How to produce this look? Post processing?

Discussion in 'Wedding and Event' started by otto_haring, Dec 27, 2009.

  1. I love her work! Do you have any idea how she produces this type of look? (I have already asked her. I guess she is busy, she hasn't answered yet.)
    The colors on here pictures are soooo vivid. Is it the camera, the camera settings, lighting or the post processing, which creates this type of look...? I try to make my colors vivid and interesting but they just don't turn out that well. :( I have a 5D, 5D Mark II, Canon 35mm 1.4, 85mm 1.2, etc so I don't think it is the equipment...
    Please look at the pictures and you will see what I mean:
    The colors are so beautiful and there are lots of detail on the pictures.... Do you have any idea how to start? What am I doing wrong so the colors on my images are not that beautiful? :)
    (I am not supposed to put my link here so if you want to see the difference between her and my pictures you can follow the link in my profile. Well, there is a difference...:))
    Thanks for all your suggestions!
  2. I don't know what she does, but I love MCP actions! I use them quite often for their bright colors. Good luck!
  3. This isn't so much of a wedding question as it is processing or beginner question.

    If you want to achieve similar effects in the post-shoot process, I would recommend taking a look at the NIK Software Color Efex Pro add-on for Photoshop.
    Hope this helps!
  4. 1. I am not a beginner photographer.
    2. None of the actions produce this look. I have used all the actions; Totally rad, Kubota and also the NIK efex sets.
    3. If you would look at the pictures you would see why I posted this question here in the wedding section.
    Is there anybody who is familiar with this type of post processing?
  5. Yes, there are a number of ways you can accomplish overly saturated looks ... either in batch or selectively.
    As a global modification it can be a combination of inducing more contrast and working with a post program with the defaults modified. These defaults can then even be assigned to a specific camera in a post program such as Light Room. Light Room also allows you to create "User Pre-Sets," which will then appear in the Presets menu. You can also create your own Actions in PS and apply them in batch or to individual images ... however, the advantage of Lightroom is that the Presets are non-destructive.
    Personally, I am not a fan of orange skin or blue tuxedos, and prefer to create saturation "not found in nature" using a more controlled selective method ... which is simply applying the saturation sponge brush when and where I want the effect. I do this frequently for fall wedding photography ... like the attached shot (which I recognize is NOT what you are after, but is a demonstration of selective saturation):
  6. I don't think it's a processing trick. I honestly think its shooting perfectly on camera. The only editing I see besides BW is the color bump. But her images retain the quality because I would guess she shoots in film at an aperture 2.0 or less. Or utilizes the zoom of the 70-200 at 2.8. Then I would assume she slightly over exposes.
    Otto- I looked at your one image and I think it's your usage of light. See how the hair is blocking their faces of light? What aperture did you use for that image? What type of post-processing?
  7. According to her website, she shoots with Nikon digital cameras. Most of the images definitely have some sort of post-processing, as Marc pointed out the tuxes are blue! If I were to take a guess at lenses I might first think primes... but then again the Nikon 24-70 is a Rock Star comparable to most primes in terms of sharpness and color. Although I imagine she had the 70-200 as well!
  8. Ya to be honest, she's a really good shooter. I'm just going to agree with missy kay, you can tell her apertures are dead on, images are super sharp, she prob has a great lens selection.
  9. Take a look at the 9th image....she has an image with the sun and a blue sky. IMO, this is the way it should be done and is the result of careful exposure and one of the very few times that the effect is nicely done and really works.
  10. It is hard to determine exactly what you mean, Otto, with only one image of yours to go by. That particular image seems to lack a bit of dynamic range, and that might be one thing you're seeing in the photographer's work. Most of the images seem to be exposed correctly, if a bit over (as is trendy now), and as for the saturation, I am just seeing a bump in saturation, although the skin seems to me to be too magenta and the shadows blue (as Marc points out), which is a consequence of setting the white balance toward tungsten when it is more daylight white balance. This seems to be trendy now, and not something I particularly find attractive.
    I don't think the effect Otto is talking about is due to lenses or selective focus.
  11. I liked the color, but not her pictures! I cannot believe what she chose to show, especially the first ones.
  12. Marc! I really like what you did to the picture! Very nice job!
  13. If you like these images, then I believe the key lies in:
    1) A ton of shadow lifting (shadow/highlight tool)
    2) Boosting contrast after shadow pull
    3) Messy saturation
    4) Shooting shallow DOF
    That's about it really. Some nice simple compositions but nothing really advanced at all on the processing side of things.
    A lot of processors could achieve this look and do so on a selective basis, but most wouldn't want to do it this much. Personally i don't like anything here in terms of processing but do like some of the compositions.
  14. To be honest I am still confused a little bit...:)
    I can see that her exposure is very accurate but there is something there which makes her images very nice to look at...
