why do digital files colours looks so bad without post

Started 4 months ago | Questions
Flowchart
Flowchart Senior Member • Posts: 1,370
Re: why do digital files colours looks so bad without post

I'm on the same page, I don't know what equipment the photographer used and I also realize that the style won't please everyone.
But to me, what the photographer has done (intentionally I might add) is to break with the synthetic look that has been prevalent for so long, and this makes the photos stand out.

The subjects don't look as if drowned in teams of makeup artists, exotic lighting setups and digital processing.

And makes them look like human beings and not larger than life icons.

Very refreshing.

TN Args wrote:

stevo23 wrote:

knickerhawk wrote:

Biggs23 wrote:

knickerhawk wrote:

Biggs23 wrote:

knickerhawk wrote:

stevo23 wrote:

Mimics amateur photography? Maybe that's a thing, I don't know. But it strikes me oddly that one would want or have to strive to achieve such a thing.

Check out the article about Teller I linked to in my other response. It's a thing...

He's an arteest!

I think the point is that the OP is looking for an explanation of how to achieve some kind of "high end magic" when there really isn't any in the examples. Pedestrian, flat, relatively boring shots of pretty people with a low quality sensor is not a combination that should prove difficult to emulate.

But apparently there is something about these shots that the OP really likes and wants to emulate. So...well dressed pretty people, iPhone, flat lighting. Done. There's your majik.

And yet Biggs23 had no trouble distinguishing that one shot from all of the others in the article.

I suspected from the OP that the first two posted images were iPhone shots. The image I posted simply confirmed it for me.

The shots are pretty terrible from start to finish, and Stevo's explanation is exactly correct. There's no magic, no special sauce, just an iPhone, laziness, and no dedication to craft.

Yet we know with certainty from the reflection in the window that Teller was using a large camera in at least one of the shots in the series. (That's Teller in the reflection based on his spiky hair.)

I don't think so.

"I don't think so" = I've got no substantive response.

I see ZERO resemblance between the shot of the girl in the car and the original Brad Pitt and Joaquin Phoenix shots. I see ZERO resemblance in the other shot of the same girl posted in the article either:

Minus the poor image quality, SOOC look, and no quality or directionality of light?

It's a "look" that's very popular in commercial fashion photography, in no small part because of the efforts of this particular photographer. "SOOC" is the photographer's intent.

Blind leading the blind stumbling backwards over a bridge. When something is in vogue, that is not an indication of its worthiness.

Obviously, the lighting isn't the same, but even a cursory comparison shows a huge difference in color depth and tonality. The left one looks like she has a cadaver's skin. The right one is so much richer/deeper looking. It's hard to dismiss all of the difference to the lower lighting conditions of the left version. I just don't see how you can conclude that all of the shots were done with an iPhone (not counting, of course, the one that unquestionably was taken by an ILC based on the reflection of the photographer).

I certainly don't *know* that they are, I simply suspect. Even if they aren't, these are mediocre images captured by a photographer that doesn't care about photography.

LOL. They are images captured by one of the world's best known fashion and fine art photographers. Don't confuse Teller's trademark casual look with carelessness. He's successfully cultivated that look for many years now to considerable success.

One can cultivate weeds on purpose with considerable success. But convincing a group of people that your weeds are important and special takes a quality other than photographic talent.

knickerhawk's comment to Biggs23 applies to you too. Making random negative assertions against a proven successful photographer, makes one look like one has appointed oneself to the pinnacle of all knowledge and judgement, which actually does not make one look as good as one might think. And all because backing down is too hard in an internet discussion forum for some to manage it -- and learning is apparently out of the question.

I followed this thread because I thought it was interesting that the OP held the look of samples he used in the OP in such high regard, with the term high-end, as opposed to his terms washed or flat. But later in the thread he filled in the details, explaining that he was discussing naturalistic colours and tonality, and I thought that was discussed and accepted reasonably well in that section of this thread. I can see what the OP is talking about, in those terms.

What is happening in thispart of the thread is different. Someone decided to go on a witch-hunt against the photographer's merit, by trying to prove that he was using a phone camera, and then drawing a very long bow to connect use of a phone camera with sloppiness and lack of care about photography. When I saw the images in the OP, I immediately thought the DOF is huge and could be phone camera photos, but I have no issue with that. I tend to feel sorry for people using phone cameras professionally: he must be going through heck out there in the bright light, trying to see the composition while fiddling with the touch screen, all in the service of his dedication to his art and style. But if that's the way he wants to do it....

