want.

I’ve taken a different approach and I’ve adjusted my cameras settings to give me the look I want “in-camera”. So what is recorded on my P2 cards is pretty much how I want the footage to look. It’s not for everyone but I know what I like so I just set my camera to deliver that look and I can then focus on telling the story when it comes to editing and not have to worry really about how the footage looks.

Sometimes Post Processing Can’t Be Avoided

Even though my camera gives me the saturated colors and the crushed black that I like, sometimes there are shots that just have to be addressed in post. In the video below I’ll show you how to use a color mask to adjust an over-exposed moon setting behind a snow-covered mountain.

Check out the video and please, leave a comment if you found it helpful. This is my first editing tutorial and if you found it useful, I’ll certainly start doing more of them. Like anything, the more I do, the better I’ll get at them. So leave a comment below and let me know what you need help with and I’ll do my best to try and help!
And as always, shoot the ordinary and make it extraordinary!

Kevin J Railsback is a wildlife and nature filmmaker