    Somebody had mentioned using film cameras with superb makes me think. Is there anybody out who still shoots in film and could add her/his opinion to this thread?
  15. Otto--you can look at a ton of previous posts about using film on this forum. There was one just recently. I don't think these images are with film, although if you want to get an idea of what film looks like, particularly using the trendy overexposure technique, look up Jose Villa.
    People have given their best guesses, but without further identification of what, exactly, you like about the images, beyond, "makes her images very nice to look at...", it will be difficult to clear up your confusion. Back to your original question--I don't think it is the camera or lenses (you don't appear to be talking about selective focus or shallow DOF). Camera settings only for correct general exposure of the scene. It isn't the lighting, and it is mostly the post processing.
  16. It isn't the lighting, and it is mostly the post processing.
    Completely disagree! It looks like very little post processing is done besides the color bump. I think it's shooting right on camera with the right lenses. And in her other posts she does say she uses film. A ha!
  17. I agree with Nadine. Can you pick a specific photo or bunch of photos and twell us what it is about it/them in particular? There is a plethora of ways to achieve these various looks. It must start with a good image. Generally speaking, they seem to have been shot at wide aperture (hence shallow DOF) which can really help the subject 'pop.' However, they are a tad over-sharpened IMO.
  18. i don't see what's so special about her style..they look pretty normal images to me.
    too many people these days depend on bought actions rather than try to understand what exactly are the actions doing to the images...
    a bit of a color bump/curve tweaking and contrast changes should do the job. those images are fairly normal looking like i said.
  19. Looks like a bit of in camera correction plus post processing treatment to me.
  20. I think the photos have indeed been processed a bit and sharpened as well. I use sharpening myself a fair amount as I like the results, so I tend to recognize it and it's affects on the image overall when it's been done. There is also selective blurring in places that there wouldn't normally be with just a shallow DOF (for instance number 5 - the portrait of the Bride where her eyes/face are sharp, neck area is blurred yet the dress is again sharp is a potential post-process.)
    I agree with Theresa that I'm not a huge fan of her style actually! For instance number 4 doesn't have any real focus (the flower ideally but it takes awhile for the eye to follow to it) and the white balance is pretty heavily off and very overly yellow, perhaps she edited that way or left it that way - either way I don't like it very much.
    I agree with David on the excellent exposure of 9, however.
    3,5,9,12,17,18 & 25 are the only ones I myself would post if they were my photos personally. The others look a bit random although nothing is wrong with them exactly. She may well shoot with film too, as Missy states - as there is heavy grain in the last image that eludes to the use of film or it may just be a post processing filter. It reminded me of Neil Ambrose's work slightly, except not as well composed as his images make the most of the available light.
    Her overall style however, reminds me very much of one of my favorite photographers at the moment - Jasmine Star. She is easily found via google by typing in Jasmine Star Blog. Jasmine is very open with how she got where she is today - she posts FAQ's about everything from which camera she is using to her entire lens collection, metering tips, off camera set-ups - the works! So if this style is something you want to emulate I think you'll find it rather easy with the help of Mrs. Star!
    Best of luck Otto - and remember to make your own way and not to just copy someone else's look! :)
  21. Missy--I believe the website says, "Nikon film and digital cameras". I still don't think most of the images shown are from film, but I could be wrong.
    In any case, I pretty much followed Michael Church's list on shots below, plus the white balance shift toward tungsten--you end up with blue tuxes. I upped Clarity and Vibrance. I also don't think the last shot has 'grain'--it looks like the image was brought up in exposure. Film doesn't give 'bands' of mottled areas--but again, I could be wrong. In any case, if it was shot on film, the resulting digital scans were manipulated further.
  22. Hi Nadine,
    I only looked at the last image briefly - so I am happy to bow down to your superior knowledge on what may or may not be film. They looked digital to me, except the potential on the last image. So, if you say it isn't the right sort of 'grain' then I will happily agree.
  23. I think there are a number of things that make the images look the way they do. The lighting, the selective DOF and the post processing. Here is something I did back in the summer.
  24. Apart from the highlights being blown to hell in most of her pictures I can't honestly see and sort of processing "tricks" here. They're sharp with nice bokeh and most of that will be down to decent lenses and knowing how to use them. No disrespect to Julie Harris but, technically, I don't see anything out of the ordinary here. Other than that, her work is good and I am sure her clients are well pleased.
  25. Dawn--no bowing down necessary. Your guess is as good as mine. Just doesn't look like film grain--to me. In any case, I still would like Otto to expand on what, exactly, he is talking about. So far, I have "vivid colors" and "lots of detail in the pictures".