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David1961
David1961 Senior Member • Posts: 2,908
Re: Routine shots. Shrug.

hotdog321 wrote:

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 are pretty routine shots that could be shot by almost anyone.

Exactly.  Totally agree.

If these were shot professionally then the professional photographers I am used to dealing with have by far superior photography and post processing skills than whoever took these photos.

Perhaps a large softbox was used for the primary light, but there is no fill or background light and the background, especially in the second shot, is dropping off to darkness. The colors are nothing special and in the first shot the background is actually turning an unpleasant cyan. The front bumper area of the vehicle is turning featureless, dead black with no shadow detail. The clutter with the traffic cone and door is distracting.

Yes, the setup and composition is very poor and unprofessional.

I certainly would not accept crooked photos like these two from a professional photographer.

I simply do not understand your comment about digital images looking "washed out." It could be you need to reexamine your own image handling techniques and post processing procedures. Properly shot and processed digital files produce rich, creamy colors that are--for me--superior in every respect to film.

For me, these 2 photos are not even close to high-end.

When I need some inspiration from high-end photos, my "go to" is:

https://500px.com/popular

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stevo23 Forum Pro • Posts: 24,468
Re: why do digital files colours looks so bad without post

TN Args wrote:

stevo23 wrote:

knickerhawk wrote:

Biggs23 wrote:

knickerhawk wrote:

Biggs23 wrote:

knickerhawk wrote:

stevo23 wrote:

Mimics amateur photography? Maybe that's a thing, I don't know. But it strikes me oddly that one would want or have to strive to achieve such a thing.

Check out the article about Teller I linked to in my other response. It's a thing...

He's an arteest!

I think the point is that the OP is looking for an explanation of how to achieve some kind of "high end magic" when there really isn't any in the examples. Pedestrian, flat, relatively boring shots of pretty people with a low quality sensor is not a combination that should prove difficult to emulate.

But apparently there is something about these shots that the OP really likes and wants to emulate. So...well dressed pretty people, iPhone, flat lighting. Done. There's your majik.

And yet Biggs23 had no trouble distinguishing that one shot from all of the others in the article.

I suspected from the OP that the first two posted images were iPhone shots. The image I posted simply confirmed it for me.

The shots are pretty terrible from start to finish, and Stevo's explanation is exactly correct. There's no magic, no special sauce, just an iPhone, laziness, and no dedication to craft.

Yet we know with certainty from the reflection in the window that Teller was using a large camera in at least one of the shots in the series. (That's Teller in the reflection based on his spiky hair.)

I don't think so.

"I don't think so" = I've got no substantive response.

I see ZERO resemblance between the shot of the girl in the car and the original Brad Pitt and Joaquin Phoenix shots. I see ZERO resemblance in the other shot of the same girl posted in the article either:

Minus the poor image quality, SOOC look, and no quality or directionality of light?

It's a "look" that's very popular in commercial fashion photography, in no small part because of the efforts of this particular photographer. "SOOC" is the photographer's intent.

Blind leading the blind stumbling backwards over a bridge. When something is in vogue, that is not an indication of its worthiness.

Obviously, the lighting isn't the same, but even a cursory comparison shows a huge difference in color depth and tonality. The left one looks like she has a cadaver's skin. The right one is so much richer/deeper looking. It's hard to dismiss all of the difference to the lower lighting conditions of the left version. I just don't see how you can conclude that all of the shots were done with an iPhone (not counting, of course, the one that unquestionably was taken by an ILC based on the reflection of the photographer).

I certainly don't *know* that they are, I simply suspect. Even if they aren't, these are mediocre images captured by a photographer that doesn't care about photography.

LOL. They are images captured by one of the world's best known fashion and fine art photographers. Don't confuse Teller's trademark casual look with carelessness. He's successfully cultivated that look for many years now to considerable success.

One can cultivate weeds on purpose with considerable success. But convincing a group of people that your weeds are important and special takes a quality other than photographic talent.

knickerhawk's comment to Biggs23 applies to you too. Making random negative assertions against a proven successful photographer, makes one look like one has appointed oneself to the pinnacle of all knowledge and judgement

So...he's unassailable? That's an interesting point you make. It's actually called the appeal to authority fallacy.

, which actually does not make one look as good as one might think. And all because backing down is too hard in an internet discussion forum for some to manage it -- and learning is apparently out of the question.

Well, the learning applies to you as well. The photos shown here have been schlock and many agree. That has nothing to do with "not backing down" or "learning something". They are what they are no matter who created them.

