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How to re-create washed out style & light spill

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  • How to re-create washed out style & light spill

    Hi Guys,

    Was wondering if someone would be able to point me in the right direction with this?
    I'm looking to reproduce a effect on my photo's to give it a certain feel like these images:

    gxl_4efd1a39-45dc-4835-b8a4-6b100ac66fcf.jpg
    Screen Shot 2013-06-14 at 12.05.54.png


    So I've played around for a while but just can't nail it! Is it something to do with a blend or colour grading or a series of colour moves? The closet that I've got is this:

    Screen Shot 2013-06-14 at 12.14.23.png

    The way I did the above was by going to exposure / +offset and then adding contrast. I've also tried filling a layer of white and knocking that down but it doesn't work as well as the above. I know that there is something missing but I don't know what?

    Would also like to know how to do light leak which I can add to the wash out effect something like this:

    Screen Shot 2013-06-14 at 12.19.52.png

    Any help would be greatly appreciated! Many Thanks.

  • #2
    Re: How to re-create washed out style & light spil

    Light leak really needs to be approached like you're illustrating something. Gather reference examples of it. Keep them on a second display while you work. I'm not sure how I would end up doing it in terms of a refined approach, as I've never tried to emulate that. It would probably start out with a base color in something like overlay, or I would adjust the color balance and contrast to match most of it, then paint the highlight portions and edges with a rough brush, and add whatever noise is required to match the underlying image in another softlight or overlay layer clipped to the same area, with the noise scaled appropriately. Be careful with noise. It doesn't take much, and scale really matters. All images tend to have some noise, so it's just about not having one patch that differs.

    As for the faded thing, it comes down to details. How you approached it is likely how I would start. Probably brightness, offset, and possibly a small amount of gamma adjustment. I wouldn't end there. The dog image has specific details. The shadows have a lot of saturation. Normally shadows that are that deep and defined are not very colored unless they sit next to translucent object. These do not. I think the bottles are somewhat retouched to get a specific rolloff to the lighting. The background is a solid color. It has post work beyond what you perceive as a washed out effect.

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    • #3
      Re: How to re-create washed out style & light spil

      Put your layer of white in Soft Light mode. Dupe the original layer and put it above the white layer and with Blend If sliders, kill all but the shadow detail. Adjust opacities of both layers to taste. That will get you started.

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