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How to achieve the "vogue"-style

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  • How to achieve the "vogue"-style

    Hey all,

    a make-up artist recently asked me if I could make some of her images more like they are in Vogue and other fashion magazines.

    First thing I told her (obviously) that this needs a good studio, photographer and stuff first, but yet I wonder how to achieve it in Photoshop.

    The two images attached will obviously show the difference, but I just can't spot it! I realize the saturation on fashion is turned down a bit, but what are the other differences???

    The problem is not that I don't know how, but what to do! Perhaps somebody can give me a push into the right direction?

    Sorry for not having a more appropriate photo to compare, but you will certainly figure out what I mean with the question "What's the difference between a traditional glamour retouch and a "make it fashion-style" retouch"


    PS: The second photo is obviously not retouched at all.
    Attached Files
    Last edited by PatrickB; 07-24-2005, 10:51 AM.

  • #2
    the first thing is lighting. look at those two pics again with nothing but lighting in mind. notice the highlights and shadows. if you've ever talked with an 'old pro' photographer, they can tell you all sorts of lighting methods. i certainly dont know them all, but a study in lighting is well worth the effort when it comes to photography and retouching.

    the 2nd is contrast. look at the woman's clothing in the touched shot. it's very high contrast and very sharp edges, especially compared to the other image, which is much softer. this makes things bounce out at you more.

    the 3rd is skin tone/textures/color. if you look at the model's face in the 1st image you can tell that the retoucher stopped about 1 billionth of a fraction short with smoothing and toning and blurring and noise reduction and so on, before it would have completely ruined the image. and to my eye, he/she maybe went over the line a tad.

    the background and composition are important, but i dont think that's what you're looking for here. you can also include contrast and so on between the foreground and background for punch, but again, that's probably not what you're looking for either.

    glamour photography is all about makeup and hair and perfect skin and clothing and highlights and shadows and contrast and all those things that would make someone stand out in a crowd. you want punch. you want attention. you want to lure the viewer in.

    i'm hardly an expert, but those 3 points are what i see as the major differences.



    • #3
      Hi Craig,

      you didn't quite hit the point in what I wanted to express

      I attached another pic here which I call "normally retouched". Perhaps this makes you understand the difference between them?

      This one is obviously retouched in a traditional way. But the first one (with the army top) is still different...
      Attached Files


      • #4
        In the army top, the skin is overly smooth, no details in the skin at all. IMO this is a bad retouch. You can def tell that it was retouched. Whereas the 2nd glamour retouch has some details in the skin (not much) but to the common eye it's more realistic. Ms. Barbie skin doesn't seem real at all due to the plastic look. Maybe this wasn't the answer you wanted either, but I hope it helps. To me it's seems to be more saturated as well?? At least her skin tones...

        Hope you find the answer because it's an interesting question!



        • #5
          Here's what I came up with in PS7. Let me know if this is what you had in mind and I will write the steps I took to achieve this. Hard to retouch her skin because of the low resolution.

          In the army shirt I also noticed that even though the photographer used rembrant lighting- the lighting is really flat. It could be the retouch or that is how they set up the lighting (1:1/2:1). But that is another fashion thing-flat lighting. But I am more used to seeing Butterfly lighting used in fashion than rembrant.

          If I think of anything else I will send it your way.
          Hope that helps.

          Attached Files


          • #6
            ok, let's do a little side by side here and you tell me what you see.

            to me, the the image on the left is over-retouched. the eyes are fine, the hair is fine, the lips could stand a bit more texture, but the skin has been overdone. the highlights are too high, and the mix of tones is too severe. both have lost almost all the texture, but the one of the right looks more like she lost the texture from the application of makeup rather than retouching, so it looks better to me. a 'natural' looking photo is one that shows how a person looks at the time the shot was taken. so, if the person had a great makeup job and then the photo, that's fine. but, if the retouching alters the image to make it look like she had a great makeup job, you have to be pretty good. the image on the left has gone over into the 'pasty/plastic' look a bit too much, to my eye. the one on the right hasnt as much. it looks more like a good makeup job that is covering up textures.

            hehe, i dont know if that's what you were talking about either, but keep going; we'll eventually get what each other is talking about.

            Attached Files


            • #7
              Is this somewhat in the direction you are trying for?
              Attached Files


              • #8
                Ok, I deleted the second picture in my first post since it's obviously distracting most of you Neither did I mean anything about the retouching work done on the first picture, it's merely the overall look and feel.

                The first one seems to be much much more sophisticated while the second one I posted is more of a traditional glamour/beauty retouch. But there is still a big difference. First one looks "more decent", don't know how to put that in words, it's colors look flatter, in some way, yet being very well adjusted. Maybe you can compare it with a tv-screen and an LCD display, the colors are the same but yet the LCDs brightness is somewhat turned down while preserving full contrast.

                I am lost


                • #9
                  Let me call the pictures

                  1= Army Top
                  2= Under the trees
                  3= Portrait

                  In my opinion, the difference between 1 and 2 is that 1 has been heavily manipulated while 2 barely so ... if at all ...

                  The differences between 1 and 3 is that, even if both seem to suffer from a severe case of 'oversmoothing', 1 brings this, partially, to the extreme .... while some effort was done to keep something resembling texture around eyes and mouth, her cheeks and décolleté are vintage plastic ....the colours are good though .... 3 isn't that bad but still very unnatural ...

                  ...but the real difference between 1 and 3 is the very strong 'edge sharpening' in 1 which drastically detaches the subject from background giving much more impact to the whole image ... while 3 is much softer and and the subject's edges ever so softly fade into the background


                  • #10
                    The main contribution I see to the difference you describe is the makeup, not the retouch style.


                    • #11
                      Glamour is about the model and fashion is about the clothes.

                      My impression of the Vogue look is more about posture: a runway model striking a stylised pose. I didn't know there was a Vogue retouching style.

                      The main difference I see between the two images is the simple background of the 1st. Looking at Vogue covers, that seems a general feature. So that could be part of the retouching effort.

                      Anyway, my best idea is to ask her what she means .


                      • #12
                        I did that, the answer was: I don't know, there's just a difference! LOL

                        What I noticed first was those pictures are mostly a lot darker than usual photos, not underexposed but the upper quarter of light range was very narrow.


                        • #13
                          I posted a similar post "Get the Amateur Look out!" and I think I was referring to the same question as this. I have no problems making professional shots looking better, just not the ones I take! Here is what I came up with...
                          Attached Files


                          • #14
                            Seems like a simple overlay on the skin to me, right?

                            It's kind of somewhat closer, but still lacks the feel I'm missing


                            • #15
                              Hi Patrick,

                              Is this in the right direction?
                              Attached Files


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