Can anyone help me as to some effects that are being used in these pictures? Seems to be a high contrast / clarity effect with a colour gradient of some sort?
Most of the photos at the link in the question demonstrate the following:
- Well lit scenes with the primary light sources fairly full spectrum and a single temperature and the subjects properly lit.
- White balance adjustment that removes any color cast. This would normally include correct color temperature as well as fine adjustments along the magenta ←→ green axis and the blue ←→ amber axis.
- Slightly reduced overall contrast. Highlights pulled down and shadows boosted.
- Increased micro contrast (local contrast) to increase detail. At a minimum it looks like heavy use of the vibrance and clarity sliders in Lightroom if not outright use of the tone mapping functions of HDR applications such as Photomatix.
- Fairly aggressive sharpening, probably using an unsharp mask tool.
- Moderately subdued to very subdued overall color saturation. Sometimes with color less is more. By subduing all colors, the strongest colors in the scene are emphasized.
- Selective color using an HSL (Hue-Saturation-Luminance) control to balance the color pallette and prevent any one color from overpowering the others.
- Use of layers and masks to adjust different areas of the image independently of the global adjustments made to the entire image.
- A few of the images show evidence of or at the least would have just been easier to pull of if compositing of multiple images was used.
To do most of this type of editing well the images need to be edited from raw data rather than a jpeg that has the black point, white point, gamma curves, and color temperature already baked in.