replicating a developed film look via RAW file

Discussion in 'Digital Darkroom' started by sven_jolly, May 1, 2015.

  1. Calling all Pros!

    I've been recently inspired by the work of Juegen Teller and the way he "paints" with his pictures. By this, I mean he has a very specific processing look to where he desaturates and also adds a faded/washed out -yet gold hue to his older film looks.
    Anyone have any ideas how he gets his colors and also how this could be achieved with lightroom or photoshop? I can't seem to get the desaturated look and also the gold hues/overlay
    Attached is a photo of his work with his direct flash (contax g2 and tla 200) and his non-flash work.
    Per the Terms of Use, do not post photos that you did not take.
  2. One suggestion is Nik Plugins, Color Efex and Analog Efex.
  3. See DXO film pack. However, you should not have shown photo(s) with someone's private part on this forum. IMO it is neither decent nor artistic on a "G" rated forum. - Ulterior motives in the guise of "artistry". There I said it.
  4. thanks but I use Alien Skin Exposure and have tried NIK in the past. Nothing has worked, so far and I feel presets/ software still can't offer what is being done here. I was hoping someone could point me to a direction that I would be able to manually convert my images myself by using lightroom, etc.

    expanding on my request, I'm hoping someone could describe the process that he uses to achieve this washed out/golden look via darkroom and perhaps translate that into the digital darkroom.
  5. Any moment now the mod is going to come in to remind you not to post others photos and ask you to post a link to them. He will remove those you have posted.
  6. digitaldog

    digitaldog Andrew Rodney

    Just move around the various sliders and controls in your raw converter (in ACR/LR, calibration sliders are fair game). IF you feel it looks like "fill in the blank" film style or stock, you succeeded. Probably don't have to spend any more money than what you already have.
    I can slide Vibrance up a notch, apply a bit of Clarity, save a Preset and call it Velvia and probably sell it. It isn't Velvia but if I and other's believe that's what we see, that's enough.
  7. Following up Andrew's suggestion, here is an example of what one can achieve in ACR. I started with a high contrast outdoor photo taken on my iPhone and reduced the contrast and added a color cast. 95% of the work was in ACR, but I took the image into PS to juxtapose the before and after versions next to each other. If this is better than what you have been able to obtain, or you simply are interested in this approach, let me know and I'll post some screen shots of the ACR sliders.
    Tom M
    PS - My guess is that the photographer used a scrim on the 2nd shot that you posted (ie, the outdoor one), so the amount of work that had to be done in PP was considerably less.
    PPS - At the risk of stating the obvious, every starting image will have different white balance, different contrast, etc., so one absolutely must know how to appropriately "tweak the sliders" based on what you see, and not attempt to use a canned action, ACR preset, or anything similar.
  8. Because the photos posted by the OP are likely to be removed, here is the link to the one I was using as my "target" look:
  9. To me, it looks like Juergen Teller and Terry Richardson are both heavily influenced by Andy Warhol's Polaroid phase, especially the results from Warhol's Polaroid Big Shot, which used a cheap plastic fresnel flash diffuser to get that distinctive look. And Warhol's female subjects often wore heavy white makeup to get that "overexposed" look. If you look closely you can see the outlines of the heavy makeup in some photos.
    I've read all sorts of theories about how Teller gets that golden retro look, including yellow or orange filters on the Contax G2's flash or lens. But in photos of Teller at work there's no indication of any filters on the camera lens or flash. (BTW, Teller does occasionally use SLRs, but I can't tell from the photos whether it's film or digital, and the petal lens hoods obscure the front element so I can't tell whether there are any filters used).
    But fresh color film conventionally printed doesn't look like that. Try it. Even with fresh Portra or Fuji portrait films run through a properly Fuji Frontier minilab using fresh Fuji Crystal Archive paper, you'll get candy colors compared with Teller's. The print colors won't be hyper-saturated, but they will be balanced with much punchier blues and greens.
    On the rare occasions Teller talks about equipment, materials and techniques he claims to eschew any retouching. But that doesn't mean the examples you see, scanned from print magazines or screencapped from online magazines, haven't been retouched. Art directors will do whatever they prefer with photos, although they try to retain a celebrity photographer's distinctive look.
    For example, the photos of Jared Leto printed in the January 2014 is of GQ Italy appear obviously retouched, using digital smoothing, a very un-Teller-like cyan tone, and some tonemapping or clarifying adjustment.
    And it doesn't mean there was no "analog" voodoo used.
    The warm or golden tone so often mentioned in dozens of online questions about Teller's "look" could be the result of reduced cyan bias applied in printing. It's the retro chic look often associated with old family photos that have suffered some selective fading, due to differences in the fugitive nature of some dyes. Many of my old family color photos dating back to the late 1950s show a similar creamy warmth. It isn't accurate, but it is pleasant and appeals to the viewer's nostalgic sensibilities.
    Film could be aged - including accelerated aging from exposure to heat - to produce color shifts. But this can be unpredictable. I've used this trick with ISO 800 color films, by leaving the camera in the truck for months. There are noticeable color shifts, but it's erratic. And getting the desired results may be difficult unless the machine operator can make adjustments for each print.
    To mimic some of that look in Lightroom, try messing with the Camera Calibration settings (usually at the very bottom of the Develop module editing tools). Many photographers avoid messing with those, preferring accurate or supplied profiles. But experiment with the RGB saturation settings, particularly the saturation and hue sliders on the blue channel. The results can be interesting, and just a bit different from adjusting the HSL/Color sliders.
    Also, try something like DxO FilmPack. The Polaroid 669 setting and its various tweaks come pretty close to mimicking the look of older prints from Polaroids and color negative films.
    After outputting the TIFF or JPEG from DxO FilmPack, you can add back some split toning effects in Lightroom, adjusting the highlight and shadow sliders to around 30-60, for a gold or sepia warmth that can range from slightly reddish to slightly greenish.
    Also, avoid over-sharpening or using positive clarity. Most 35mm color film, when printed or reproduced for print magazines, isn't nearly as "sharp" as the potential for the better APS and full frame sensor digital cameras. Try a little negative clarity, around -10 to -30 -- beyond that it begins to look too glowy with halos. Try a sharpening radius of 2 to 3, but avoid halos -- the masking slider can rein them in. The radius really depends on the camera, and what works for one may not for another, depending on whether it's a teensy sensor 12 mp P&S or a full frame sensor 12 mp dSLR.
    And try very light or no luminance noise reduction. With some recent cameras high ISO luminance noise resembles film grain. A very light application of fake film grain overlay may be interesting too.
  10. Hi all, thanks for the responses.
    A special thanks to Lex for the advice. I've given the various methods and try and have gotten a little closer to the look I'm wanting. Warhols Poloroids look eerily similar to teller's final product.

