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How to achieve ‘muted highlights’ look?

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  #1  
Old 06-09-2012, 11:19 AM
sparkle909 sparkle909 is offline
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How to achieve ‘muted highlights’ look?

Example http://cope1.com/PRODUCT-I
Hello. Maybe anyone can explain, how this ‘muted highlights’ and this high dynamic range look is achieved? All areas of highlights and shadows ar clearly visible, but that is not the case of low contrast when everything is blank, and also there are no signs of halos, so it is definitely not a hdr or dodge and blur technique. Maybe it is because its shot on film. Thanks for your opinion in advance.
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Old 06-10-2012, 07:48 AM
mawu mawu is offline
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Re: How to achieve ‘muted highlights’ look?

answer is precise LIGHTING and exposure. Digital or film, it doesn't matter, even though I'm pretty sure it's digital, because you could shoot tethered to your computer, and easily adjust your lighting. If you are not familiar with product photography and lighting, I suggest you start there. I'm not going to explain here how to light. There is plenty of sites, dvds and workshops available. Try strobist.com for example.
And if you don't know what the *** I'm talking about:
http://youtu.be/rqC2xpCaG80
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Old 06-10-2012, 03:07 PM
sparkle909 sparkle909 is offline
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Re: How to achieve ‘muted highlights’ look?

Hello, I am familiar with product photography. Its just, looking at those photos I have a strong feeling that even if you will set your lightning super precisely, you will not achieve this 'silky' tone transition, everything is just too smooth, so my guess it is some sort of bw conversion included also. Thank you for your opinion.
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Old 06-10-2012, 03:55 PM
mawu mawu is offline
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Re: How to achieve ‘muted highlights’ look?

You are welcome. FYI it was shot with Canon 5D mark II. So it's digital. There is a chance it's composite of two or more photos, because of the information in highlights and shadows. It's common technique. If you are not familiar with it, I could explain. And don't get me wrong, but you will achieve this silky transition with very big and soft light source, even better with bounced light. And if you expose for the highlights not for the midtones. However you are right about the postproduction, it's also important, only without the right lighting it's not important ,)
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Old 06-13-2012, 04:00 AM
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DJSoulglo DJSoulglo is offline
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Re: How to achieve ‘muted highlights’ look?

Very little saturation and the light/dark points moved in towards each other in either curves or levels.
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Old 06-15-2012, 02:36 AM
franko60 franko60 is offline
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Re: How to achieve ‘muted highlights’ look?

You meter and expose for the diffused highlight. You use very soft light and you control the highlight/shadow transitions. As mawu said, it's about knowing how to light.
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Old 06-16-2012, 09:11 AM
Pics2 Pics2 is offline
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Re: How to achieve ‘muted highlights’ look?

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Originally Posted by sparkle909 View Post
Example http://cope1.com/PRODUCT-I
Hello. Maybe anyone can explain, how this ‘muted highlights’ and this high dynamic range look is achieved? All areas of highlights and shadows ar clearly visible, but that is not the case of low contrast when everything is blank, and also there are no signs of halos, so it is definitely not a hdr or dodge and blur technique. Maybe it is because its shot on film. Thanks for your opinion in advance.
I agree with everything the others said. Also, keep in mind that the surface he is lighting is not shiny, and therefor highlights spread more evenly. Try buying the exact same product he photographed and light it. You will see for yourself that the quality and surface characteristics play big role in overall look. There are no harsh highlights because there was nothing to produce them (except the picture of a bottle, where we can see harsh highlights on the cap - and the photographers struggled with it).
"Everything is blank" - I guess you are referring to deep shadows. It can be done with gobo (blocking light in this area) during shooting, or making separate exposure for shadows with different lighting and compositing, or masking it in post and treat in separately with curves, levels etc (yes, dodging and burning).
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