  26. Jamie--I, for one, am not saying there are processing 'tricks', as in actions. However, some of the usual processing controls have been leaned on quite heavily. And again--while the shallow DOF and selective focus on some images help to pop subjects, that isn't something Otto has mentioned. We are also not being asked to judge Ms. Harris' work.
  27. We are also not being asked to judge Ms. Harris' work.​
    I do apologise. I forgot we are only supposed to answer the original poster's question precisely without expressing our own views and expanded opinions.
  28. I would bet it's digital and she uses Full frame Nikon with a 70-200 2.8, 200 F2 and 135 F2. I think she has mastered the white balance, for the record I think Nikon does the white balance thing better than Canon (I'm a Canon shooter so no hating). I bet she is also using Kabota actions. The daily multi vitamin 2 times over her images.
  29. Jamie--sarcasm and exaggeration accepted. I made my comment because in previous threads, people have used these same kinds of questions to take off on the photographer being held up as having 'good' whatever--it is human nature (I guess) to find things wrong about what someone else says is good. I'm not saying you, in particular, were taking off on this photographer. But yes, answering the poster's question precisely is generally a good thing when it comes to this kind of thread.
  30. When I want similar colours as the ones seen in those pictures, in Lightroom, I increase black point a bit, add a bit of exposure, contrast, a tad of fill light if needed, and usually that does the trick if the picture is otherwise well exposed. I find that an increase in contrast and having some more black in the picture tends to help making the colours pop, even without touching the saturation slider.
    When doing that with people shots one has to be very careful not to turn anyone's faces red, of course, so white balance has to be fine-tuned so it is spot on.
  31. hi OP, i am a nikon D700 shooter and i can tell you that I oftenly shoot jpeg, i use 35 f/2, 50 1.4 and 85 1.8 or micro 105, and this is the way they look straight out of the camera.
    i shoot manual exposure and automatic/custom WB, the D700 is a beast when it comes to color rendition, and if you use the wonderfull primes i described earlier, especially at wide apertures, that is what you are going to get. the light plays an important role as well, i can get wonderfull tones and colors with the backup D80, as well, with your ocasional color-hue bump, when needed.
  32. Otto,
    when analyzing post processing, open the image in photoshop, select the color picker and look under the info tab while hovering over the image. Select LAB to checkout exposure (L goes from 0 to 100) and white balance neutrality (correctly white balanced black, gray or white have a & b equal zero). Select HSB to check saturation (S goes from 0 to 100) on the same colors in the background and foreground. Select CMYK to compare skin tones.
    If you do this you will see that white balance actually is off in shadows and mid tones while closer in the highlights. You'll also see that foreground elements like flowers or other interesting colors have 100% saturation which means that saturation have been boosted in post but only selectively.
    Bring up one of your own images side by side and see what difference you will find. That will be the start of your process to get you own images to have the same look. I mean you shoot the same grass, flowers, dresses and faces as she does so you should be able to get the same colors as she does. Regardless of which tools you like to use step one is to find out the difference between your images and hers shooting the same subject.
    There are also selective sharpening, noise reduction and other stuff going on in the images but since you didn't ask about that I won't comment on that.
  33. Missy Kay is correct - these shots are exposed correctly, honestly if you expose correctly you will get this result and any edits will be easy to apply for a certain look. Get the exposure wrong and "edits", eg effects, can become unpredictable and unworkable.
  34. Peter--no one is saying the images weren't exposed correctly. And no one is saying the post processing was due to not exposing correctly. Otto is asking how to achieve the 'certain look' you are talking about.
  35. The shallow DOF and color rendition in Julie's photos looks more like the result of utilizing decent film-era glass with superb muli-coatings. In the Pentax line film era SMC lenses will produce the same result however digital SMC lenses don't provide the same rendition. You can easliy buy K-mount adaptors for Canon if you want to use Pentax primes. There are many photographers out there who do - photographers who typically prefer superb primes. After all, the 1991 vintage FA 50mm f/1.4 is considered one of the best primes on the planet (outperforming modern Canon, Nikon and Sigma fast 50's) and the FA 35mm f/2 is sharp across the frame wide open with mind blowing rendition.
    I also suspect old film-era lenses as overexposing slightly, produces stunning results when converting images to BW. The beauty of this approach is that you spend more time behind the camera rather than the computer. Since switching to Super Multi-Coated (SMC) film-era primes on digital bodies 2 years ago, I hardly ever use digital lenses anymore.
    Hope this helps.
  36. How to produce this look? Apparently it helps if you "love your husband, Paris, hot black coffee, baths, popcorn and junior mints, long walks on a cloudy day, etc."
    She uses lots of backlighting and fill flash. Maybe a boost of Vibrance and Contrast in post-production. Take a photo of a friend with fill flash and the sun behind them and then tweak it until it looks like these.
    Better yet, come up with your own look instead of imitating someone else.
