Karma for Imaginara!
I have a bunch of favourite fashion photographers that I follow, but I when I think of one photographer whose style is truly distinctive, I personally can't think of anyone other than Bruce Weber. Has anyone had a chance to analyze his style technically (apart from his unique casting and styling choices)?
One thing I figured I would add in to Imaginara's bits about tethering and such for Canon users: If your intention is to shoot tethered, many applications require you to use Canon's EOS utility in conjunction. LR2 did, Aperture does, and some others. It's pretty unstable. If you shoot too quickly or if the camera disconnects it can be a pain to get everything back online.
I personally use Lightroom 3(which tethers natively, and very fast) which I use in a bit different way than Imaginara's workflow so I'll throw out my general workflow/setup just so people can see different ways of going about the same basic process.
I shoot with a Canon(5D mk 2), tethered to my 13" Macbook Pro running Lightroom 3. I set LR3 up to have two displays. A 20" display pointed at me and the model so we can see/work on posing/composition etc and the laptop's display pointed in the other direction so that clients and other people can see what's going on without being in my way on the set and disrupting the shoot.
In Lightroom I set the system up to create an XMP file, and I create a user preset for the general look and feel(as far as tones, contrast, color etc) we want that way each image I shoot shows up with the preset automatically loaded so there's no guessing what the image will look like with the desired treatment. I'll usually tweak it a bit later on, but it's nice to have an idea of exactly how the image will look and feel on the spot.
From there I use LR's star rating system(which is really simple and easy to use) to edit down the shoot to the final images Im going to retouch. I'll then edit these in CS5 using the same techniques Imaginara mentioned.
And for the love of god, avoid using skin softeners or any kind of blurring techniques/plug ins to "retouch" skin. The plastic blurred look is something that I've never seen accepted
in any sort of fashion/beauty publication or advertising. Non-destructive retouching can be time consuming to say the least, but the results are natural looking polished skin.
but i'm wondering if there are some filters on photoshop which professional photographers use. like, are there some which can make digital camera snapshots look more professional? what filters are generally used on photos from editorials and ad campaigns?
It usually starts off with broad colour and contrast adjustments. Then many small, localized adjustments where necessary, depending on the desired look. Mostly done manually, not through filters that are commercially available. Of course some filters certainly are used, but it is rare that they are responsible for the entire character of the retouch.
It depends on the image, the desired look and how far away the original exposure is from it.
Yes, there are loads of filters that you can buy, the question is whether or not they're used by the top professional photographers and retouchers. None of the filters or plug-ins can make a regular old snapshot and turn it into an amazing image. It would have to be an amazing snapshot to begin with.
If you want to learn more about retouching techniques you should check out retouchpro.com
As have been previously stated, there is no "makethislookawesome" filter anywhere. It's all a combination of many different techniques, all depending on the starting image and the desired outlook. Sometimes you use one way to treat skin, sometimes you use another, and sometimes you even use plugins ;D
But, as Jamamini stated, it ALL starts in the lighting. If you have to fix errors made on set when taking the picture, you are at a disadvantage from the get go. Can you still produce a great image? Yes, but not as efficient as if it were pretty much done in camera obviously. And as a commercial photographer this can be very vital because there are times when you are not the one doing the retouching yourself. So if you deliver sub-par pictures that needs more work to be publishable than the other photographer, you will not be hired again.
Plus besides the time it takes, retouching pretty much always degenerate the image quality. Techniques like curves, levels, contrast tend to compress the tonality ranges in the image which can cause banding and such. This is one of the major reasons to use high-end Digital Backs for medium format as they are true 16 bit image sensors. So the image they will deliver can be tweaked and punished in retouching a lot more before they crumble.
Also note that retouching trends comes and go, plastic skin is in, then its out, then its back in, then its back out etc. So make sure you keep on track what the market wants aswell.
As far as I could count, there are about 15 outfits in the campaign. And they all look like shot under genuine Late Afternoon/Early Morning light. Now, how fast should you move (and in how many days) to get as many pictures with natural light? I'm curious
well, there is nothing stopping you to shoot over a few days (except that logistics might be a bit more expensive). But these look like they were colour corrected to look like "the golden hour" a bit more than it actually being that light. That will give you a few hours that you can shoot (where the shadows are roughly the right position) and still have the same tone of light. Have a really fast wardrobe staff and you are set to go
well, you could get that effect probably with a gobo and a few spots... but there might a simpler way to do this if done carefully (and i suspect might be the case here). You take a mirror, shatter it, and glue the pieces together in a scattered way. This creates a reflected light pattern that is very chaotic and caustic in nature, and can be used to reflect a scattered lightpattern with pretty good precision. Ive seen it used in a studio environment where they bounced a flash onto a background using this technique to create a nice light pattern.
But here i'm actually thinking that they might be reflecting the sun back using that kind of broken mirror trick. Imagine when using a mirror to create lightpatterns on a wall that we (probably) did when we were kids. Its' the same thing, only that the pattern is getting more random due to the mirror being broken.
Sometimes, the simple solutions are the best
Ps. think i'm going to try this idea out actually ;D ds.