Benjamin Lambinet is an independent French filmmaker who designs LUTs for professionals to achieve a stunning professional cinematic film look for their footage. His fan base on Instagram exceeds 29.8 K followers and he is keen to share his knowledge with fellow digital content makers.
In 2007, Benjamin started working as an independent graphic designer. At that time, he worked mainly on projects of web design, book layout, logotype, and art direction. His passion for photography gave him a chance to do small shootings to help other clients. Benjamin quickly became interested in color correction and color grading, in order to give a better rendering to amateur images and to create particular atmospheres.
Tell us how you found yourself designing the most popular LUTs!
Thanks to all my professional and amateur projects, I built a small personal library of LUTs.
And in early 2015 I decided to launch my pack of LUTs. I named it IWLTBAP for “I would like to be a pony”. Why? Why not?! (Yes, it’s stupid to choose an unpronounceable name, but I think it’s fun.) Initially, my pack contained only 25 LUTs. I wanted to do something simple, cheap and practical. Today, my Cinematic pack contains more than 200 original looks.
I needed a platform to distribute my product. I was immediately seduced by the service offered by Sellfy, because the design is very clear and pleasant, and the functions are complete and offer many marketing tools (email marketing, discount codes, social networks, statistics, pay-what-you-want, etc.). I am pleased to see how Sellfy has evolved a lot in a few years, bringing many additional functions, so useful for the development of a company like mine.
What’s the process like working on LUTs?
Creating a LUT for the pack requires much more time than doing a color grading on a specific scene. The LUT must be generic and must « behave » correctly in as many situations as possible. There are many things to consider, for example, the different colors of skin.
It’s a very complicated process, much more complex than we might think.
Before starting a color grading work, it’s necessary to make a plan: to know the color space, the image profile used in a camera, to know what the diffusion type will be. Then the first step is color correction. It’s a question of correcting the image in general in order to make it « neutral ». After that, you correct exposure, white balance, contrast, etc. This process may vary depending on the project.
Once the image is properly balanced, you can start the second step — the color grading. It’s about giving an atmosphere to the image, a look, an original creative touch. LUTs are extremely useful tools for this step. It’s important to see LUTs as tools in their own right and not as magic filters. You can combine the LUTs, you can use them before a manual color grading or as a final touch.
It’s important to always keep an eye on the scopes in your editing software. Learn how they work and how to interpret them. You’ll avoid mistakes. You can trust the scopes, but not your eyes or your monitor.
Your audience on Instagram exceeds 29.8 K and posts are liked more than 1’000 times. What are your tricks for promoting your work on Instagram and to drive such engagement?
Overall, I would say that we have to be honest and don’t do aggressive or off-topic promotion. On Instagram I would use only hashtags related to the post. In my opinion, getting “Like” for “Like” is useless. With every post, I try to impress, seduce and surprise my followers. I started with zero followers and never bought followers or likes.
Each progression must be seen as a challenge: 100 followers, 1.000 followers, 10.000 followers! Be patient and keep the motivation!
As the LUTs can be seen as something complex, I try to popularize at maximum and show examples of LUTs in use that speak to the general public. For example, I try to find ungraded still frames from recent theater movies and I recreate the original grade using my LUTs. Otherwise, I can spend a lot of time to « reverse » the grade of a still frame and then try a different look. I can spend hours on an Instagram post…
What advice would you give to someone who might be interested in doing what you do?
To attract people and keep them interested, I try to provide a lot of free stuff such as free LUTs or online tools.
I created a few LUTs based on the look of the beautiful music video «Humble» by Kendrick Lamar. Same thing with the look used by Jon Olsson in his daily vlogs.
I always use Instagram and Facebook to announce the free stuff. Also, I built a small free app for iPhone to apply some filters on photos. It’s named «Gamma 35mm», but I plan to rebuild the app because it’s a bit buggy nowadays.
And I developed a free application for Mac and Windows, named LUT Generator, it allows you to create LUTs from Lightroom presets, for example. Everybody loves free stuff!
Never see people as walking wallets. Think more about your community rather than making one or a few sales. Build your own community, with love and passion!
Where did you get inspiration for your new product Psychedelia LUTs Pack?
For this new pack, I was inspired by infrared photography. This type of photography consists of using an infrared filter having a specific wavelength and controlling the colors that arrive on the sensor of the camera. You can get an image with very surreal colors, like with the vegetation that becomes pink or white. The « problem » of this type of process is that it’s not possible to protect a specific tint. I wanted to create a set of LUTs based on this type of colors, but keeping the original skin tones and neutral colors. I played on the tints of vegetation, sky, water as well as shadows and dark tones. Finally, we get very original looks with flamboyant colors, perfect for travel or artistic videos. It’s full of creativity!
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