why do digital files colours looks so bad without post

Started 6 months ago | Questions
whosthatwhatsthat Forum Member • Posts: 84
why do digital files colours looks so bad without post

As a heads up, I know the title is going to cause a stir, please take it with a pinch of salt. Of course, many factors come into play.

My reason is I want to know what is that gives these images more of a high-end look, they're by Juergen Teller for W mag from January 2020.

Even the shot of Joaquin Phoenix indoors looks great, I believe its just natural light but I'm curious as to how it doesn't have that sort of washed or flat look that digital can produce indoors.

Are these images desaturated then in certain areas more colour contrast is brought in?

Please do not just say he can afford great post-production, yes we know that but I want to know how it's done and also any tips into creating shots like these when shooting to make images seem more high-end and luxurious.

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MOD Biggs23 Veteran Member • Posts: 4,903
Re: why do digital files colours looks so bad without post
6

whosthatwhatsthat wrote:

As a heads up, I know the title is going to cause a stir, please take it with a pinch of salt. Of course, many factors come into play.

My reason is I want to know what is that gives these images more of a high-end look, they're by Juergen Teller for W mag from January 2020.

Even the shot of Joaquin Phoenix indoors looks great, I believe its just natural light but I'm curious as to how it doesn't have that sort of washed or flat look that digital can produce indoors.

Are these images desaturated then in certain areas more colour contrast is brought in?

Please do not just say he can afford great post-production, yes we know that but I want to know how it's done and also any tips into creating shots like these when shooting to make images seem more high-end and luxurious.

I wouldn't call either of these images a 'high end look.' Closer to the other end.

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a_c_skinner Forum Pro • Posts: 10,119
Re: why do digital files colours looks so bad without post

The first thing to ask is are you using out of camera JPGs?  If not start using them, if you are try saving raw files to play with.

Those images (which I don't really care for) are well lit and well exposed which is an essential starting point.

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Andrew Skinner

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Mark_A
Mark_A Forum Pro • Posts: 16,076
Re: why do digital files colours looks so bad without post

whosthatwhatsthat wrote:

As a heads up, I know the title is going to cause a stir, please take it with a pinch of salt. Of course, many factors come into play.

My reason is I want to know what is that gives these images more of a high-end look, they're by Juergen Teller for W mag from January 2020.

Both of these images have large white areas and it appears the shots white balance is about right. Setting a correct white balance can help skin tones look right.

However you feeling the shots out of your camera don't look great suggests you could start looking at making adjustments. Most cameras allow tweaking of jpeg outputs, raws are normally only editable in post processing.

So you can adjust jpegs in camera, and raws in post, there are myriad ways you can arrive at the look you are seeking.

Mark_A

OP whosthatwhatsthat Forum Member • Posts: 84
Re: why do digital files colours looks so bad without post

In comparison to this, I'd say they are very high end

OP whosthatwhatsthat Forum Member • Posts: 84
Re: why do digital files colours looks so bad without post

I am using CR2s

OP whosthatwhatsthat Forum Member • Posts: 84
Re: why do digital files colours looks so bad without post

I see, so you think its more about white balance than say the post prod treatment here?

and do you think any modifiers were used.

How do you mean you can tweak the jpeg in camera?

Mark_A
Mark_A Forum Pro • Posts: 16,076
Re: why do digital files colours looks so bad without post

whosthatwhatsthat wrote:

I see, so you think its more about white balance than say the post prod treatment here?

White balance can adjust other colours back into line yes ..

and do you think any modifiers were used.

How do you mean you can tweak the jpeg in camera?

I don't know about your camera but in mine I can adjust all sorts of variables as to how the camera will save its jpegs, things like tone, colour saturation, sharpness, on Fuji's I believe you can set your jpegs to simulate a film ..

Mark_A

Mark Scott Abeln
Mark Scott Abeln Forum Pro • Posts: 15,940
Questions
1

whosthatwhatsthat wrote:

I am using CR2s

How are you determining your white balance?

What raw processor are you using?

