How do you get colors to look like this?

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by Lee510, Nov 9, 2008.

  1. Lee510

    Lee510 TPF Noob!

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    Hi everybody,
    I'm new here, and new to photography in general, and I have a question which may or may not have belonged in the "beginner" section, but in looking for the answer, it occured to me this technique I'm looking for may fall into a more advanced category. But please forgive me if this is an easy issue.

    I'm trying to figure out how to make the colors in my photos look "smooth", for lack of a better or more technical term. In other words, make the colors look more subdued, or soft?? Almost like there's an even hue covering them... Really, I'm so new I even have a hard time trying to describe the look that's probably obvious to experienced pros.

    Here's some examples I copied and pasted from the winner's gallery. They all have that certain look to their colors and lighting. Ok, thanks for your help!

    http://i389.photobucket.com/albums/oo331/lfowyang/96-200404-Vonnagy.jpg

    http://i389.photobucket.com/albums/oo331/lfowyang/96-200407-Nytmair.jpg

    http://i389.photobucket.com/albums/oo331/lfowyang/96-200606-DepthAfield.jpg

    http://i389.photobucket.com/albums/oo331/lfowyang/96-200607-crystalview.jpg
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 10, 2008
  2. reg

    reg TPF Noob!

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    I'm going to be honest, I don't see any "smoothness" to the colors, infact there's quite a bit of highlight blowout. They probably used one exposure and threw it into Photomatix

    http://www.hdrsoft.com/
     
  3. K8-90

    K8-90 TPF Noob!

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    I tink it's the lighting. It's not the harsh, on camera flash, but what appears to be natural, indirect lighting. Then there's the depth of field and rich colours - all natural warm tones.
     
  4. Lee510

    Lee510 TPF Noob!

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    "Smooth" may have been a bad way to describe it. Again, I can see it, but I'm having a hard time describing the look.
     
  5. reg

    reg TPF Noob!

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  6. Lee510

    Lee510 TPF Noob!

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    reg - thanks for the link... that certainly seems to show that "even" look I am seeing... reading through that website makes me realize how little I know!
     
  7. epp_b

    epp_b No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Perhaps you should post some examples of your own shots to give us a better idea of how to help you out.
     
  8. Lee510

    Lee510 TPF Noob!

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    Well, after reading up on Photomatix, I've stumbled on this concept of HDR. Then after reading up on HDR, I've stumbled on the idea of adjusting curves, etc, etc... so I guess I didn't realize how much of this stuff might be edited afterwards. Maybe that's the answer to my original question? And the more I'm reading up and learning about these things, I'm starting to see huge differences between the 4 pics I posted!
     
  9. LaFoto

    LaFoto Just Corinna in real life Staff Member Supporting Member

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    None of the photos presented here are HDR. Particularly not the one of Mark (first), I remember the time when he first presented it (years back).

    Myself, I'm convinced most of these got their "soft" or "smooth" colours through the given light situation, which is a) natural - even for the kitchen photo, where window light falls onto the blueberries, while there might be some lamp light on the baskets in the background, and b) muted or veiled through clouds being a natural diffuser. Even where the photographers worked with sunlight, it is never direct but always diffused by clouds.
     
  10. Battou

    Battou No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Diffusers and maybe a warming filter maybe.

    I've gotten evenness like that before but it's always under cloud cover, I am clueless about doing it under artificial light.
     
  11. danjchau

    danjchau TPF Noob!

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    -------------
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2009
  12. JodieO

    JodieO TPF Noob!

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    Totally the light. These don't even look post processed to me. They look straight out of camera. I'm guessing Nikon camera, no processing. It is all about the light.
     

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