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Photo Retouching "Improving" photos, post-production, correction, etc.

How to achieve the "vogue"-style

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Old 08-04-2005, 08:03 PM
Sean2 Sean2 is offline
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I've ben away for awhile, but just logged and had a look at this piece. I was interested in the comments by Amber, vis a vis the lighting piece, but i would venture to say it is as much the model as the lighting. The Vogue look to me, is very much the thin, stylized fashion model that has angular or planar cheeks and facial features that create the 'look' that can be found in Vogue. Admittedly this changes over time, but none-the -less the styole and models set the tone.

Regarding the retouch, one is often looking at an amateur or good looking individual who is average sixe and perhaps form. A retouch in this case will be quite different in appearance than the svelte, workout driven glam or runway model - how could it be otherwise.

This is not meant to be sexists, simply a statement that perhaps we are trying to compare retouching between apples and oranges instead of apples and apples.... same issue as needing the best shot under the best conditions and lighting in order to effect the most glam retouch.

Am I all wet or do people think it is as simple as taking a normal ohoto an dmaking it vogue, without body and facial surgery combined with lighting touches???


I would also be interested in G Deezy's steps for attaining his retouch.
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Old 08-04-2005, 08:47 PM
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PatrickB PatrickB is offline
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Hi Sean,

I don't think you are right about the "model"-question. I do actually work with pro-models and makeup-artists, yet can't seem to quite get what makes the difference.

I have seen a lot of different photo-styles in Vogue and divide them into three categories: Usual photos, with all the lights and shadow things, just like usual glamour retouch. Pictures with atmosphere like mist and other things. And the last one is the one I am looking for. Obviously shot in a studio, dark uniform background and there is that "decent" overall look. They are somewhat darker, look more flat but yet there is something drawing your attention...

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Old 08-04-2005, 10:46 PM
Sean2 Sean2 is offline
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hmmm perhaps you are right Patrick. However, looking over the V ogue magazine covers, what jumps out is the following:
1_ Classy, tasteful shots
2_Stereotypical beauty
3_High Fashion ( cutting edge etc..)
4_Different looks, but looks that stand the test of time (classic)
5_Quality shots _ airbrushed to the max
6_The definition of Fashion and elegance
7_ The shots are not simply pretty / stunning/ beautiful girls with or without clothes or scantily clad, but fashion plates (euphemism)
8_ Hugo Paez has done some fantastic work with modelling hair/ dresses and other things and he has a great look to some of his fashion shots - could they adorn the cover of Vogue? I think some of them might, but many may be far too dramatic or 'out-their' for a relatively conservative, but tasteful cover.
9_ I wish it was as simple as a bit if technical magic, but I think it is a combination of all the above.

Hugo Paez
Still wondering,



let me know what you think of Mr. Paez's work and if any of those shots meet your expectations for a 'Vogue-ish' look
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Old 08-05-2005, 03:40 PM
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mister fingers mister fingers is offline
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Coutre fashion photography is really about desaturated images with brilliant sharpness. I do retouching for fashion rags and you wouldn't believe the crap I get and have to paint in, everything from makeup to lighting. It's a pain in the ass.

Here's what I might consider:

- Redo the background. The drop paper gradiated background isn't going to cut it. Either flatten it out, or send it way back in the distance.
- Skin tones should be slightly desaturated
- Pump the sharpness on the clothes using a merge-copied layer that has had the Highpass filter run over it in overlay blending mode. Block out the areas you don't want to be sharp with a layer mask.
- Fix the lighting through painting and emphasising highlights. The lighting in the army top photo is far too flat.
- I'd smooth her lightly, but retain skin texture detail through a sharpening layer as I mentioned above. Toy with the opacity to get it right. Make sure the shapening layer is on top of your smoothing.

I'd also might pop the saturation on the clothing just slightly.


Mister Fingers
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Old 08-05-2005, 05:17 PM
Sean2 Sean2 is offline
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Hello Mr. Fingers,

Interesting take (you have to add light and make-up? What the heck are they taking pictures of or what kind of models??)

When you say paint, are you talking about smudging the image or painting over in color? Do you have an example or could you do something with the army top ?

Are you implying that the Vogue mag. is equivalent to the real 'Coutre fashion'?

Sorry for all the questions, this is an interesting thread - for me anyway

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Old 08-05-2005, 06:38 PM
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mister fingers mister fingers is offline
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A lot of high end fashion photographers don't know jack about photography, but they do have a good eye for composition. Sometimes they hit the lighting right, but sometimes I have to literally paint it in.

I mean paint as in painting over with color.

You can see some of my non-commercial work at:

I'd love to take a crack at the army top. Do you have a higher-res version?
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Old 08-06-2005, 02:36 AM
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NancyJ NancyJ is offline
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Is this the kind of thing you're looking for? Since the picture was already retouched this took under a minute to go from soft glamour to high fashion....
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Old 08-06-2005, 03:57 AM
Cassidy Cassidy is offline
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My thoughts after a little playing

Yes the composition of the photo and the pose and clothes make a difference however this picture looks brassier than it needs as the lighting and details are so harsh. With a bit of softening of features using the blur tool and removing all the harsh highlights, I think we end up with a much more sophisticated image. I regard the vogue type shots are being a little more upmarket and tasteful with sometimes a sultry but not brassy look. Anyway, just using the blur tool, this is what I came up with. BTW personally I'd remove the nipple but have not done so here.
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Old 08-28-2006, 07:08 AM
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CMS CMS is offline
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Originally Posted by G Deezy
I posted a similar post "Get the Amateur Look out!" and I think I was referring to the same question as this. I have no problems making professional shots looking better, just not the ones I take! Here is what I came up with...

I know it is late for this thread but maybe you will be allerted!!!

I like this picture a lot !!!! Can you describe the improvments step!!!
I'm photographer in Bucharest and learning a little bit of PS
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Old 08-28-2006, 07:14 AM
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snook305 snook305 is offline
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No those are definetly not "Vogue"ish. They are more like transvestite-ish.
Very 80's and awful Hair and Make-up.
That is why there is a fine line between Vogue and Cheesy..
That site was just horrible in my mind.
Vogue has Class.
Just my 2 cents
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