  37. I agree with Michael Church. Many of these shots have strong back or rim lighting. Under normal circumstances, the faces would be dark, so the photographer must have lifted the brightness of shadows ("fill light" in Lightroom) and then pulled down shadows to make them inky dark, which enhances the overall contrast and makes the photos look sharp. Combined with shallow depth of field, you get nice pop on the sharp details.
  38. I also agree with Michael's assessment. I don't see any fill flash, actually. This type of bright sun shooting is advocated by a famous wedding shooter--put the subject between you and the sun, overexpose the sun EV by a couple of stops, pull up the shadows in post, and add contrast and saturation--no flash involved. It still does strange things to white balance, though, which may be why the tux shadows are blue and why a lot of these types of images are converted to black and white, but then again, maybe that is on purpose.
  39. I don't see any fill flash, actually.​
    Look at the eyes of the boy holding the basket. It's clearly a reflection of fill flash. Several other photos show a reflector placed below an in front of the subject. The close-up of the smiling bride is one instance, but there are several others. You can see the bright reflection in the lower half of their irises.
    You can't get the same effect with Lightroom's Fill slider because it tends to "wash out" the colors as you push it to extremes.
  40. So basically we can all agree that the photos are simultaneously not post processed at all and heavily post processed, film and digital, exposed evenly and over exposed, fill flashed and naturally lit, and that we all think that they are fantastic and mediocre. I'm glad we are all in agreement on this one. :)
  41. I have no idea if she originally shot with film or digital but I can guarantee that the images on the blog are digital (either resized/converted for the web or scanned from film and then resized/converted for the web). I'm still amazed that there is an example with lens flare that includes the sun and retains color in the sky while not blowing out the highlights (image #9).
  42. I don't really want to imitate her or anybody else. I would like to learn about different ( often challenging techniques) hoping that I will discover something extraordinary on the way, which pleases YOU, ME and my clients...:)
    Thanks for all your contributions!!! :)
  43. IMHO, it's not about excessive post processing, fake DoF and/or fancy actions.
    It's just getting the exposure right for the intended subject (which sometimes means overexposure of the picture as a whole) and then pulling up (I'm not sure of the term) the blacks to create a very contrasty and saturated look. Of course, she also uses some sharpening actions to enhance the image.
    ETTR, my friend. I've learned this from an awesome wedding photographer, Laurence Kim. Check out his blog.
    I've been doing that technique lately and I think it has greatly improved the quality of pictures I've taken.
  44. i am a nikon D700 shooter and i can tell you that I oftenly shoot jpeg, i use 35 f/2, 50 1.4 and 85 1.8 or micro 105, and this is the way they look straight out of the camera.
    BOOYAH! Where's William Wallace!
  45. I find it odd that there is any Booyah's or William Wallace needed on a post where someone simply asked how a style was created. Are we honestly trying to prove or disprove eachother's opinions? And why is one person's statement more valid than any others such as Nadine's versus Nicolaie or David S versus Dan South as we are all just stating our opinions, it's not a debate as far as I can see - simply a request.
    I personally don't believe every image that was posted was created like that without editing whatsoever, but that is up to personal belief and any advice we can give Otto on editing or taking pictures in that style is helpful to the original post. I personally don't find any of the images astounding or worthy of emulation (and if you like this style I feel Jasmine Star does it better with the exception of image 9 which as David S says, is amazing) but Otto does, so let's try and keep that idea in mind rather than "slamming" each other with petty comments if possible?
    The point here was Otto and helping him understand how to achieve this look or feel - and not really whether the photographer is good or not in our individual estimation, however we are free to voice that opinion, obviously. I think some of us have requested that Otto give us a bit more information on what exactly it is about her work or a few pictures in particular for an example to better understand what he wants to learn to do. If someone honestly feels that it's simply her exposure and not the lighting, angles, editing, which I personally think all comes together to create her style - then why not share with Otto some tips for getting his exposures spot on like this and adjusting white balance accordingly and the like?
    I'm heading back to my Malibu & Coke! Relax, relate, release people.
  46. Otto,
    Are you familiar with this add-on from Get Totally Rad? Don't let the name fool you, the filters and photoshop actions are quite spectacular. I think it may be just what you are looking for.
  47. Otto I disagree with the people who do not like her style. I do like her. She is a bit over photoshopped at times but brides love it. Keep in mind you are taking her work in front of photographers who see with photographers eyes. Its like pulling a rabbit out of a hat and expecting other magicians to be impressed. The important question as to why your pictures are not turning out well does not lie within her work. It is in your work. You need to show us your work. Her work is her eye and isn't all that relevant to your success. A photographers eye is like a finger print and no matter how hard you try can not be repeated.
