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Let's analyze/compare Vogue level fashion ed's

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  #21  
Old 10-27-2012, 01:15 AM
Shot4Shot Shot4Shot is offline
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Re: Let's analyze/compare Vogue level fashion ed's

Quote:
Originally Posted by shift studio View Post
I for one believe Shot4Shot is sincere about his desire to learn and discuss - and appreciates the value of hard work etc.
The topic/question is presented in a well-thought out manner (possibly misguided to think there is one look in Vogue for example). If you ask me, it's much more interesting and valid than the 'how do I get skin tones like ________?' threads littering the forum. And yet they get answered.

So, step up and answer if you have something valuable.

--Shift Studio.
Thank you shift It's 2:00 in the morning in NYC and I'm at my apt....in PS, practicing my post....by choice, for anyone that's questioning my willingness to work. In fact I've given up much up my social life (and severely frustrated my gf) the past few months to pay more attention to editing. From that perspective, I guess I can understand how someone could get a bit turned off by someone trying to take a quick shortcut, while not willing to actually put in the work/effort. It feels a lot like someone asking for a copy of your homework that you put 12 hours into...and it seems like there are plenty so I'm not taking it personal. I know there's not ONE style in these magazines so if it came across misguided that's my fault. It does seem to me though, that there are a lot of common styles that many of the editorials share...again, trends if you will. If you asked a fashion designer in the 80's what is the fashion of the 80's, they'd probably call you crazy b/c there were a lot of styles...but if you ask them that question now, they'd probably answer you differently (mainstream/mass market had lots of color, cotton, denim, loose fit, big hair, etc, but 80's couture had x, y and z). In addition, there may be some TECHNIQUES they used back then which are still alive and well today, that only another fashion designer would recognize (a particular stitching or a certain seam style, etc). I know it's kind of a 2 part question (and may be a bit confusing) but that's what I'm trying to get at. I thought it would actually be an interesting discussion.
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  #22  
Old 10-27-2012, 08:57 AM
KTG KTG is offline
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Re: Let's analyze/compare Vogue level fashion ed's

Pearls from Benny. Priceless!

k
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  #23  
Old 10-27-2012, 10:53 PM
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shift studio shift studio is offline
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Re: Let's analyze/compare Vogue level fashion ed's

So now nobody says a word. That's priceless!
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  #24  
Old 12-16-2012, 05:44 PM
karloskar karloskar is offline
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Re: Let's analyze/compare Vogue level fashion ed's

This is a funny post, I think I get it what you are asking for but I also think you are possibly barking up the wrong tree.
I have asked similar questions to what you have done and found similar feedback.
And I also get what some people are talking about and their defensive attitude regarding their work, I don't think there is any tricks in that trade just as much as ripping out the middle diffuser in a soft-box to get slightly more specular highlights in a skin when you are shooting a head shoot.
I mean thats not a trick thats a feeling that it might be suitable in that specific set of circumstances and lights e.t.c.
Its all about bending your tools until they fit your situation but for that you need to know your tools and then of course when you look from the outside it looks as if it is a trick.
Just as well and seeing that a particular blending mode will be more suitable then another.
I think that the curse of the kelbys out there is that they will tell you that there are always shortcuts to this amazing results that they show you (but on kelby training vids you never get to see anything at a 100% view, ;-).)
Its like looking at the Avedon documentary darkness & light and with what ease he coaches out great response from he's subjects, but hey he only spent 40-50 years doing just that, so he got some practice doing it.
If you would see a bts vid from a real great image editor it might look similarly easy since they know what they are doing and they know the shortest way of getting there.
And that is the trick and I think as most photography teachers will tell you that the best way of learning photography is to shoot tons of pictures. And that is the same in most jobs that require some form of creative input.
I know that is self explanatory and it might be considered arrogant to say it like that but I need to remind myself of that once in a while so it might make some sense to you as well.
But hey then you can always blur the skin and and add some noise and desaturate the green channel or something as well, Sorry just kidding and I do think I did see something similar in a kelby vid.......
Oooh
and I did find out that before you found a way to be able to invoice for 10 hours of post that you had to do it on your own expense unless you wanted to compromise with your vision of your own work. :-)
Wil I get flamed now?
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  #25  
Old 12-18-2012, 05:11 PM
eraanexact eraanexact is offline
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Re: Let's analyze/compare Vogue level fashion ed's

Shot4Shot, in your initial post, you go into great detail about the preplanning phase of a photo shoot and how important that is, and you are correct. I want to reiterate that "Vogue"-level images are, at their core, great photography that has an underlying narrative, there's often a story there.
Here's a few things that work for me:

Process your raw files relatively flat, so that you have more latitude/detail in photoshop with your main curve adjustment layer. I also turn off sharpening before processing. Usually a slight amount of unsharp mask in photoshop is all you need. Correct focus should really be done in camera to have the best look.

Try to do most of your color work with one adjustment layer(curves), or at least make that one adjustment layer do the lion's share of the work. There's often need for smaller, localized adjustments (pink fingers, feet going slightly blue, etc); those go under your main curve. Try to make the image work with as little complication as possible. The more masks and gradients you throw in there, the more cooked it's going to look. Color is a hard skill to master, you'll probably be way better at the rest of the toolbox before you feel confident with color.

