How to achieve 60s color photography look?

Discussion in 'Film Discussion and Q & A' started by Pentaxonomy, Apr 30, 2018.

  1. Pentaxonomy

    Pentaxonomy TPF Noob!

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    Hello!

    I'm a film photographer looking to recreate the look of early color photography from the 50s/60s

    The best way to describe it is high contrast, grainy, and colorful.
    Album covers from the 50s (attached) have this look. Is this technicolor?
    (1950's Album Covers)
    How can it be recreated in photoshop? I've attached a before/ after photograph of Adriano Celentano for reference of the process I'm trying to recreate.
    (Adriano Celentano)
    So far, the closest I've gotten is by colorizing black and white 35mm photos (attached), but they lack the blown out hyper-vividness of the real deal.
    (https://imgur.com/a/zFb2VVx)

    Is this look because of film type or printing process?
    What's the best way to recreate it?

    Any help would be very much appreciated!


    Ian


     

    Attached Files:

  2. jcdeboever

    jcdeboever TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    Maybe start with a Kodachrome plug in? I'm not familiar with that software but that's where I'd start. Then I'd play around with contrast, shadow, clarity, grain, and bumping individual colors .
     
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  3. 480sparky

    480sparky Chief Free Electron Relocator Supporting Member

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    I'm confused. You want to recreate an effect of film..... when shooting film..... with Photoshop?
     
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  4. smarty62

    smarty62 TPF Noob!

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    I'm confused as 480sparky. The pics taken then didn't have a yellow tone or that kind of grain... usualy. I had my 1st classes in developing and doing the prints (not printing) in 1977 ...
    Just my 2 cents

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  5. compur

    compur Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    No, Technicolor film processes were for motion picture film.

    What you see on those old album covers is a combination of film type, printing methods, "retouching" methods and the aging process of the physical media. Album covers were never photographically printed. They were conventionally printed using inks.
     
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  6. Dave Colangelo

    Dave Colangelo No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I think you are looking for the nights bright colors, the greens of summer, unfortunately Kodachrome is out of production.

    as @compur points out Technicolor is a beam split motion picture technology as far as I now it was never used in photography.

    There are also a lot of other variables you have not yet told us. What camera are you shooting with? What film stock are you using? Are you scanning and applying any post processing? What are you using to print?

    Color dark room printing is a fast dying tradition as many of the required papers and chemicals are being pulled from production lines. The look can be achieved in post process through photoshop and you don't even need to use film in the fist place.

    A few other things to note, fabric (read clothing) and prop furniture has also changed greatly since the 50's proper costumes and setting will go a long way to make a photo look period appropriate. Keep in mind flash tech of the era was much different and its worth looking into what was used back them to light your set as well.
     
  7. webestang64

    webestang64 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    FYI....a lot of those color LP covers from the 50-60's are hand colored black-n-white photos. Kinda like that Huey "Piano" Smith cover.
     
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  8. Designer

    Designer Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Hello!

    Kodacolor film was known for its over-the-top intense color heavily doped with yellow dye. They liked the yellow box so much that they wanted all photographs to be overly-yellow.

    Kodacolor - Wikipedia

    Kodacolor Technology - Wikipedia

    I think if you just crank up the saturation and lean heavily toward the yellow, you'll be there.
     
  9. Pentaxonomy

    Pentaxonomy TPF Noob!

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    @480sparky and @smarty62 Sorry for the confusion! I should have been more clear.
    I have 2 questions:
    1. Why do the photos from the 50s/60s have this look?
    2. Can it be recreated?

    I'm using film as a starting point because it seems like the most natural way to achieve the effect I'm after. Ideally I would shoot on the film from that era, print, and then age the media for 40+years, but that isn't really a realistic option.

    @Dave Colangelo I'm using a Pentax K2DMD with a 50mm lens. Played around with Velvia 100 slide film but have since switched to Tri-X 400 and colorized in post (attached example below). Might even get some Ektachrome when it's finally re-released. Haven't gotten to the printing stage yet, but recommendations would be welcome.

    From what @webestang64 , @compur , and @Dave Colangelo have said, it seems like this look is a combination of film type, retouching (bw to color), era relevant clothing, ink printing, and aging of the physical prints.

    Am I missing anything? Other aspects I haven't considered?

    I know that technicolor is film process for motion pictures, but it's the closest word to describe the look I'm trying to re-create.

    @jcdeboever and @Designer thank you for the photoshop tips! I'll look into this.

    Also, this is my first post to the photoforum and I really appreciate all the feedback you've given me. So thank you all very much.
     

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  10. cgw

    cgw No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Try the Nik plug-ins--and experiment!
     
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  11. petrochemist

    petrochemist TPF junkie!

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    Most of the colour photos/slides I have from this period have faded badly or developed severe colour casts. I'm certain the professional copies of Mercury images my dad brought when visiting NASA didn't have the extreme red cast when ho got them!
     
  12. dxqcanada

    dxqcanada Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    The printing process and material it is printed on plays a big role in the images that you are referring to ... album covers are not silver halide material, so the manner in which they are created does produce a different image ... hmm, possibly screen printing ... just a guess.
     

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