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Thread: Glamour photography

  1. #1
    Alis's Avatar
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    Glamour photography

    What does glamour photography mean exactly? What do they do to the pictures that they look so nice and shiny and alive? Any references anybody can suggest? Websites, techniques?

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    Re: Glamour photography

    Glamour is for "tasteful" nudes. It's the genre that shows off the beauty of the human body.

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    Re: Glamour photography

    Quote Originally Posted by Alis View Post
    What does glamour photography mean exactly? What do they do to the pictures that they look so nice and shiny and alive? Any references anybody can suggest? Websites, techniques?
    How about this for starters?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glamour_photography

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    Re: Glamour photography

    May be I did not phrase the question clearly but I am looking for some kind of techniques they actually use to make those images look more "glamorous". And it is not just about women and nudity, I see on these photographer's websites that these are ordinary pictures, usually portraits or wedding pictures of the bride and the groom made "prettier".


    One of the things I noticed for example is that looks like the periphery of the picture is blurred or the brightness is exaggerated to give the images that look. I am of course just guessing here, if I knew what they do exactly I would do it myself.

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    Re: Glamour photography

    I would think it comes down to the posing. It's similer to fashion, except in this case it's the person/body that is the focus, not the product.

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    Re: Glamour photography

    Quote Originally Posted by Alis View Post

    One of the things I noticed for example is that looks like the periphery of the picture is blurred or the brightness is exaggerated to give the images that look. I am of course just guessing here, if I knew what they do exactly I would do it myself.
    Sounds like Ali-the-serial-shooter is planning the next series of shots for his son!

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    Re: Glamour photography

    Besides posing and make up, glamour photography is all the use of "creative lighting and exposure" to put the model literally in "the best frame of lighting". The use of strobes and light modifiers are commonly used with "airbrushing and creative layers" techniques in Ps post. But "purists" like myself will just use light modifiers, strobes, and glass effect filters with the most minimum of Ps retouching. I use Lr mostly for correcting tones and standard processing.

    Matt Kloskowski's book "Layers" is a good place to start, and there are numerous posing books out on the market. Bottom line is "glamour" is all about mastering the essentials of creative lighting. You don't have to start off with a lot, it's as simple as using a single flash and reflector with multi surfaces.

    For example, just using natural window light and a large white reflector up close (it's to her left, if you look closely; you can see it in her eyes. It's just out of camera view.), I used a soft glass filter to diffuse the light for a more natural glow. You do have to understand how f stops, shutter speed, and ISOs works in conjunction and reciprocity.


    Glamour photography
    Last edited by Amberglass; 23rd October 2009 at 12:23 PM. Reason: correction

  8. #8

    Re: Glamour photography

    Hi Amberglass

    For me "glamour" is one of two things - firstly, those classic B & W studio shots
    from the 30's etc. - or, "glamour" = "cheap". As in cheap models, cheap pictures,
    and cheap thrills...

    The image you have posted is not, to my mind, "glamour" - it is a portrait... and
    a very pleasing and attractive portrait - but a portrait, nontheless.

    Hope this hasn't offended?

    cheers
    B

  9. #9
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    Re: Glamour photography

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    Sounds like Ali-the-serial-shooter is planning the next series of shots for his son!
    Now you are profiling me "based on the case evidence", Dr. Lecter?

    But no, I am not at that point yet. Most of the shots you see from me are the second shot. For the first shot, he looks away from the camera, when he checks back to see if I am mad, that when I take the second one and those are the ones with his face visible!

    But, I am still trying to see why I am not able to produce the quality of pictures say these wedding photographers produce, not that necessarily I like the exaggerated features they like but nevertheless, it bothers me not knowing how much of it can come out of camera, how much is the effect of lighting, filters, reflectors, and how much is the result of them playing with the images in PP.

    I never had a chance to work with someone closely to see what goes on in real world...

    I wish we could talk more, Colin, but I am shooting a friend for dinner
    Last edited by Alis; 23rd October 2009 at 04:07 PM.

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    Re: Glamour photography

    Quote Originally Posted by Amberglass View Post
    Besides posing and make up, glamour photography is all the use of "creative lighting and exposure" to put the model literally in "the best frame of lighting". The use of strobes and light modifiers are commonly used with "airbrushing and creative layers" techniques in Ps post. But "purists" like myself will just use light modifiers, strobes, and glass effect filters with the most minimum of Ps retouching. I use Lr mostly for correcting tones and standard processing.

    Matt Kloskowski's book "Layers" is a good place to start, and there are numerous posing books out on the market. Bottom line is "glamour" is all about mastering the essentials of creative lighting. You don't have to start off with a lot, it's as simple as using a single flash and reflector with multi surfaces.

    For example, just using natural window light and a large white reflector up close (it's to her left, if you look closely; you can see it in her eyes. It's just out of camera view.), I used a soft glass filter to diffuse the light for a more natural glow. You do have to understand how f stops, shutter speed, and ISOs works in conjunction and reciprocity.

    Hi Amber,

    Thanks for the info.

    The portrait looks great. I think it has the right amount of "glamour" I am talking about. It is amazing that you get all of this right out of the camera.

    I have seen a lot of video tutorials from Mat. The book must be interesting.

    One question: can you give me more info on the type of reflectors and filters you usually use for these shots. The basic stuff you think I need to start. I mean what brands and where to buy them

    Thanks again!

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    Re: Glamour photography

    Quote Originally Posted by Bunter View Post
    Hi Amberglass

    For me "glamour" is one of two things - firstly, those classic B & W studio shots
    from the 30's etc. - or, "glamour" = "cheap". As in cheap models, cheap pictures,
    and cheap thrills...

    The image you have posted is not, to my mind, "glamour" - it is a portrait... and
    a very pleasing and attractive portrait - but a portrait, nontheless.