  48. Dawn, some people should be listened too more than others. One great drawback to the internet is the amount of mis-information or opinions taken as fact. William W has more experience than many of us and usually articulates very well. One example of mis-information: a popular photographer's blog mentions using a small softbox on a dance floor. Given this photographer's overall popularity, this might be accepted as the preferred way of lighting a dance floor. But it isn't. A softbox, (a small softbox at that) from the distance it's being used offers no light softening whatsoever. The only thing it does is make the flash work harder. Soft lighting is achieved by creating a light source larger than your subject- hence bouncing a flash off a wall or ceiling. One example in this thread is the thought that the bride was selectively blurred to achieve a certain look. While I might be wrong, I doubt it. It looks to me to be shot with a 50 or even 85mm wide open. The eyes are in focus and at approximately the same plane as the wedding dress, hence the dress in focus as well. Whereas the rest is subject to a very shallow DOF. Some say this image uses fill flash. It doesn't. I blew it up with Genuine Fractals and while I can't tell you definitively what the light source is, I can tell say it's not flash, it's much larger than that. The whole point being to separate fact from opinion and then give some opinions more weight than others.
  49. How is it that a post like this where everyone is guessing what the OP is asking gets 46 responses while a post like the one by Magnus a few threads below (with his home holiday party) only gets a single response by me? While the OP likes what Marc did to an image, nothing in his followup threads clarifies just what effect or quality he is asking about....I just don't understand..........
    Roger Porter does a job summarizing this thread.
  50. One example of mis-information: a popular photographer's blog mentions using a small softbox on a dance floor.
    I understand what you are saying, but look at J*'s images with the softbox. They are beautiful!
  51. Hi John -
    I never actually said the bridal portrait was definitely a selective blur. I said it was a possible edit, as I know there are also ways to achieve this look without it. But I find most tend to do it as an after thought and as I couldn't prove it either way I stated it as a potential post process. If you have taken that much time to investigate it I will tip my hat to you and assume that you are correct indeed.
    Everyone is entitled to speculate as to how the look was achieved. Unless Mrs. Harris replies personally we're not actually going to know for sure all we can do is guess - even as educated a guess that may be. I think it's up to Otto which advice he takes on, which technique's he tries and what works for him. I don't think anything is achieved by arguing with each other about what we think was or wasn't done. You state your opinion and you leave Otto to figure the rest out as he is the one that posted the question. But it's of course up to everyone to do what they wish in this scenario.
    I happen to respect your photography, and Missy's, and I am certain Julie Harris does a job that her client's love. And at the end of the day, that is what is important. Roger Porter's reply makes me chuckle. Good luck, Otto! :)
  52. ETTR (Exposing to the Right of the Histogram) does not result in blown out skies. If this example had followed ETTR guidelines strictly the woman would have been UNDER-exposed in order to keep the bright sky from overloading the sensor. This image would have to have been LIGHTENED in post-processing, not darkened, if the hightlights had been preserved.
  53. Otto,
    It's shooting RAW with prime lenses opened wide. I don't see any special editing besides little fiddling with white balance, contrast, etc...
    I guess it could be something else, but if you shoot RAW and use prime lenses that's what you will get.
  54. David S.--this is why we have such a huge range of opinions in this thread--Otto has not really defined what he is talking about, so each person who looks at Ms. Harris' work makes an assumption formed by his or her own views.
    Many people fall immediately upon good lenses shot wide open. However, Otto has said nothing about subjects 'popping', etc. His comments are about vivid colors and lots of detail in the images. I would guess the thread could go on forever arguing this and that--what is meant by 'detail', for instance--if no other information is given.
    Once again, Otto, would you please be more descriptive about what you like about Ms. Harris' work? Using some examples from the images shown to support your statements.
    Also, a link to some other of your images, Otto, would also help.
  55. Just my 2 cents. Sorry but I don't see it. Not to say that her work is bad, average to me though. Maybe if you posted more of your work for comparison the peaple here could give you a better answer. By the way, that oversaturated look to me is not at all attractive.
  56. I kept thinking it might be interesting to find out what Julie Harris might want us to know.
    Julie has posted her response on her blog:
    "I read the forum posts and have posted a response on my blog. Please feel free to share a link to my blog post on if you'd like.



    This may limit the guesswork and speculation (as fun as it's been).
    Thanks for helping out Julie!
  57. Except we still don't know what Otto sees in her work. Ms. Harris' generous answers may or may not have answered his questions.
    I am also still interested in seeing his work, so we have a better idea what he is talking about.
  58. Wow, she wrote that beautifully and with eloquence, her work is "honest" and I'm glad I'm not the only one who likes JPEGs. Good read!, maybe one of the best.
  59. If it is from Nikon cameras, then using ultra wide angles, fast primes like the 50 or 85 f1.4, older AiS lenses have similar color saturations. As an example the following shot was done with a 50 f1.2 AiS on a D300 at f1.2.
