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The demystification of... Vogue colour?

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  #16  
Old 12-20-2011, 07:03 PM
adtechniques adtechniques is offline
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Re: The demystification of... Vogue colour?

When you say "blur", is that "filter >>blur? How to blur soft light layer while keeping the details?
Do you have samples we can view?
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  #17  
Old 12-20-2011, 07:26 PM
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Andrew B. Andrew B. is offline
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Re: The demystification of... Vogue colour?

Oops. Sorry. I mean filter|blur|Gaussian blur. The level of blur would be low enough that you can make out features (eyes, nose, etc.) in the little preview screen on the filter. And at the same time you can also see the result by looking at the picture on the work area.

Edit: I figured out a way to demo this. Attached are two versions of a photo I found elsewhere on this forum. I first did a quick color correct. Then I made a blurred version. This will give you an idea of how much to blur. Pull these photos into your software, with the blurred one on a layer above the regular one. Set to soft light. You can also try it with two copies of the unblurred one, set the top to soft light. See the result. Then try to blur it yourself. You either blur or not blur depending on the need.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Portrait-Bara-cropped.jpg (50.9 KB, 103 views)
File Type: jpg Portrait-Bara-cropped-blur.jpg (17.8 KB, 102 views)

Last edited by Andrew B.; 12-20-2011 at 07:45 PM. Reason: added more info
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  #18  
Old 12-21-2011, 05:11 AM
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oneredpanther oneredpanther is offline
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Re: The demystification of... Vogue colour?

Thanks to everyone for your detailed responses, particularly John Wheeler for your detailed analysis. There are some interesting points here to consider; I think it will still take a long time for me to understand this problem however, since I don't believe we've approached a convincing workflow to explain it yet.

Since it's christmas I'd like to give a special mention to Andrew B. above, whom I fear has lost his mind :P

A blurred soft light layer is functionally equivalent to just adjusting Contrast, as far as I can tell. Out of curiosity I did some comparisons of using varius radii blurred softlights and comparing them to various strength contrast adjustment layers and I couldn't tell the difference to be honest.

I don't think papers or scanners comes into it either, since I'm talking about how these images look on screen, rather than on the page.

My quest continues!
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  #19  
Old 12-21-2011, 08:28 AM
Fostercat Fostercat is offline
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Re: The demystification of... Vogue colour?

You people need to spend more time examining our having examined, your own heads. There is no 'look', it's some random guy or girl sitting in front of a computer working with the photographer and/or art director until they get something that they approve of. Then, when it all goes to press, it's the press persons subjective tweaking here and there which never looks just like it did when it left the post production house or the match print. There's no magic and nothing to analyze. Every photo shoot is different and it's done by someone different 94.78% of the time.

BTW, YOU don't know how to light and you don't know how to dodge and burn. You're all wannabees. You don't understand what it means to be a "retoucher" in the slightest. And you know what, you never will. It's your mindset, what's asked of you and what's put in front of you that is the problem. You have no basic understanding of the process because you've not done it for 10,000 hours. You may have done something for 100,000 hours, but you're not doing it. There is no subjectivity in your suppositions because you don't have the experience and your thinking is wrong.
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  #20  
Old 12-21-2011, 08:43 AM
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oneredpanther oneredpanther is offline
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Re: The demystification of... Vogue colour?

Your attitude is disgusting. You make sledgehammer judgements about a community of people who are trying to get ahead in a skillset for which there is no established starting point, no training school, no educational ladder, no training schemes and no accreditation and where every person's route is different and every story is unique.

Simply because we do not all find ourselves interns at agencies for years, does not mean we should stop learning new things and exploring whatever we choose. Some avenues are dead ends, others not. To stop being inquisitive is to die.

Your attitude and personal outlook are personal, they are not absolute. You seem to believe that someone who has not yet found the world's greatest piano teacher should simply stop learning the piano, keel over and die because evidently they will never reach your world class standards by any other possible means.

Write a book or column about the troubles you took to get where you are, instead of condescending to those who might actually admire your work.

Merry christmas.
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  #21  
Old 12-21-2011, 09:56 AM
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Andrew B. Andrew B. is offline
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Re: The demystification of... Vogue colour?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fostercat View Post
There is no 'look', it's some random guy or girl sitting in front of a computer working with the photographer and/or art director until they get something that they approve of.
Actually, there are standard looks that get used (and overused) again and again. Some even have names. Some go back to darkroom photography.