    Hope this hasn't offended?

    cheers
    B
    No Bunter, I am not offended. Glamour photography is actually a "genre of Portraiture" but belongs in the sub categories of lifestyle, documentary, and environmental photography. The subjects are all usually intentionally posed(but not always) and the use of creative lighting/exposure is used (fore, mid, background, or combination).

    It doesn't have to be a full body shot; face, head, head/shoulders, and back/torso is also applicable. It's not the genre that makes an image "look cheap" but the photographer who doesn't have much standards or vision in his/her work. BW, color, or variation of is also applicable but not just BWs.

    The sub genre of Glamour are classic hollywood, fashion, sports, beauty, and boudoir just to name a few. If you want "quality classic glamour", my personal favorite images:

    http://www.amazon.com/Hurrells-Holly...ref=pd_sim_b_3
    Last edited by Amberglass; 23rd October 2009 at 04:10 PM. Reason: add on

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    Re: Glamour photography

    Quote Originally Posted by Alis View Post
    The portrait looks great. I think it has the right amount of "glamour" I am talking about. It is amazing that you get all of this right out of the camera.

    One question: can you give me more info on the type of reflectors and filters you usually use for these shots. The basic stuff you think I need to start. I mean what brands and where to buy them

    Thanks again!
    I personally love Hoya Soft A glass filter (B is too dreamy of a look, not my personal favorite, but to some it is), a star, and/or cross effect filter. There are other standard effects, warming, and enhancing filters that you can buy but most can be reproduced via software applications or plug ins like Tiffen Efx (if you want to save some cash). I started with film so, already invested in my filters ages ago.

    But honestly to start, a 32 inch collapsible 5 in 1 reflector is a good size for individual shots. But a 48+ is better for couples and groups but not by yourself. Note, you will need a stand and sandbags if you're without an assistant. I really like the Lasolite tri grips when I'm alone; just a matter of putting my camera on a tripod and using my free hand to hold the reflector. But stands and boom arms are way life easier.

    This is an airbrush or layering technique to smooth out the skin, but again. Minimally.
    Glamour photography

    You can purchase reflectors from most good photography shops or online. Not sure where you are to recommend. But in USA, BH photos and video or Adorama are the two I use all the time for gear and accessories. Remember, you get what you pay for. Very cheap reflectors can be very flimsy and a pain to work with.
    Last edited by Amberglass; 23rd October 2009 at 03:15 PM. Reason: correction

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    Re: Glamour photography

    Wow Amber that's a great picture.

    What do you exactly mean by a 5 in 1 reflector? Do you have a link as an example?

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    Re: Glamour photography

    Quote Originally Posted by KentDub View Post
    Wow Amber that's a great picture.

    What do you exactly mean by a 5 in 1 reflector? Do you have a link as an example?
    Here you go: http://www.adorama.com/PFMD42.html?s...nfo=reflectors

    The shiny surfaces of the gold and silver (or variations of) are not meant to be used "up tight or close and personal". The surface gives off or bounces a very specular light which is "harsh on the model's eyes". It's no different than you looking straight down into a sheet of aluminum foil bouncing the light back into your eyes, not good.

    When using the silver or gold reflectors, please do it from a distance. After all, you are "reflecting" a light source. Hint: if subject is squinting, then the reflector is too close. Change your angle to feather out the exposure.
    Last edited by Amberglass; 23rd October 2009 at 03:26 PM. Reason: add

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    Re: Glamour photography

    Hrm... Looks like it may be worth getting one. Do you use it instead of, or in addition to strobes?

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    Re: Glamour photography

    Quote Originally Posted by KentDub View Post
    Hrm... Looks like it may be worth getting one. Do you use it instead of, or in addition to strobes?
    Both. Alone and in conjunction. You will have to train your eyes to "see the light changes", not just place it at 45 degree angle and take a shot. The changes will be "subtle" but if done correctly, you will get amazing results.

    Most images you see in glamour and beauty magazines are heavily photoshopped. I hate that. I like to show the beauty of the individual within. Yeah yeah, it's corny but true. Remember you are working and bending light in your favor. Shadows are your friend if done properly to add contrast and details, but also refines as well as enlighten.

    Here's one with two strobes (one behind curtain, one in front with shoot thru umbrella (but can be achieved with diffuser on flash on flash bracket), and a white reflector on the right of her. I don't normally use strobes all that much, but with the days shortening and daylight fading fast. I don't have much choice. It does takes time when you venture into this form of photography.

    Glamour photography
    Last edited by Amberglass; 23rd October 2009 at 03:51 PM. Reason: correct

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    Re: Glamour photography

    Thanks, Amber. Very useful.

    And very nice portraits!

    I thought I am done buying stuff but it never ends I guess. The hard part is to actually read another book

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    Re: Glamour photography

    Quote Originally Posted by Alis View Post
    I thought I am done buying stuff but it never ends I guess.
    I know... I'm starting to regret Amazon's one-click ordering .... I'll be busy mastering some new techniques next week though!

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    Re: Glamour photography

    May I make a suggestion? I recommend that you take a formal class is portraiture and creative flash/lighting instead of reading a book, though they are helpful references. You will learn faster with hands on and collaboration from other students, and instructor.

  20. #20
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    Re: Glamour photography

    Quote Originally Posted by Amberglass View Post
    May I make a suggestion? I recommend that you take a formal class is portraiture and creative flash/lighting instead of reading a book, though they are helpful references. You will learn faster with hands on and collaboration from other students, and instructor.

    I've noticed you we live very close. I live in Brookline. Do you know any good place to do that? I have been looking around but most courses (at the New England School of Photography, New England Institute of Art, Boston University, etc are either too basic or too expensive). Any suggestions?

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