Getting that Deep Rich Look?!?!

Undercover.Nerd

TPF Noob!
Joined
Oct 13, 2015
Messages
10
Reaction score
3
Location
Washington State, USA
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
Hello All!

I've always been super fascinated with that Deep Rich look you can often see in portraits. Like this: goo.gl/SG1vkI

Do any of ya'll have a tutorial, know-how, or guidance on such a technique?

Here are some other examples:

Any help is appreciated!
 

deeky

No longer a newbie, moving up!
Joined
Jun 22, 2012
Messages
1,244
Reaction score
415
Location
Sioux Falls, SD
Can others edit my Photos
Photos NOT OK to edit
Lighting is huge as it allows the subject to pop but keep the other areas darker. Then it's just a matter of adjusting your curves, increasing saturation, contrast, and probably some clarity in there too.

At least that's may take on it unless others have some presets for you...
 

Designer

Been spending a lot of time on here!
Joined
Apr 13, 2012
Messages
18,492
Reaction score
4,846
Location
Iowa
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
The colors appear to be over-saturated to me. Such editing techniques are useful if the editor knows how to use them. And why.
 

TCampbell

Been spending a lot of time on here!
Joined
Mar 31, 2012
Messages
3,615
Reaction score
1,556
Location
Dearborn, MI
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
I immediately noticed two things about the look...

#1 - There's a vignette applied to the image. If you shoot at a minimum focal ratio for a lens, the physics of how light moves through the lens causes the center of the image to be brighter than the edges (at high focal ratios this effect disappears). You can apply this effect in software either as a "lens vignette" or a "gamma vignette" -- in one it's a simple dimming around the edges and in the other it's a dimming with a moderate bit of saturation.

#2 - The images are pushing the darks to blacks -- this is a kind of contrast adjustment usually applied either with "levels" or "curves" adjustment.
 

Derrel

Mr. Rain Cloud
Joined
Jul 23, 2009
Messages
48,227
Reaction score
18,916
Location
USA
Website
www.pbase.com
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
Another way to achieve this look is to start with a well-saturated image, make it somewhat dark, and then use an adjustment brush, or a series of brushes, to lighten up the areas of interest. If you look at these shots, you can see the pattern of the environment being dark, but the subject (little red riding hood and her lantern) being lighter than the surrounding, scene areas. Light advances, dark recedes is the simplified way of thinking about this: a light object seems to come to the forefront when it is found within a darker scene or setting. This is one of the reasons, as Tim mentioned, that applying a vignette can be so effective. After the most important subject, like say red riding hood, has been lightened up a bit, it's also possible to "paint on" selected adjustments that will further enhance the lightened areas, such as selective sharpening, or added clarity, or added saturation, or along the same lines, it's possible to paint on softening to areas that you want to sort of become less sharp, less crisp, less noticeable. In this type of fantasy Red Riding Hood in the woods type of a set-up shot, the natural feel is somewhat DARK to begin with...we can easily accept that it's dark in the woods...and she has a lantern, and has fair skin...we can easily accept a fairly tale type processing look, even if it's a bit extreme. In the shots the one fellow did of the brunette woman with the dark brown leather couches and dark carpet, the same thing would apply...make the surroundings darker...make sure the woman is brighter, sharper, clearer.. BOOM! She stands out in her tan dress and white socks, while the entire room and furnishings easily are visually sublimated due to being a lot darker.

If you notice, a lot of the people who do these types of shots this way have very little actual "lighting" visible, and there are sometimes very unnatural, odd, even dumb Photoshop tricks that look really hokey. One of my favorites is the Malaysian fellow who somehow inhabits a world in which young kids frolic in the countryside, and water buffalo graze in the fields, and the kids and the whole world are all brilliantly back-lighted by a Sun that can, and which does, shine from multiple directions at the same time!
 
Last edited:

Scatterbrained

Been spending a lot of time on here!
Joined
Apr 19, 2010
Messages
2,184
Reaction score
1,083
Location
Yucca Valley, Ca
Can others edit my Photos
Photos NOT OK to edit
Hello All!

I've always been super fascinated with that Deep Rich look you can often see in portraits. Like this: goo.gl/SG1vkI

Do any of ya'll have a tutorial, know-how, or guidance on such a technique?

