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europe ads / tones, levels evened.

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Old 07-26-2010, 10:25 AM
Gee Gee is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Brussels
Posts: 262
europe ads / tones, levels evened.

hello there. been a while. i'm still looking thru this amazing forum though i don't have much time to be relevant/active lately.

ok, long thread (! ;p)

over the past few months i've been trying to get nicer tones on my images. tones evened, lowered down selective saturation/desaturation etc via a large panel of ways. "solid colors layers" at various opacity, hue/sat, color balance, selective colors and all, all used with calculated masks or channels. i think i learned a lot that way, about masking, and most def about my whole postproduction workflow/skills. i can't remember the last time i DIDNT used calculations on one of my pictures. it's an amazing tool. -thanks retouchpro, its forums and its members for that, by the way.

so far so good, but i wanna do... nicer things. again. and again. i don't wanna stand at the same point over and over again.

something i like about nice, evened tones & levels is it gives to the pictures a really clean look. you aren't sidetracked by a too powerful/saturated "stand alone tone" which pops up from somewhere. it's even. and it looks beautiful to my own tastes.

over the past few months i've been trying a lot to reach that point.
here's a batch of my attempts, not necessarely "the best pics ever" but there's where i got closer i think. i know, i'm gonna link a good 10 pics. that way you'll see exactly where i stand at this time:

one MAIN thing i noticed is there's usually TWO main tones.
usually opposites to each other. so you won't get too much sidetracked.
a good thing aswell is you have to be careful to low down some useless tones. in some of my pics if green tones aren't useful i just "kill them" for example. that way there's not "too much different tones" on the same pics.

again, i mask using calculations, channels, color range etc to work on each tone separatly and on each picture's zones locally. i barely use one single adjustement layer w/out any calculated mask. same thing with contrast, level etc etc.

but i miss something. experience, of course. but i'm pretty sure i miss something from the start. sometimes evening the tones on a pic is really, really, really tricky for me. its more easy for me to get the feel/touch i want to my pics when i'm shooting slighty overexposated from the start. i can control my tones more easily that way. of course that doesnt apply to every single picture; i need to be able to move forward on a larger set of expositions/framings etc.

here's some examples of what i'd like to reach at some point. cause it looks so simple, so evened, so clean and gives a really nice touch/feel to the images..

some things i know:
DSLR used, nikon D3.
probably some composites things... like few exposures done for some different parts.
natural light only.

- i rarely do multiple exposures, it happens i do multliple versions from the same raw then i layer them in PS via smart objects & masks but no more -

and last but not least the example pics:

any tips to get a better approach for the tones?
any visible missing step?
thank you sooo much,

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Old 07-26-2010, 11:21 AM
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garibaldi garibaldi is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 363
Re: europe ads / tones, levels evened.

I think that the style of your images and the style of the ones you are asking about are quite different. Yours are very bright, snappy and contrasty, harder light and colors are more popped. The examples you posted have more of a mood to them, single source light, diffused and softer, so while there are dark shadows, the falloff to them is more gradual and not as hard. The tone is warmer also.
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Old 08-02-2010, 08:07 PM
PixieMeat PixieMeat is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 8
Re: europe ads / tones, levels evened.

your color palet is mostly cool while the examples you show are warmer and I also think you're using too much light... personally I like your own photos more, for what they are. I too have a difficult time mimicking another photographer's colors and mood in my photos. No matter what they never look exactly like what I'm going for, but I think that's what sets us apart from each other personally. Perhaps something to think about... In short, learn to embrace the look you have and build on that, because its unique and beautiful the way it is.

also, when did Geil get so old looking? lol
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