I've noticed that I am sucker for separation of color to create depth in a scene, therefore I have always wanted to understand it. The most common example being blue / warm separation (Yes, this can be over-used).
Take for example the short "Modern Love" (DP David Lanzenberg)
This short has a distinct color palette that I find visually appealing. My gut tells me that the camera was balanced closer to tungsten and the scene was lit with a tungsten key for the talent, then daylight balanced lights in the background. But I also know this look can also be accomplished digitally by lighting a scene with the same color temperature bulbs, then isolating skin tones in post to affect surrounding elements in the frame.
I have a hard time distinguishing when one technique is used over another.
Another example being Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (2011 - DP Jeff Cronenweth)
With this scene, I have a strong feeling that it mostly altered in post to add greens to shadows / mids while not affecting skin tones. (disregarding the warm light motivated by a fire which is clearly a gelled source [probably])
TLDR: How is it possible to tell which technique a DP employs to create depth using separation of color in a scene, and what influences a DP to do so?
Edited by Kevin Fischer, 21 January 2015 - 11:45 AM.