  60. It looks like cuves to me :) Her PP seems very simple and nice! Play with curves in PS.. and her pictures are "creamy" which can be done with actions.
    If you play with the contrast sliders just a bit you can get more detail as well.
  61. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator

    It isn't the lenses, there isn't enough difference especially given variations in post-processing. However, moving the black point does exactly what has been noticed in terms of the color, it always makes images appear more saturated. Try it out and you'll see.
  62. Jeff is right bout the black point, but I wonder if she's also is mixing techniques so as to boost some things and back off others in terms of saturation. I'd say, and it's just my opinion, that she is very good with the camera, understands and is facile with DOF and good with lighting, and knows how to use light for effect in a photo. I think she gets what she wants starting in camera and following through processing to the final image.
    I would also say that none of the examples shown in this thread, at least to me, really look like her work.
    I would try using black point, and then maybe coming back with the history brush so you can push areas in saturation and pull other areas back more neutral. Also curves etc. Her photos have that nice quality of not looking over worked, the effect seems to be done simply and effectively. In other words, I like it.
    And to add, I agree with Nadine, that most of the shots look like film because even with the push in saturation, there's a very film like edge quality to most of these.
    Lastly, my remarks are primarily for the photos on the top of her site, where the images roll through the categories. Not so much for the "blog" photos.
  63. wow it's great she responded to this thread. I thought this quote on her blog was a little weird because it's something I didn't notice when going through her images...
    " My work is often out of focus and sometimes my compositions are completely unorthodox."
  64. I realize that this thread is about her processing....pre, during, or post...but what I found even more commendable while looking at her pics on her blog, was her timing. The facial expressions and body postions she has caught are the real excellence in her work. I'm very impressed with that aspect....I must say.
  65. IMO, you are right, Thomas.
    Note that the "civilians" on her board (AKA "paying customers") feel the same and are a bit perplexed by some of the techno obsessives on
    The LEAST important part of her success lies in PostProcessing.
  66. Wonderful answer Julie!
  67. Barry--it must have been someone else who said Ms. Harris' images look like film. I don't think they look like film, generally.
    It is very generous of Ms. Harris to answer so simply and honestly. I was interested to see that almost everyone was right about one aspect or the other about how she handles her files. However, I don't think the people who posted in this thread were overly critical of her work, and it was only natural to focus on the technical, since that was what the OP was asking about. As I said earlier in the thread, we are not being asked to judge her work, and were being asked about post processing, or at the very least, use of lenses--technical stuff.
  68. It looks like NIKs color effects pro - glamour glow or skylight filter in many of the shots. Probably some combinations but certainly some post work is giving those results. That and some fast wide angle lenses.
  69. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member


    "i am a nikon D700 shooter and i can tell you that I oftenly shoot jpeg, i use 35 f/2, 50 1.4 and 85 1.8 or micro 105, and this is the way they look straight out of the camera. [and if you use the wonderfull primes i described earlier, especially at wide apertures, that is what you are going to get.]”
    RESPONSE: "BOOYAH! Where's William Wallace!"
    Hello Missy, Dawn, Michael C, John D . . . (and others I might have missed . . .)
    When I read Missy's quote and her comment, I had to look up what "Booyah” meant, as it is not used in common vernacular, down here.
    I understand it means “Yes - we scored a goal” and it is usually used as a taunt to the opposing team.
    So if my understanding is correct, Missy Kay, when making this comment was alluding to previous threads where I have variously critiqued her images and commented upon using fast lenses, wide open.
    I chuckled when I read Missy’s comment as I am used to being taunted in good humour.
    I think Missy’s comment was misinterpreted and the thread went somewhat of course, because of that misinterpretation by some folk.
    To be clear: I have previously stated on the record, here, that my Photoshop Skills are not in the same league as many of my Photonet Colleagues.
    To mention one person only (as an example), Marc Williams has more skill and experience than I in Digital Post Production.
    I previously did not need to have Photoshop skills, now I do, so I am learning and putting a lot of effort into that learning.
    No one has all the answers to everything.
    There are many ways to indentify solid answers, IMO. I have always tended to trust people who are knowledgeable enough to say “I don’t know, but I will try to find out”.
    I was on holidays, but I had an email tag on this thread, and I have now read all the posts previous to the thread being edited.
    I unreservedly support Nadine Ohara actions as Moderator – it is not a job I envy.
    It was a shame the thread went askew – perhaps only over (yet again) the misinterpretation of what I read as a little intellectual humour . . . which if I am correct was directed at me alone, and taken by me with a big smile.
    Happy New Year
  70. Otto I know what you are saying there is a wedding photographer Stacy Cross look at her work the same deal with the color. I did ask her and she told me that all of her procesing was sub-contracted out.
