Here's How You Can Use FiLMiC's Firstlight App On Your Next Location Scout

The photo app has some brand new film emulations. 

Most of us are FaMiLiaR with FiLMiC Pro, the mobile app that expands the functionality of your smartphone's camera. It's an intuitive filmmaking tool that lets you dial in resolution, frame rate, color temperature, and adjust aperture and focus on the fly. The company also makes a photography app dubbed Firstlight for iOS and Android. It's probably something most of us would ignore, but they've added a crop of film emulations in a recent update that could be useful on your next location scout. 

How? 

We've all taken photos of locations that we like and want to remember as we prep our projects. But if you want to see how that location looks using a certain LUT or grade, we generally process that in post using Resolve or Photoshop after the fact. With Firstlight, you could take a photo of the location and apply one of the film emulations to see what the location is giving you. Granted, the final look of the project would have to aspire to look like that emulation, but at least it's something that can provide you with immediate feedback at the location. 

When planning black and white projects, this is something we often do when it comes to location scouts. Take a photo, drop the saturation, see how it looks. A colorful world is going to look more different than a black and white environment. So much so, it can affect your location choice. You can take that idea one step further with Firstlight, or any other app that provides similar filters. What's nice about Firstlight, is it gives you the ability to control the ISO and shutter speed to dial in that perfect photo. 

The new emulations Firstlight includes are called Plus, based on Kodak ColorPlus 200, Gold, which is similar to Kodak Gold, and Gypsum based on Kodak Porta UC. On top of that, they've added two new film emulations called Layton and Chrome. 

FiLMiC says all of its film emulations have better rendering capabilities and there's a reduced color bleed for IR film emulations with the update. This includes all the vintage film simulations that are available. Additionally, the app has added an RGB histogram, an Auto Exposure mode, better focus and exposure controls, among others enhancements and fixes. 

If FiLMiC keeps adding more looks and film simulations to the app, or even allows users to import one of your own, it could become a pretty killer app for location referencing. The one caveat is Firstlight does cost $7.99 in the Apple App Store and Google Play Store. 

Do you have any budget-friendly ways to emulate grades on location? Let the community know in the comments section.      

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