I was wondering if you guys could have a look at this zombie gallery (a tad NSFW): http://www.behance.net/gallery/Zombie-Walk-Paris-2010/766679 and shed some light on the post-processing used in the pictures.

Here is the Flickr photoset (photos by Live Rasoloarison). I've attached a few examples, but will remove if you think it's too hardcore for photo.se, or if the photographer minds.

alt text alt text alt text

I think there is at least some vignetting going on, some fake bokeh/depth-of-field, some extra background textures, and a mix of vintage look + red saturation. Lots of work I'm sure. I'm usually not into post-process, but I think it worked really nicely for this specific subject; I'd love to get the corresponding LR preset and experiment on my own zombie gallery, for kicks.

Note: it's hard to characterize this type of question. I could typically imagine the same question being asked for a different effect. Any hint on how to make it more pertinent?


3 Answers 3


I think you've answered your own question, it looks to me like contrast + split-toning + vignette + texture layer. Nothing really suggests to me the bokeh was faked, the photos were shot with a 50 f/1.8

The vintage look as you put it is probably achieved by split toning, that is applying different colour shifts to the highlights and shadows. It doesn't take very long to do this sort of processing actually, and it can be very effective with this type if subject (it makes the make-up look a lot more convincing for a start). Here are some shots from a recent shoot where I did almost the same thing, except for the texture:



These were done with Adobe Camera Raw (pretty much the same as LightRoom) so you could create a preset. I'll dig out the settings when I get a chance!

  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks Matt. The bokeh looked a tad fake to me, but I might be wrong. With a wide open aperture, usually the "blurriness" is not the same depending on the depth of background elements; in some of these photos, it looks like the background is uniformly blurry though, as if a loose/feathered selection had been had been made around the main subject and the rest of the photo had been gaussian blurred. Just my feeling. Maybe I'm getting that because of the extra texture applied to the background. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Oct 31, 2010 at 1:11
  • \$\begingroup\$ 50mm on a crop actually compresses the perspective a reasonable ammount so you don't see huge differences in the CoC between the mid and far distance. It's possible the bokeh has been softened a bit. Like you say it's hard to tell with all the other processing going on... \$\endgroup\$
    – Matt Grum
    Commented Oct 31, 2010 at 13:11
  • \$\begingroup\$ What kind of split tone combinations do you like? \$\endgroup\$
    – eruditass
    Commented Nov 2, 2010 at 15:22

I left a message on Live Rasoloarison's Flickr photoset, asking him if he could answer this question, and he was nice enough to get back to me by email recently. Here is his answer, translated from French.

I first use Lightroom to work on my RAW photos. I apply a preset that I created specially for the Zombie Walk so that I can achieve a consistent "cinematic" look for a whole series of photos. I perform selective adjustments to tweak the brightness and exposure locally on faces and underexposed areas, then switch to Photoshop where I make more adjustments on colors and curves to get that cross-processing look. I apply some textures in overlay mode too (the choice of texture is pretty important). That's about it for the post-process. I'd like to add something about what you said on the forum: you mentioned that there was some fake bokeh at work here, but that's not entirely true :) There are indeed some duplications of the bokeh on some photos, not all of them. Because of the two black borders I add on top and at the bottom of the photo to achieve a 16:9 aspect ratio, I sometimes need to replicate part of the background to "fill in".

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ As much as I'm not super comfortable with people accepting their own answer, I might do it here since I'm quoting the photographer himself. OK? \$\endgroup\$ Commented Nov 19, 2010 at 17:19

2 things have been done here; Just look up "cross processing" and "adding texture" to your pictures on google.. you'll find tons of tutorials on these 2 topics.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Hi Sridhar, and welcome to Photo.SE. Just a quick word of advice, to prevent any further or future downvotes. While we don't mind having specific sites linked in an answer, we do prefer that any key useful tidbits of information from applicable sites be quoted in an answer. It is also generally frowned upon when someone answers with "Just google it". Our ultimate goal is to build up a persistent base of information here, that is valuable even after linked sites or searchable information on google may be gone. Add some specifics about "cross processing", and you'll likely get some upvotes. \$\endgroup\$
    – jrista
    Commented Nov 19, 2010 at 9:29

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.