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Need some help RE his style

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  • Need some help RE his style

    Hello everyone.

    I've been pondering about photography of this guy. Sebastian Malachowski is one of the most sought after wedding photographers in Poland. I've been wondering, what kind of process he might be using to achieve his look.

    What I came up was:

    1. at least 2 raw conversions to get the proper exposure in both skin and background.
    2. He adds some viniete probably via d&b layer and some noise.

    I can't figure out how to achieve this kind of colour and clarity and how to add contrast in a similar way.

    I'm trying to focus more on beauty and glamour photography but i do get a wedding client occasionaly so would really like to learn something new that might improve my own work, so will be very greatful for any tips. Would it be possible to "action" the look, after the raw conversion?
    Last edited by spinq; 06-19-2013, 10:49 AM.

  • #2
    Re: Need some help RE his style

    This is another case of not knowing where to start. You won't need two processing exposures if the initial image is somewhat balanced in terms of lighting. He might have auxiliary lighting set up for those shots. Don't assume it's just on camera flash. Vignettes do not require db layers. Typically whatever adjustment layer is fine. Depending on the falloff required you might need more than one layer. There are some sort of cross-processey color treatments on some. You might be able to set up some of it to semi-repeatable actions if the initial lighting is really good. These vary considerably. The flash heavy ones show a lot of evidence of high off camera light sources. He probably has some powerful battery powered strobes sandbagged on high stands in specific corners. Where there's more natural/ambient light, he added a certain amount of color to those skintones and evened out the color. In some he warmed up the main subjects a bit relative to the others.

    If it was me, I would take the positive things away from this rather than try to copy it verbatim. The subjects stand out either in brightness or warmth. Some of them have silly amounts of color treatment. I don't think those are the things that make his work. His lighting is good, which can be difficult given the restrictions imposed by various venues. He gets a lot of seemingly candid moments. He ensures the brides look good. I see very flattering photos of the women and subjects that are not made uncomfortable by his presence. If anything a lot of the color treatments are more fad types. So many are throwbacks to film looks that came out of the 70s, just rehashed with the saturated primaries of digital.


    • #3
      Re: Need some help RE his style

      I agree. There is no single thing he does, no single set of processing steps.

      His colors are not consistent from wedding to wedding --they vary with whatever lighting he's faced with and/or whatever way he wants to take the images under that lighting. Nothing wrong with that, that's what I do but it means he does a fair amount of customization of his post-processing treatment to suit the lighting and to suit the mood he wants to create in each image or set of images.

      His black and whites are much more consistent - either they're highly theatrical with spotlighting effects or they're uniform lightness from corner to corner. There are a few vignettes included as well.

      Kav is right, the major impact that makes his work so desireable is his knowing what angles to capture in peoples' faces. Put another way, it's classic, traditional posing and lighting, and composition, but captured in flight instead of in a controlled studio setting.

      Excellent photographer, thanks for sharing!
      Last edited by RobertAsh; 06-20-2013, 11:22 PM.


      • #4
        Re: Need some help RE his style

        I fully agree that his uniqness comes mainly from the composition of his pictures. And I don't deny that it will take ages for me to reach that kind of level in wedding photography. I know that discussing it won't improve my photography skills, but taking pictures will.

        So the reason for starting this threat was mainly trying to figure out how to manage colours so i will get same results despite the lighting conditions. Perhaps we can focus this issue - I've been strugling with it for a while now.


        • #5
          Re: Need some help RE his style

          Originally posted by spinq View Post
          ...So the reason for starting this threat was mainly trying to figure out how to manage colours so i will get same results despite the lighting conditions. Perhaps we can focus this issue - I've been strugling with it for a while now.
          That's what we're trying to do (at least I am).

          This photographer's color management is very situation-dependent. For each wedding his colors are different. In other words, how he get any specific one of his results depends on what the lighting color and quality of the light were at the scene.

          Since they're all different you might pick one that you like (or a set that looks the same color-wise) and ask about that one.


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