Here are some other examples:

Any help is appreciated!
As Derrel pointed out, the darker, almost monochromatic background coupled with a light toned subject is the big key here. Notice that these scenes all have very simple color palettes, and that the backgrounds tend towards low key while the subjects are not only lighter in tone but about a stop brighter in their actual light value. The scenes are simple. The color palette is simple. The lighting on the scene appears fairly uniform (no random bright spots behind the subject). The colors are all "earth tones", nothing that would distract from the subject. Add to that the subtle DOF falloff you get with a wide angle lens (35mm wide open in those shots). A wide angle lens (not ultra wide) shot wide open will render a crisp subject and a soft but still fully rendered background, helping to give an image context while ensuring that the subject really stands out. These are all things that can be handled in the camera.

The processing on these is actually fairly simple, yet subtle and I'd say fairly skillful. Nothing ham-fisted or over the top here. As far as lighting these look like they could have all been done with natural light and careful subject placement, maybe a reflector or diffusion panel as well.
 

tecboy

No longer a newbie, moving up!
Joined
Feb 17, 2012
Messages
2,977
Reaction score
358
Location
San Jose, Cali, The Heart of Silicon Valley
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
I keep clicking next to see next photo. I keep seeing each woman with same body mass, same expression, and same age. Each photograph is a same concept. I keep clicking next, and I got bored seeing each photo. I better stop clicking next!
 

soufiej

No longer a newbie, moving up!
Joined
Jan 3, 2015
Messages
714
Reaction score
113
Can others edit my Photos
Photos NOT OK to edit
I keep clicking next to see next photo. I keep seeing each woman with same body mass, same expression, and same age. Each photograph is a same concept. I keep clicking next, and I got bored seeing each photo. I better stop clicking next!


At 3 AM, yeah, there's probably something better to do.
 

Braineack

Been spending a lot of time on here!
Joined
Jun 17, 2013
Messages
13,184
Reaction score
5,596
Location
NoVA
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
get a really fast lens.

get rich to persuade pretty women.

take subpar photos.

spend 30 hours on each editing/processing to make it salvageable.
 
OP
Undercover.Nerd

Undercover.Nerd

TPF Noob!
Joined
Oct 13, 2015
Messages
10
Reaction score
3
Location
Washington State, USA
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
Another way to achieve this look is to start with a well-saturated image, make it somewhat dark, and then use an adjustment brush, or a series of brushes, to lighten up the areas of interest. If you look at these shots, you can see the pattern of the environment being dark, but the subject (little red riding hood and her lantern) being lighter than the surrounding, scene areas. Light advances, dark recedes is the simplified way of thinking about this: a light object seems to come to the forefront when it is found within a darker scene or setting. This is one of the reasons, as Tim mentioned, that applying a vignette can be so effective. After the most important subject, like say red riding hood, has been lightened up a bit, it's also possible to "paint on" selected adjustments that will further enhance the lightened areas, such as selective sharpening, or added clarity, or added saturation, or along the same lines, it's possible to paint on softening to areas that you want to sort of become less sharp, less crisp, less noticeable. In this type of fantasy Red Riding Hood in the woods type of a set-up shot, the natural feel is somewhat DARK to begin with...we can easily accept that it's dark in the woods...and she has a lantern, and has fair skin...we can easily accept a fairly tale type processing look, even if it's a bit extreme. In the shots the one fellow did of the brunette woman with the dark brown leather couches and dark carpet, the same thing would apply...make the surroundings darker...make sure the woman is brighter, sharper, clearer.. BOOM! She stands out in her tan dress and white socks, while the entire room and furnishings easily are visually sublimated due to being a lot darker.

If you notice, a lot of the people who do these types of shots this way have very little actual "lighting" visible, and there are sometimes very unnatural, odd, even dumb Photoshop tricks that look really hokey. One of my favorites is the Malaysian fellow who somehow inhabits a world in which young kids frolic in the countryside, and water buffalo graze in the fields, and the kids and the whole world are all brilliantly back-lighted by a Sun that can, and which does, shine from multiple directions at the same time!



Thank you for the reply! This is well in depth
 

Braineack

Been spending a lot of time on here!
Joined
Jun 17, 2013
Messages
13,184
Reaction score
5,596
Location
NoVA
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
get a really fast lens.

get rich to persuade pretty women.

take subpar photos.

spend 30 hours on each editing/processing to make it salvageable.


What would you recommend, since you don't fancy these photos?

its not that I dont like them, but most of the effort was put into post on these. Most of the photos themselves are photos anyone could do with a fast lens (plus money to attract these women to pose). What makes them something special is the countless hours in post.
 

Most reactions

New Topics

Top