color treatments with the E-M5 [images and shooting notes]

Started Oct 25, 2012 | Discussions thread
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rkeller Senior Member • Posts: 1,066
color treatments with the E-M5 [images and shooting notes]

This week I had the opportunity to work for two clients who were interested in creative color treatments of portraits beyond the usual. I've provided shooting notes below for those interested in the practical technical applications of the equipment and processing.

The first image is for a client who runs a non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation and promotion of Mid-Century Modern architecture. While we did some standard family portraits during the session, for this one we used vintage clothing, accessories, and furniture, and took advantage of their "half-Jetsons, half-Flintstones 1961 custom ranch" house. The color treatment and lighting were inspired by actual advertisements of that era collected by the client. The same for the gender stereotypes (that are strictly tongue-in-cheek). The glass of bourbon is real.

  • Lens: Olympus 14-54mm f/2.8-3.5 II at 22mm and f/4.0
  • ISO 200. 1/50 sec. exposure
  • Along with the lights you see in the room plus the ambient window light, I used 3 strobes in manual RC mode triggered with the accessory flash: 1 Olympus FL-50R and 2 FL-36Rs. 2 of the flashes were actually in the frame and have been Photoshopped out in the final image.
  • The color treatment started with a canned Lightroom preset that I tweaked for the colors occurring in the scene and the desired early-60s color palette.

The second image is a quick one-off for a friend and gallery owner who recently cut her very long hair and is donating it to In advance of Halloween, we were going for a for a "creepy yet glamorous" vibe of her holding her "hair-baby."

  • Lens: Olympus M.Zuilko 9-18mm f/4.0-5.6 at 9mm and f/4.0
  • ISO 200. 1/10 sec. exposure
  • Handheld FL-50R flash using a bounce modifier and a TTL cord, and modified TTL exposure mode
  • The IS of the E-M5 allows for a long exposure to balance the ambient light in the background with the flash without blur at base ISO
  • The color treatment and vignetting started with the Olympus "Pinhole" art filter that I tweaked.

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"If you simplify your English, you are freed from the worst follies of orthodoxy. You cannot speak any of the necessary dialects, and when you make a stupid remark its stupidity will be obvious, even to yourself." - George Orwell "Politics and the English Language"
"Unfortunately, in digital photography a lot of people are seeing pixels, not photographs ... Everyone together now: it's not the pixels. Sing it with me." - Thom Hogan
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