But you are right about many people here not being at a pro level. That's why they are here asking questions and trying to learn. That's why they practice in the retouch challenges. And any answer is going to be brief and oversimplified. Its the nature of the medium. It's impossible to give any explanation that is applicable to every retouch situation.

I will add something though. IMO, the best way to get started on this stuff is to sign up at Lynda.com and watch some online classes for a month or two. It's much cheaper than buying DVDs, and much easier than reinventing the wheel.
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  #22  
Old 12-21-2011, 10:01 AM
ShadowLight ShadowLight is offline
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Re: The demystification of... Vogue colour?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fostercat View Post
You people need to spend more time examining our having examined, your own heads. There is no 'look', it's some random guy or girl sitting in front of a computer working with the photographer and/or art director until they get something that they approve of. Then, when it all goes to press, it's the press persons subjective tweaking here and there which never looks just like it did when it left the post production house or the match print. There's no magic and nothing to analyze. Every photo shoot is different and it's done by someone different 94.78% of the time.

BTW, YOU don't know how to light and you don't know how to dodge and burn. You're all wannabees. You don't understand what it means to be a "retoucher" in the slightest. And you know what, you never will. It's your mindset, what's asked of you and what's put in front of you that is the problem. You have no basic understanding of the process because you've not done it for 10,000 hours. You may have done something for 100,000 hours, but you're not doing it. There is no subjectivity in your suppositions because you don't have the experience and your thinking is wrong.
you funny

if you were right, then YOU won't make a difference between the images in Vogue and METRO (your friendly free subway newspaper)... so enough said.

re:colours, in the examples you see that all those are toned differently; The skin-texture is clean (good skin of the model, makeup, skin cleanup), and the skin hues do not vary too much... maybe this is what you are after?

ps: pick some other fashion magazine and you will see the same "look"

do you see much difference?
between this: http://goo.gl/jz2Zv
and this: http://goo.gl/4L5lf

(so there isn't much uniqueness here)
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  #23  
Old 12-21-2011, 11:47 AM
Fostercat Fostercat is offline
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Re: The demystification of... Vogue colour?

{Sigh} You don't get it. Oh well. Carry on.
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  #24  
Old 12-21-2011, 01:31 PM
insmac insmac is offline
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Re: The demystification of... Vogue colour?

The way I see it, this is just an open message board. There is no door policy nor it is Studio54 back in 70s kicking out Frank Sinatra and Woody Allen from the club. Hence, this site is free to join for everyone and as such far from being overcrowded with folks from top retouching houses all over the world.

I find curiosity one of the greatest personality traits and would consider myself a jerk for bashing someone just for showing it.

Regards
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  #25  
Old 12-21-2011, 06:56 PM
adtechniques adtechniques is offline
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Re: The demystification of... Vogue colour?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ShadowLight View Post
you funny

if you were right, then YOU won't make a difference between the images in Vogue and METRO (your friendly free subway newspaper)... so enough said.

re:colours, in the examples you see that all those are toned differently; The skin-texture is clean (good skin of the model, makeup, skin cleanup), and the skin hues do not vary too much... maybe this is what you are after?

ps: pick some other fashion magazine and you will see the same "look"

do you see much difference?
between this: http://goo.gl/jz2Zv
and this: http://goo.gl/4L5lf

(so there isn't much uniqueness here)
By the way, I have to ask what may be a naive question. I'm not works in "high end" industries, so I don't understand these things. What is difference in style of Vogue, Bazaar? What are the main points?
between this: http://goo.gl/jz2Zv
and this: http://goo.gl/4L5lf
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  #26  
Old 12-22-2011, 01:50 AM
ShadowLight ShadowLight is offline
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Re: The demystification of... Vogue colour?

Quote:
Originally Posted by adtechniques View Post
By the way, I have to ask what may be a naive question. I'm not works in "high end" industries, so I don't understand these things. What is difference in style of Vogue, Bazaar? What are the main points?
between this: http://goo.gl/jz2Zv
and this: http://goo.gl/4L5lf
no difference! that was my point

the same fashion photographers (usually in a pair with own retoucher) with their own style may be shooting for either magazine.

so you can't separate Vogue from the other fashion magazines

same goes for all others ELLE, Vogue, Harper’s BAZAAR, Marie Claire, Numero, W, Tatler, Vanity Fair, L’Officiel, Cosmopolitan, etc.

Last edited by ShadowLight; 12-22-2011 at 11:04 AM.
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  #27  
Old 12-22-2011, 07:12 AM
fraiseap fraiseap is offline
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Re: The demystification of... Vogue colour?

