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Color Grading or lightning

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Old 10-07-2015, 11:05 AM
testerke testerke is offline
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 30
Color Grading or lightning

Hello Guys and Girls!

I attached some files to show you what I would like to understand.
Let's say this "look" to understand what I want to ask. I just call this the 'wow effect".
Doesn't matter if this is a beauty or fashion, editorial etc. because this beautiful softness is always there and pup the photo out.
I could show you more files but I'm sure you already saw lot of photo like them.

Is this a final adjustment like shape\color grading\sharpness or even the proper camera raw setup too?

Thank you!
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Old 10-07-2015, 10:58 PM
klev klev is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 954
Re: Color Grading or lightning

I'm not sure about softness. These have a few things in common. They show signs of adjustment or at least significant concern for clothing, accessories, skin, significant model features like eyes and lips, and the background in each image. This means that each element is tuned if necessary. Selective color can sometimes help limit the amount of masking required for this, but you do what is necessary.

To discuss in a bit more detail, make sure you don't have undesirable bright spots in the skin. This does not refer to bright highlights. I mean things like the chest or part of the arm where the skin just looks washed out compared to the other parts. Also make sure the densities of your shadows match wherever it is relevant. Greyish shadows are often pretty ugly. I think some of these were brought down slightly.

Make sure the subject stands out from your background. If it doesn't, adjust your background to contrast the subject. This can be done by color, brightness, or a combination of the two. Don't overdo it.

Make sure the clothing is well represented. You have some bold pieces in here. You want details even in white or black garments. Similar things apply compared to skin. If one part is just a bit brighter, yet not really part of the intended lighting, bring it down to match the rest the garment. It reads better that way. Watch out for clipping in things like saturated reds.

Details like eyes, lips, and cheekbones go a long way. My suggestion here is that you study both images you like at slightly higher resolution and anatomical references. This takes practice, and you need to understand the shape of things as well as have some sensibility regarding makeup colors. Most people are clueless when it comes to colors. If this includes you use reference as needed. This will be especially helpful early on.

Things like sharpening and camera raw adjustments are much more arbitrary. They won't yield these results. They can screw things up if they are poorly applied.

If someone sent me an image with the request that I match one of these as closely as possible, that is how I would approach it. It's also pretty close strategically. Here's an example I did to explain a similar concept to someone else on here. See post 33. The masking is ridiculously sloppy, but it's certainly close enough to make my point. See his earlier and later references. Unfortunately he still needs to develop better judgement, but it may happen.

Last edited by klev; 10-07-2015 at 11:05 PM.
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Old 10-08-2015, 12:34 AM
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AKMac AKMac is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: London and Argyll, Scotland.
Posts: 309
Re: Color Grading or lightning

OP You've posted six quite different images and referred to them as all representing a particular look. But they don't. They are all very different in many ways. It would probably be more useful if you could be specific about exactly what you mean. For example, is it to do with colour, the quality of skin, the composition, lighting etc etc? In the process of making a decent effort to explain more precisely what exactly your question is, you may find that you start to come closer to identifying for yourself the area in which the answer may lie.
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Old 10-08-2015, 01:25 AM
testerke testerke is offline
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 30
Re: Color Grading or lightning

Thank you Klev You helped a lot.
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Old 10-08-2015, 08:11 AM
skoobey skoobey is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 1,184
Re: Color Grading or lightning

You might be trying to find an answer to "what is good taste". If anyone could teach anyone good taste in a simple message, everyone would have it.
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