    I think it is her post processing that does achieve this look and it on average cost $2-$3 per photo to have a professional do this for you I know I have done the same searching you have.
    You can tell they are processed by the pinks in the one girls dress they start to bleed out of the bounderies of her clothing. Also I think she is over exposing a stop or more and uses a high end wide angle.
    Good Luck
  71. @Nadine...DOH you are right, I misread, you said you DIDN'T think most were bad. However, to me, in the first set (not the blog photos but the slide type presentation at the top) look more film like to me, primarily because of the edges on several of the photos, but that could be created other ways as well.
  72. Otto,
    I was thinking about this some more and everyone here who is saying it's just film or lenses or proper exposure is way off course. I want all of those people to look at some of the best photojournalist and every White House photographer and you will see that their images don't have this kind of color and vibrance.
    The reason is Photojournalist as a whole do not post process thier images beyond cropping. I have freelanced for 6 years and all the news papers require that you are not allowed to manipulate your images. Go to world press photo and look over those photos they are the best in the world and don't even come close to looking like the wedding photos in question.
  73. "it was only natural to focus on the technical, since that was what the OP was asking about."
    Well, gotta disagree with you here, Nadine. (probably for the first time :)
    The OP asked this question:"How to Produce this look? Post Processing?"
    The short and correct answer is: "No."
    Admittedly, this is a bit of a bugaboo for me. While teaching photography for 30 years I have tried to convince students that you can't become a good photographer with your Master Card. There is no lens, camera, computer program, filter, secret recipe or plug-in program that will work.
    It's up to you... mind, heart, passion and eyes.
  74. Joe--OK, we agree to disagree. Otto does ask "How to Produce this Look", but then goes on about color, and asks whether it is the camera, the camera settings, lighting or post processing--all technical. Also, lots of "detail in the pictures". No mention of her ability to capture expressions and timing, or of subjects popping or selective focus. Since he is obviously not interested in telling us what, exactly, he saw in the images, we'll never know.
  75. To those suggesting that the images are moderately or heavily post-processed, according to the photographer in question, she herself says that she doesn't spend too much time (as little as possible actually). And I believe her. However, she also shoot JPEG (and lets not get started on that) in camera and the JPEG image IS a processed image. It's just processed by the camera. And todays camera's have a host of in-camera processing abilities. From saturation, contrast, sharpness, and more. Even the AWB on the Nikon can be set to a more cooler or warmer AWB. I haven't looked in awhile because I shoot Raw but I know there were other discussions on different in-camera "recipes" for post-processing the file.
  76. Funny how much talk about what post processing someone uses then she says none. I have worked with many photographers. I have noticed when is come to natural light everyone seems to look for something just a little different. Each haveing different quiality of light. I think this plays into what may look like a post process. As well as each quaility difference seem to change differently with a small amount of post process. Even a slight curve or level.
  77. John makes a good point. Perhaps Otto needs to know how the in camera jpeg controls on Ms. Harris' camera are set. Not to mention the further processing pushing black point and lifting shadows. You cannot get open shadows in bright sun conditions, even overexposing by a couple of stops (shadow exposure) and all subject detail is in the shade, unless you have a reflector or use fill flash. Most bright sun/shadow contrast spans 4 stops or more. Even backlit, if you exposed exactly for the shadow side face, for instance, everything else will be more or less blown out, not just moderately blown out, as in the samples.
  78. I have shot alongside Julie - not only she is one of the most talented photographers one has the pleasure of working with, but she is also incredibly gracious and kind - she didn't have to disclose her process or "secrets" but that's just what giving person she is - she has shared what she reveals in her blog response with me without even asking, and I've seen her work right out of the camera, I can assure you she IS THAT TALENTED and that is exactly what she does - I guess it's flattering that people spend so much time trying to figure out what she does post-production to "make her images look that way", but her photography is so stunning because Julie is a photographer first, not a digital artist and not a photoshop guru. This used to be a community that supported each other's successes, what happened? I say Congratulations Julie, YOU are the real deal!
  79. Lucia--no one here has been overly critical of Julie (re read the thread), particularly of her artistic work, and I agree--she has been very gracious and honest, something which I admire completely.
    As I said above, the fact that her processing or lack of, has been discussed here is because Otto asked his question and people are attempting to answer it.
  80. Thank you Nadine - I re-read the thread to see what "got" me, and I think it's because in a thread where Otto admired someone's work, somebody else had to comment "I liked the color, but not her pictures! I cannot believe what she chose to show, especially the first ones." This is not about her processing or lack thereof - this is unprofessional and uncalled for. But Julie's grace shows through in her response. She doesn't need defending, her work speaks for herself.
  81. I enjoyed the blog post, it was nice for the professional with the actual answers to reply as we were all just guessing our little hearts out but as we weren't the one behind the lens or the mouse we couldn't really be certain.
