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Thread: What kind of processing this guy did ?

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    What kind of processing this guy did ?

    Greetings,

    While I was messing around flickr I ran into this guy :

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/44529399@N08

    Man, I love his pictures and no matter how hard I tried, I can't figure out what and how he does thisss...


    Any ideas guys ?

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    Re: What kind of processing this guy did ?

    How much time you feel like investing...he uses Photoshop and various plug-ins.
    User competence would be measured in years.

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    RustBeltRaw's Avatar
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    Re: What kind of processing this guy did ?

    In general, he seems to use the following techniques:

    • Heavy vignetting.
    • Heavier-than-usual lightening of his subjects' eye whites.
    • Strong dose of ACR Clarity or similar local contrast enhancement.
    • Localized tone mapping.

    I am by no means a forensic image technician, but I believe adjustments like that will get you close. Really, I don't think he's doing anything terribly exotic, but he's apply a generally pleasing combination of common edits. The trick is determining how much of each to use.

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    HaseebM's Avatar
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    Re: What kind of processing this guy did ?

    I am no PP savvy but some of his pictures looks like being converted to 'sketch' with whatever software.

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    Administrator Manfred M's Avatar
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    Re: What kind of processing this guy did ?

    If you look at the metadata from his images we can see that his images have been through Photoshop CS5 in post. There are so many different shots and he has used different techniques in the various images. Some of what he has done is definitely a result of how the image was captured.

    I'm on the same page as Lex, as I recognize techniques he mentions in use here.

    Some of the main subjects look like they have been subjected to a “grunge” filter, as the children have that overdone HDR / tone-mapped look to them. If you look at the histograms, they show signs of significant post-processing as the exposure of the background is biased towards the dark end. There is definite ghosting where the subject meets the background; this could be as a result of the HDR effects, but could also be introduced by using the high-pass filter or from a selection used to isolate the foreground from the background with a lot of feathering.

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    Re: What kind of processing this guy did ?

    I appreciate the replies.


    @Lex :

    You mentioned : Heavy vignetting - Heavier-than-usual lightening of his subjects' eye whites - Strong dose of ACR Clarity or similar local contrast enhancement - Localized tone mapping.

    I did get the first two I guess, but I would be thankful if you could explain "Strong dose of ACR Clarity or similar local contrast enhancement + Localized tone mapping" A little more.


    @Manfred : "definite ghosting where the subject meets the background" ummm, You are talking about the unnatural looking whitey shadowish colors, correct ?

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    Re: What kind of processing this guy did ?

    What about the colors? they are damn nice... does it have to do anything with the lens or the camera used (A 5d mII with L serires lens was used and I am pretty sure) ?

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    Administrator Manfred M's Avatar
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    Re: What kind of processing this guy did ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Raysha View Post
    @Manfred : "definite ghosting where the subject meets the background" ummm, You are talking about the unnatural looking whitey shadowish colors, correct ?
    If you pixel peep the boundary of the subject and the background, you will see a light area at the boundary of the shots with the children and background; this is fairly typical of overdone HDRI / tone mapping work, although you can also get it with the other techniques I mentioned in my previous post. A number of technique pick up areas of high contrast and enhance them; this is generally not looked at as a particularly good thing as it is indicative of overprocessing.

    To answer your last post; the colours are generated in post processing and have nothing to do with the capture (camera or lens). Tone mapping, increasing the vibrance or saturation and a host of other techniques can be used to get these rather unnatural looking effects. I doubt saturation is being turned up as the skin tones would tend to be more orange than we see here.

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    Re: What kind of processing this guy did ?

    Hi Redhwan,

    If you go to www.youtube.com/topazlabs you will find tutorials that recreate this exact exact effect. I use Topaz plugins all the time my workflow. My favourites are...DeNoise, Adjust and Clarity.

  10. #10

    Re: What kind of processing this guy did ?

    Yuk, those eyes are awful. They look like the children from "The Midwich Cukoos" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Midwich_Cuckoos.

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    Administrator Manfred M's Avatar
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    Re: What kind of processing this guy did ?

    Quote Originally Posted by dan marchant View Post
    Yuk, those eyes are awful. They look like the children from "The Midwich Cukoos" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Midwich_Cuckoos.
    I agree, but it fits well with the plastic-looking skin. I'm not a fan of the HDRI "grunge" look, but there are enough people it seems to appeal to.

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    Re: What kind of processing this guy did ?

    Quote Originally Posted by GrumpyDiver View Post
    I agree, but it fits well with the plastic-looking skin. I'm not a fan of the HDRI "grunge" look, but there are enough people it seems to appeal to.
    Yep... There are a lot of ppl who likes it... Just like me

  13. #13
    Administrator Manfred M's Avatar
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    Re: What kind of processing this guy did ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Raysha View Post
    Yep... There are a lot of ppl who likes it... Just like me
    In that case I suggest you look at some of the standalone or plug ins that create these effects. You don't actually need to shoot a set of images to apply tone mapping, a lot of people do tone map a single image. You can also create your own image by manipulating a RAW file into three different exposure.

    Photomatix Pro 4.0 is one of the most popular products. I have used both Oloneo Photoengine and NIK HDR Efex Pro 2. Luminance HDR is free, but I have not used it. I think you will find most serious photographers don't particularly like the look and tend to stay away from HDRI because there are a lot of examples of images like the ones you have linked to.

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    RustBeltRaw's Avatar
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    Re: What kind of processing this guy did ?

    I'm rather pleased with some of my results from NIK HDR Efex Pro 2.0, but I tend to steer away from HDRing or tone mapping photos with people in them. Looks a mite creepy, to my mind. A Joel Grimes-style composite portrait with an HDR background? No problem.

    Quote Originally Posted by Raysha
    I did get the first two I guess, but I would be thankful if you could explain "Strong dose of ACR Clarity or similar local contrast enhancement + Localized tone mapping" A little more.
    ACR is Adobe Camera RAW, Photoshop's built-in RAW file processor. Clarity is one of its sharpening algorithms. The look of those photos reminded me of shots where I've pumped Clarity too high (for my tastes), so I suspect that's one of this photog's tools.

    Local contrast enhancement is selecting a certain area of the photo, and increasing its contrast significantly. Generally used when you have multiple types of subject matter in the shot, one of which looks good when the details are brought out, and one which doesn't. In this case, the photog's using techniques traditionally applied to buildings and gritty architecture shots to portraits.

    Localized tone mapping is similar to local contrast enhancement, but comes with a different mood. Imagine going at the photo with a Sharpie and drawing heavily in the shadows, deepening and spreading them out. If you see an HDR with pervasive, creeping blacks, this is how it's done. "Localized" just means the technique's applied at different intensities throughout the photo, generally dependent on the subject matter.

    All of these methods are simply one way to achieve a similar look. It's entirely possible that these shots come from a pre-made NIK, Topaz, or Photomatix process. There are many ways to skin a cat.

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