Orquid "Phoenix"

Orquid "Phoenix"

by ceinmart

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I believe these photos are edited in lightroom 4 but I may be wrong. The coloring of these photos is amazing and I just can't seem to replicate it. Any Ideas on what the photographer does to achieve the effect in these photos? No need to comment on the tilt shift, I already know how to do that. Just the post processing on the colored images. Thanks!

http://tonhyakaeblog.com/engagements/jenna-michael-seattle-engagement-session/

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It looks like off camera lighting at the scene to me –  Dreamager Jun 4 '12 at 23:10
    
My question here is always - have you tried emailing them and asking them? –  rfusca Jun 4 '12 at 23:16
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Hi Betty. Welcome to Stack Exchange. I know it's hard to put pictures into words, but could you edit your question to describe in more detail what it is that sets the coloring of these photos apart in your eye? That'll help future searchers, but maybe more importantly, it'll help us understand what you're after, because as Olin's comment demonstrates, different people can look at the same thing and get different impressions. –  mattdm Jun 4 '12 at 23:18
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She does love the tilt-shift, thats for sure. –  rfusca Jun 4 '12 at 23:18
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That said, the consistent look of the series — both the color images and the black and white images, and the consistent "tilt shift" blur effect — suggest that the photographer is probably doing something "packaged" here, either an off-the-shelf bit of software with certain presets, a custom set of scripts or presets she's built herself, or just a "mentally packaged" consistent knowledge of how to get her own camera gear to produce the look she wants. This is very apparent on the black and white images, which all share the same "film simulation" look. –  mattdm Jun 4 '12 at 23:28
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1 Answer

There's no specific technique or process going on here to the best of my knowledge - the colours are fairly muted with a slight pink tint, that's all. What you're actually seeing is a set of very carefully prepared set of images by someone with a lot of experience.

There are a lot of "how do I achieve the post production of professional photographer X" questions on this site, and I don't mean to pick on this one in particular (indeed I think trying to imitate the work of photographers you admire is a great way of learning, and you certainly shouldn't be put off obtaining results like these) but I thought I'd try and prrpare a "catch all" answer to link back to.

Shots like these are the combination of a number of factors:

  • an experienced photographer ensuring maximum quality at the point of capture

  • a large sensor camera with fast lens

  • good quality soft lighting, no challenging high contrast backgrounds, hazy cloudy weather and the right time of day

  • consistency in colour correction. The actual corrections applied will vary considerably between images, but the point is the results are consistent.

  • tasteful restraint in post production, achieving a slick clean look and then stopping there

  • resizing and sharpening for the web

And finally

  • only putting you best work forward. Cut ruthlessly and never let anyone see the ones that went wrong!
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+1 for "only putting you best work forward. Cut ruthlessly and never let anyone see the ones that went wrong!" –  Jahaziel Jun 6 '12 at 0:15
    
+ a whole bunch (of which I can actually give but one) for consistency. And a big part of getting consistent output (a "signature look", if you will) is being able to reliably get to a consistent start point. Whether that comes from setting a custom white balance to reference or using a full-range colour profiler (like the ColorChecker Passport or SpyderCheckr), it means that there's a lot less trial-and-error on individual images (you can "can" a lot of your adjustments, leaving you with minor tweaks at most) and a greater chance they'll have a family resemblance in the end. –  user2719 Jun 6 '12 at 20:47
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