What camera profile are you using?

Do you have overexposed or heavily underexposed areas in your photos?

What kind of edits are you doing to your photos?

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Trevor Carpenter
Trevor Carpenter Forum Pro • Posts: 17,172
Re: why do digital files colours looks so bad without post
3

I see many better pictures than those two posted on these forums

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JasonTheBirder
JasonTheBirder Contributing Member • Posts: 866
Re: why do digital files colours looks so bad without post
6

The two examples you posted are some of the ugliest shots I have ever seen. Horrendous. It's like asking why a car is worse than a horse while pointing to a rust bucket with one wheel.

MOD Biggs23 Veteran Member • Posts: 4,903
Re: why do digital files colours looks so bad without post
8

whosthatwhatsthat wrote:

In comparison to this, I'd say they are very high end

That's not a great image, but it's significantly better than the two original examples.

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a_c_skinner Forum Pro • Posts: 10,119
Re: why do digital files colours looks so bad without post

Shoot jpgs then see what that does.

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a_c_skinner Forum Pro • Posts: 10,119
Re: why do digital files colours looks so bad without post
3

Nasty shot, she couldn't even be bothered to tuck her vest into her skirt.  Preparation is the key.

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(unknown member) Regular Member • Posts: 221
Re: why do digital files colours looks so bad without post

whosthatwhatsthat wrote:

I am using CR2s

Of course those are flat with the default profile in most RAW converters.

That is the whole idea.

OP whosthatwhatsthat Forum Member • Posts: 84
Re: why do digital files colours looks so bad without post
3

you must be joking.

TripleCoatedBokeh
TripleCoatedBokeh Contributing Member • Posts: 532
Re: why do digital files colours looks so bad without post
1

whosthatwhatsthat wrote:

As a heads up, I know the title is going to cause a stir, please take it with a pinch of salt. Of course, many factors come into play.

My reason is I want to know what is that gives these images more of a high-end look, they're by Juergen Teller for W mag from January 2020.

Even the shot of Joaquin Phoenix indoors looks great, I believe its just natural light but I'm curious as to how it doesn't have that sort of washed or flat look that digital can produce indoors.

Are these images desaturated then in certain areas more colour contrast is brought in?

Please do not just say he can afford great post-production, yes we know that but I want to know how it's done and also any tips into creating shots like these when shooting to make images seem more high-end and luxurious.

These look like iphone shots.

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Rambow Contributing Member • Posts: 813
Because the photographer is sloppy?
3

whosthatwhatsthat wrote:

you must be joking.

No, i like the girl too.

About the first two images, nothing remarkable has been done to them. Probably exposure has been tweaked, contrast added etc. The usual stuff you do for commercial work. Having a good camera with a capable sensor and optics helps too(allows for better, easier editing of the resulting files).

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Jimmy Simpleton Regular Member • Posts: 338
Re: why do digital files colours looks so bad without post
2

Some thoughts:

One reason for the "high end" look could be their restraint and subtlety. In way too many "pro" shots, we see obvious effects, such as retouching and the use of reflectors/beauty dishes (this is apparent in the image in your second post). To some, these are cheap parlor tricks (aka "contrived").

The other reason, which might follow from the first, is the authenticity they exude. The poses are mostly natural and the camera might not even be level in the 2nd. In an era of rampant fakery, authenticity -- or at least the semblance of it -- has an undeniable cachet.

I think that pro photography, like fashion styles, evolves over time. Perhaps these examples are part of a new trend?

jeffnles1 Senior Member • Posts: 1,598
Re: why do digital files colours looks so bad without post

I don’t don’t do portraits. I’m a wildlife and nature photographer. I find my best photos are darn close out of camera.  I may do some boosting of shadows or white balance correction and usually some cropping. My goal in post is to make the image look like it did in nature.  I don’t like over saturated images or ones that don’t look natural.

in your opening post the images look very natural.  I would be willing to wager they looked darn good right out of the camera.   Post processing can be the road to hell and go awry quickly.

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