how to achieve a certain look

Discussion in 'Digital Darkroom' started by derek_kennedy, Feb 1, 2014.

  1. Although I have been using photoshop for several years, im by NO means a ps guru. So bear with me.
    There was some images posted on the net of a Russian woman who would photograph her children and their pets. There were some photos of a small child and what I believe was a St Bernard. The look of these particular photos to me were just simply amazing.
    Sure there was the use of limited dof and such, and even lighting - but the look of the resulting images with what i assume came from photoshop or lightroom processing
    I hope the link works but just in case, im referring to photo 2/23:

    Anyone here know how i can achieve this look? Simple jaw dropping for me personally. Possibly a purchased plugin or action was used?

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.
  2. SCL


    I'm just guessing, having looked at some of her other photos in the set as well, that she used a relatively high shutter speed to freeze motion and allow a wide open aperture, while still underexposing, and blurring the background. Th hoghlight the subjects, I think she used a well diffused flash high above the subjects (little or no shadows to the sides or back of them), but positioned so that they were properly exposed. In any case, a very nice set of photos, done by an accomplished photographer.
  3. There's no setting on the camera to do that. She used supplemental lights and a number of post-processing techniques to get there. She's very good. None of those are right out of the camera.
    She does use a lot of backlighting (both natural and artificial). If there isn't fog (which there seems to be a lot of) she'll have the kids throw some dust to add to the backlight effect.
  4. you guys make good points about the lights and in camera settings - I assumed most of the look achieved had been done with processing.

    Seeing her photos makes me realize I suck even more than I originally thought lol.

    As far as photoshop is concerned, I dont use it any where near its full potential but making the usual adjustments so I have a lot to learn where editing is concerned tbh.
    under exposing - good point there, i considered that but want sure. Id hoped there would be a ps action i could check out that would get me close. will continue to look around.

    I agree though, she is very good.
  5. Yup, saw these pix as well. Nice work. As others mention, this is beyond the camera. She is an artist. It looks to me like the initial images are well taken photos, while the final products are well prepared "made" images.
    In her Flickr page, you see she uses mostly a 50mm sometimes at 1.2F and a 135mm on a 5D2. Often shot in low light conditions or with low light with surrounding light. Makes you want to leave the house with just one lens to take a long walk. Well the foggy and snowy weather play a BIG role in some of her images.
  6. Derek, thanks for posting. Those pix made my day:D
  7. Phil: i have two lenses for my 5dmkiii but both zooms. If i could afford it i would go with a 50mm just to 'limit' myself, or force myself as i know just taping the lens so i cant zoom wont work lol. i rely on zooms far too much.
    John: her photos are the nicest photos ive seen in a long time and i find myself going back over and over to look at them. i can only dream of becoming half as talented as she is.
    I sent her an email asking about the images. Im not holding my breath about learning anything but worth the shot (sorry).
  8. Wow! I'm with everyone else, she is amazing! The site says she started in 2012. Some people are blessed with the photographic eye. I wish I had the eye, instead, I just plug away making sure I can get consistent and reliable results, but nothing like that.
  9. Derek, the 50mm/1.4 from Sigma is faster and very sharp. They range around $400. The Canon version I have used and is slow/er to focus. There is no substitute for forcing yourself a prime lens and then forcing your position to get the right shot. In my experience I always get better shots vs. having a zoom that keeps me at distance.
    Besides great execution, her image have also got a winning formula...
    Children under glowing lights often in snow and winter cloths and with animals.
    She may have started to pick up a digicam in 2012, but I think she's been painting for some time.
  10. Phil:

    I actually started to peruse the lenses over at a well known New York business to check out what was available. I do happen to have a Canon 50mm 1.8 (II) that I purchased specifically for a Canon 10D what I recently had converted to IR - i totally forgot I even had that lens lol. Then lens stays on the 10D, so yeah i forgot I had it until today at work I was thinking about lenses.

    Not so sure about its sharpness of that Canon 50mm 1.8 II when compared to other offerings such as the Sigma 50mm 1.4 you mentioned. I did have one Sigma 50mm in the past that had a different mount and from what I recall I was pretty happy with it except for in darker situations it really wasnt able to focus very well. It was an older lens tho.

    Im thinking this spring I want to do two things as far as photography is concerned: get out more and shoot more with film, and shoot more with a fix focal length lens, such as a 50mm.

    I will give serious consideration in purchasing a new 50mm lens this spring. As much as I would like to stick with Canon, if I can get a comparable lens cheaper - why not.

    I *really* need to force myself out the door with a camera more this year. Last year I was unable to shoot much at all. my trigger finger is getting itchy.
  11. Derek,
    The blur in this particular photo is not all lens made. Plane of focus which renders kid's boots, dog's legs, tale and the ground they are standing on sharp, does not extend all the way to the edges of the frame as it should with shallow depth of field only. Also blurred dry leaves curiously are present only in front of the frame - this part of the image was most likely added in the post.

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