Get comfortable with the liquify tool. Don't abuse it, though. Use it subtly to make garments fit better, to make lines flow a little better. It shouldn't be Heidi Montag levels of plastic surgery. If you want a size 2 model and she's a size 6, use a different model. And make sure that if you liquify an area that has straight lines (like a brick background), go back and fix the bowing areas.

As far as cleaning up skin and fabrics, I only ever use the clone stamp (at 100% so it doesn't soften any textures), the history brush, and the dodge and burn tools. I see no need for frequency separation, or any other technique that over-complicates the image. Obviously, with compositing, things do get more complicated. Just try to keep things as simple as possible.

Lastly, if you're solely looking at color looks based on scans from magazines that are posted online, take those colors with a grain of salt. Scans are often bad and can be misleading.
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  #26  
Old 12-18-2012, 07:49 PM
RobertAsh RobertAsh is offline
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Re: Let's analyze/compare Vogue level fashion ed's

Eraanexact,

Thanks, your post was very helpful.

Shot4shot,

I don't think people here are indicating there are closely-guarded secrets (although there are, check out the Dave Hill thread on this forum, for example, over 2500 responses and no one really has figured out exactly what he does to get his look).

I think a lot of experts - here and elsewhere, in retouching and other disciplines - forget what it was like to be a beginner. And they forget or overlook how many examples of other peoples' work they themselves had to follow to get to their current skill levels.


There's a saying in martial arts (at least in Japanese martial arts):
  1. Learn the art
  2. Understand the art
  3. Improve the art
In that order. It's a series of steps you can't get around. It's not easy to create 'the next hot look' if you don't know what you're doing in retouching because you don't know how to control the outcome. Examples with explanations are very helpful to learn that.

Look through all the threads in the Photo Retouching forum. There are a lot of "how to get this look" threads with very helpful, detailed responses. And the DVDs recommended above are top notch, as is Natalia Taffarel's DVD and, for a solid foundation in the basics, Jane Connor-Ziser's Facial Retouching DVD on Software Cinema's website.

Other than that, practicing the examples here in the Photo Retouching forum is a great place to learn, as are the retouching videos for 3-day rent here on the site.
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  #27  
Old 12-19-2012, 09:24 AM
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DJSoulglo DJSoulglo is offline
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Re: Let's analyze/compare Vogue level fashion ed's

I don't think that's true. It's not closely guarded secrets. Retouching wise it's cloning/healing/curves and learning how to mask. If you can do those things REALLY well, you'll be alright.

The "secret" about all the retouching is that there isn't one. Make it look good and then give it a look. It's not that hard. I get that when you're starting out it's difficult to imagine, but really it's a lot simpler than most people think it is.

Good luck.

Last edited by DJSoulglo; 12-19-2012 at 09:25 AM. Reason: forgot a word.
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  #28  
Old 12-19-2012, 08:40 PM
RobertAsh RobertAsh is offline
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Re: Let's analyze/compare Vogue level fashion ed's

I agree in general, thanks for clarifying. I didn't mean to imply "everything is secret". What I meant is there are some closely guarded secrets, and the Dave Hill thread is one example. I didn't mean to imply that 1) everything is closely guarded or 2) that one can't get good at retouching without learning those closely guarded secrets. One can get plenty good without learning those closely guarded secrets.
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  #29  
Old 12-20-2012, 12:28 AM
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AKMac AKMac is offline
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Re: Let's analyze/compare Vogue level fashion ed's

I think, when you are coming from the standpoint of trying to reproduce looks in post, and you want to control the outcome, you tend to think about controllable factors. But in reality its virtually impossible to separate the visual elements (texture, tone, colour, shape etc) from the representational contents of the image, and, above all, your human response to very beautiful model.
When you have a 'Wow' response it's usually a reaction a highly complex interweaving of physical, representational and psychological elements which defy analysis. Nobody can fully control or understand how these elements interact to produce the effect. When you look at an editorial, why are some images so much better than others? Is it because the photographer and the production team decided to slip in a few mediocre ones? No. It's because even they can't fully control or understand why one particular shot has a particular magic. But they have the eyes to see it, and the experience to capture it. This is the magic. No matter how much time you spend sampling colours, replicating tonal gradations and tweaking curves, you cannot reproduce the original 'wow'. I think that's why this idea of closely guarded secrets prevails.
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  #30  
Old 12-20-2012, 07:15 AM
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Benny Profane Benny Profane is offline
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Re: Let's analyze/compare Vogue level fashion ed's

Quote:
Originally Posted by RobertAsh View Post
I agree in general, thanks for clarifying. I didn't mean to imply "everything is secret". What I meant is there are some closely guarded secrets, and the Dave Hill thread is one example. I didn't mean to imply that 1) everything is closely guarded or 2) that one can't get good at retouching without learning those closely guarded secrets. One can get plenty good without learning those closely guarded secrets.
That Dave Hill thing is a secret? It's so overused, it's yesterday, already. A lot of people have figured it out.
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