    I think the reaction has gotten a bit out of hand from the fans and/or supporters because I don't think anyone has been overly harsh in their guesses or opinions. We are all photographers, and we won't all be in love with the same artwork all at the same time. Although we're admirers of art like anyone else - we're rather close to the subject matter and it makes it less all-encompassing and romantic in a sense. A client or a fan sees an image and just thinks "Wow." We see an image and may think "Wow" as well, but then we have the technical aspect behind it too in our minds.
    I found the post genuine, albeit confusing. At one point she says she very firmly doesn't use Photoshop or any Kubota actions. Then she says she might use Magic Sharp (which is the same action I myself tend to use and noticed it's effects in some of the pictures) occasionally - but at the end of the day no one is asking her to justify or prove the way she does things or questioning the purity of her work. I certainly wasn't. She is an artist and free to do what she pleases how she pleases. Otto was just asking the how, not the why and I think that's been taken out of context. Just because a few of us (like Theresa or me) we'ren't blown away with some of the shots - doesn't mean that some weren't lovely too and most of us said that. I pointed out the ones I thought were particularly nice, especially 9.
    But others, if you looked at more of her work, for instance the brides in their undies (I do boudoir shoots myself so I am not put off by any form of nudity) but I just don't take pictures of brides in their undies and all that I've come across don't want that either. She obviously finds brides who do and that's fantastic - but I found it awkward or disjointing for the overall elegance of a bridal day in my personal (and only personal) taste. Also there was a picture of a dog about to use the bathroom on the lawn - whilst quirky and fun I just don't find them appealing however well shot they are. But she and her clients do and that's yet again, what truly counts.
    A question was asked, several of us gave it our best guess and were correct or incorrect but that doesn't take away anything from the artist in question. Every single artist in the world has fans and critics alike (Dali? Picasso? Van Gogh? Damien Hirst? Jeff Ascough? Jasmine Star?) and that is why there is variation in art and style - because we all have personal taste and we want that photographer or artist we love to express that for us.
    It's just as unreasonable to blast people for not being totally enamored with one artists work, as it would be if we had totally ripped Mrs. Harris apart. Which we didn't. And our comments don't take anything away from her - she makes a very good living from her art and has a very loyal fan and client base. She seems a nice person, and I don't think anyone here wishes her anything less than all the continued success in the world.
    And with that, Happy New Year!
  82. HI Otto,
    Can you send her an email and ask her directly? It makes sense if you like her style.
  83. Very interesting blog here. I also enjoyed the information passed on by Julie Harris.
    She uses mostly JPEG but does not say which JPEG in camera setting she uses. Almost all pro or semi pro DSLRs have color saturation, color style, contrast, sharpness, NR, etc. options that you must select for the camera to process the JPEG file. She says she adds no saturation to the photos in post processing, however, the camera may be adding a lot to get to the JPEG depending on the options selected.
    She then goes on to talk about the simple but important post processing that she does do in Lightroom to get the final look she wants.
    A lot of skill (but still basic fundamental photography) that she applies by using narrow DOF, proper focus, balancing the backlighting, and of course careful attention to what is the emphasis of the shot.
    Very nice job Julie and thanks for sharing.!
  84. John Deerfield [​IMG], Dec 29, 2009; 10:57 a.m.
    ... A softbox, (a small softbox at that) from the distance it's being used offers no light softening whatsoever. The only thing it does is make the flash work harder. Soft lighting is achieved by creating a light source larger than your subject- hence bouncing a flash off a wall or ceiling. ...​
    I would disagree to some degree with this statement. A softbox is not going to weaken the flash power any more than bouncing off of a wall and ceiling corner 10 feet behind the camera. It will however loss the original intent of a softbox of having shaped light by being too far away. It will start to look more like a shoot through umbrella which might be OK.
  85. She writes: "I shoot jpeg... I attribute my color quality to the jpeg."

    So that you know, she likely then has her camera set on sRGB color space in creating those JPGs, which is the smallest color space available and does not yield the wide gamut of colors available in digital capture. So, I'm deducing that many of the colors in her shots are of the sRGB closest match equivalent kind, which may account for some of the color shift.

    Also, it doesn't look like she does any kind of white balancing/color correction in post which could help to correct that, so that probably contributes to the coloring as well, for example, where most everyone's skin tones are a bit too magenta. Or in the one where the groom's neck is dark orange and the bride's face has a magenta cast.

    Digital is a relatively new thing for wedding photographers and there are these little nuances to it that are often overlooked or not considered or given any priority. Yet, commercial photographers seem to have it nailed down I guess because to get the corporate clients spending millions on advertising campaigns in print publications and what not, you'd better be highly proficient and get those skin tones looking good!

Share This Page