Leaving aside petty squabbles, the point made by John Wheeler about histogram peaks is crucial. We must remember the role of stylists (who choose the wardrobe) and makeup artists (who choose a look to compliment the wardrobe). The choice of set is not an accident either.

I have attached 2 images from Vogue editorials which demonstrate how the look is achieved by choice of colors. Note how in the first one the wall on the left matches the color of the models pants, also the color of the drumstick matches the shoes, the brass on the instrument on the wall as well as the underside of the drum. In the second picture the rug is chosen to match the dress, hat and pants worn by the models. Also the skin tones are darker but a similar tone to the background colors.

In summary, the Vogue look is not about a retouching style, it is about an approach to color which Steven Meisel is renowned for.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg page0132_medium.jpg (60.9 KB, 271 views)
File Type: jpg Vogue by Steven Meisel Feb 2009.jpg (41.2 KB, 282 views)

Last edited by fraiseap; 12-22-2011 at 09:47 AM.
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  #28  
Old 12-22-2011, 09:23 AM
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Andrew B. Andrew B. is offline
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Re: The demystification of... Vogue colour?

Quote:
Originally Posted by oneredpanther View Post
A blurred soft light layer is functionally equivalent to just adjusting Contrast, as far as I can tell.
Did you try it with the photos I posted?
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  #29  
Old 12-22-2011, 07:08 PM
adtechniques adtechniques is offline
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Re: The demystification of... Vogue colour?

Quote:
Originally Posted by fraiseap View Post
Leaving aside petty squabbles, the point made by John Wheeler about histogram peaks is crucial. We must remember the role of stylists (who choose the wardrobe) and makeup artists (who choose a look to compliment the wardrobe). The choice of set is not an accident either.

I have attached 2 images from Vogue editorials which demonstrate how the look is achieved by choice of colors. Note how in the first one the wall on the left matches the color of the models pants, also the color of the drumstick matches the shoes, the brass on the instrument on the wall as well as the underside of the drum. In the second picture the rug is chosen to match the dress, hat and pants worn by the models. Also the skin tones are darker but a similar tone to the background colors.

In summary, the Vogue look is not about a retouching style, it is about an approach to color which Steven Meisel is renowned for.
Thks you, it's helpful
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  #30  
Old 12-22-2011, 07:33 PM
kav kav is offline
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Re: The demystification of... Vogue colour?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew B. View Post
The basis of this look is the Soft Light blending mode. Soft Light gently increases contrast and saturation.

Copy background, then set new layer to Soft Light. If you want a touch of the dream look, blur the Soft Light layer. If you want more, duplicate the Soft Light layer. If one layer gives you the right contrast but too much saturation, flatten the curve of the base image and start over. And after that you can do whatever tweaking you want.

And FWIW, the bleach look also uses Soft Light. Copy background, desaturate, set to Soft Light.

Of course, all these fashion photos begin good photos, before the affect is applied.
Sorry but this is an absolutely awful approach. I've seen people do this many times, but trying to narrow things down to a single blending mode is just a terrible idea. I'll admit sometimes I spend too long tweaking one curve trying to get it just right, but you can't tell someone to achieve a nice product by what you just stated. I can pick out a lot of details in any one of the photos linked by the OP. It's relatively evident where lips were balanced to a specific color, as well as other minor things.

If you try to reducing these things to simple global adjustments, you'll either end up with mediocre quality, a high level of frustration, or both.


Quote:
Originally Posted by fraiseap View Post
Leaving aside petty squabbles, the point made by John Wheeler about histogram peaks is crucial. We must remember the role of stylists (who choose the wardrobe) and makeup artists (who choose a look to compliment the wardrobe). The choice of set is not an accident either.

I have attached 2 images from Vogue editorials which demonstrate how the look is achieved by choice of colors. Note how in the first one the wall on the left matches the color of the models pants, also the color of the drumstick matches the shoes, the brass on the instrument on the wall as well as the underside of the drum. In the second picture the rug is chosen to match the dress, hat and pants worn by the models. Also the skin tones are darker but a similar tone to the background colors.

In summary, the Vogue look is not about a retouching style, it is about an approach to color which Steven Meisel is renowned for.
That's actually the best response I've sen in the thread. The reason I suggested not to get too into the histogram is that you aren't going to necessarily get there by tweaking global curves. As you pointed out the points in the histogram reflect elements in the actual shot rather than global adjustments.
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