    I did find out recently that teller has been using a 5DMKIII for his work. Strange that he would move onto digital when his signature look is so hard to reproduce.
  11. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator

    Moderator's Note. The photos posted were removed. As several others have pointed out, please do not post photos that you did not take, per the Terms of Use.
    However, you should not have shown photo(s) with someone's private part on this forum. IMO it is neither decent nor artistic on a "G" rated forum.​
    Additional Moderator's Note. Per the Terms of Use, nudity is permitted as long as it is not considered pornography.
  12. Pragmatism often drives the choice of equipment.
    Photographers like Teller and Richardson have
    carved out niches as celebrities in their own
    right. Lending their names to a project adds
    value. They can afford to abandon their signature
    lo-fi chic equipment in favor of the higher
    resolution results demanded by some editors and
    art directors.
  13. Links to some images as they were removed:
  14. I don't think that's it. They are able to create demand based on their work AND name. Teller has moved to digital admittedly, because he was able to find a camera he enjoyed shooting with. Richardson albeit it fading and quite the fraud (teller's style came first) still shoots with his yashica.

    Teller will still shoot with his contax G2 based on the job, he's said.
  15. I'll admit I'm still curious about how Teller
    gets that retro look from film (presumably prints
    from film) without waiting years for natural
    fading and color shifting.

    In an interview he mentioned having studied
    traditional darkroom techniques and color
    printing. Presumably he knows some tricks for
    getting prints that are technically inaccurate
    but a desirable part of his personal style. And
    he probably isn't going to reveal it to casual
    web snoops.

    But if I asked an inexperienced minilab operator
    to mimic that look, I'm not sure I'd know how to
    explain it to them, other than to reduce the cyan
    a bit.
  16. I hear you. Still can't replicate that golden look. His whites are white. Not yellowed...
    I don't even know how to accurately describe it to my good friend who are Photoshop wiz.
  17. Have you tried using various dialed in warmish WB's shooting in similar daylight/flash lit scenes shown in your examples. It appears to be over exposed daylight using the wrong or warmer WB and desaturating in post similar to warm tones achieved in this article...
    I just did a google image search entering "tungsten balanced film" which shows a lot of various golden hues. You can use ACR/LR Split Tone highlight slider to neutralize near bright white leaving the warmer tones alone.
    You may need to use a Gradient Map in Photoshop on the Raw file but then that defeats your wanting to do it in Raw option.
    If you posted an example of one of your images where you're having trouble getting that golden brownish skin color we might be able to show you what combination of WB and Split Tone hue that will get you there. From my own experience attempting to get the same look the reason why you might be having trouble is that the sliders are quite sensitive and you can easily pass by the hue moving the slider too quickly.
    I've done this on my own self portrait where I was trying to get that brown skin color and finally did by gradually moving a combination of Split Tone and green/magenta tint slider after neutralizing a tungsten lit shot. I also got closer by choosing a more neutralizing camera profile which in my case was Adobe Standard over a custom DNG profile which renders skin too reddish orange. Adobe Standard turned it to desaturated maroon rust and all it took was tweaking tint slider and adding Split Tone with navy blue shadow and green highlight.
  18. Hi Tim,
    I've tried pretty much everything and haven't been able to come very close. I'm pretty certain Jurgen Teller has a made a major switch to digital for the most part, yet he's still able to retain some semblance of this style, pictured here (
    It almost looks like a RAW file..
  19. Sven, why don't you post one or two of your images (unprocessed - RAW files are best) that show a girl in a similar location illuminated with, say, cloudy-bright sunlight, and also show us what you've tried. Then we'll have something concrete to work from.
    Tom M
  20. PS - it would be nice if the female subject has similar skin tones and hair, and there is a building with white or near white siding directly in back of her.
  21. If Jurgen Teller has switched to digital he's more than likely employing some very sophisticated color table editing software similar to what can be done in Capture One Pro.

Share This Page