While browsing through explore on Flickr I saw this picture:
I really like it because, to me, it looks like it is a painting (I hope I'm not the only one seeing it this way). Since I like my pictures to have some kind of painterly look, too, I wondered what exactly was causing this look for this picture.
What I have noticed so far:
- The picture seems to be a bit soft (maybe from using a softening filter, either in front of the lens or added in post?)
- The colors, especially on the man's face, seem to be a bit "blocky" (like when painting with a brush and not blending, only adding color)
To make my pictures somewhat reminiscent of a painting I generally lift the shadows and try to bring back detail in the highlights, maybe even to the point that there is no pure black / white. This is an example where I think it worked best:
But it's still not close to the look of the picture above.
Since the picture from John can be downloaded, I loaded it into Lightroom and lifted the very dark shadows to bring back some detail while trying to keep everything else at the original brightness. This made it look even more painterly IMO (I don't know if I am allowed to show it here).