I followed this thread because I thought it was interesting that the OP held the look of samples he used in the OP in such high regard, with the term high-end, as opposed to his terms washed or flat. But later in the thread he filled in the details, explaining that he was discussing naturalistic colours and tonality, and I thought that was discussed and accepted reasonably well in that section of this thread. I can see what the OP is talking about, in those terms.

I call them as I see them and I'm not alone. I noticed that several agree.

What is happening in this part of the thread is different. Someone decided to go on a witch-hunt against the photographer's merit

And I think you are demonstrating the halo bias. It's ironic - the photos somehow take on a mythical quality once you know whose behind them.

, by trying to prove that he was using a phone camera, and then drawing a very long bow to connect use of a phone camera with sloppiness and lack of care about photography.

Actually, it's like this: if you create mediocre photos as your "art", you will get comments from honest people that you've just created mediocre "art". But develop a worshipful following and anything you create will be swooned over.

When I saw the images in the OP, I immediately thought the DOF is huge and could be phone camera photos, but I have no issue with that. I tend to feel sorry for people using phone cameras professionally: he must be going through heck out there in the bright light, trying to see the composition while fiddling with the touch screen, all in the service of his dedication to his art and style. But if that's the way he wants to do it....

"All in the service of dedication to his art and style" - that is the halo bias. All because a professional is doing it, you now assume that he's hard at work, sweating away at his art and style. But would you say the same about me or Biggs or anyone who isn't an established professional? Care to test that? I've got tons of schlock I can show you...

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OP whosthatwhatsthat Forum Member • Posts: 84
Re: A bit of quick analysis

its interesting as becuase he looks pretty much exactly the same, how is that possible to achieve on the day, just simply a well rounded exposure?

Yes, basically. The female model shot was done in much more extreme lighting. The strong shadow at her feet is a clue. We all know what happens when you take a shot of a person in a backlit and otherwise bright outdoor scene (and insufficient fill flash or other compensating light isn't used). It means more post/processing manipulation is required to push up the lightness of the subject herself. There's ALWAYS a price to be paid when pushing shadows.

So do you feel they were shooting slightly underexposed, do you expose for the sky or subject?

isn't it better to deal with shadows rather than highlights in post

It might not be consciously obvious to the viewer if the push isn't too big, but it might be subconsciously troubling. I think that's what you're reacting to.

and do you mean as in push, to bring out the highlights more?

yeah I think it's the unevenness to her skin which I don't like

Get the scenic lighting right, if you want that "natural" look you're going for, so you don't need to fix it in post/processing.

how would you suggest do that, whats the steps to making the image look natural like the brad Pitt one rather than of the woman

Thus, it comes through as more "right" to you or at least that's what I'm suspecting you're picking up on.

As in its more natural and if you wanted you would have for more control in post to edit the brad Pitt photo, which is how I would like to shoot so everything is even.

Ellis Vener
Ellis Vener Forum Pro • Posts: 13,829
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2

First: I am ignoring the OP's original title for this thread because it has nothign to do with the questions he ( and most assuredly the OP is a he, you can tell by the tone of the post.)

Second: "de gustibus non disputandum est"

If you don't like the style of the photography there is no question : its not your cup of tea or how you'd do these assignments. And while you can question the taste of the art director or photo editor who commissioned Juergen Teller to make these portraits for W's Academy Award nominee issue, it's their taste and they didn't hire you or your favorite fashion photographer. I suspect they are in firm control of the look of their publication and know something about the tastes of their audience.

whosthatwhatsthat wrote:

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.

Direction, styling, and the performance delivered by the actors and the selection of one frame over another.

That said ,there is nothing technically difficult or outwardly "artful" about these photos. there is no big production. if these videos are indicative of how Teller genrally works - https://www.nytimes.com/video/t-magazine/100000005037252/on-set-dave-chappelle.html?playlistId=video/on-set and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rEg0HCtgCjg- Teller doesn't do big set ups with carefully crafted lighting that freezes the subject in place, and he definitely gets the subjects to play. In fact the shoots seem to be pretty low key. Along with the performances he gets out of his subjects that low key style might be a reason he gets hired for high profile projects like this.

His photography is about the surface of emotions.

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.

It' s all about the lighting and the styling, knowing what he wants, what light looks like ,and not overlighting. He is deliberately working at making highly styled, high pressure shoots look like snapshots. But snapshots in which there is nothign i nthem that he doesn't want i nthem.

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.

Three quotes from Richard Avedon that seem apt:

"I’ve worked out of a series of no’s. No to exquisite light, no to apparent compositions, no to the seduction of poses or narrative. And all these no’s force me to the “yes.” I have a white background. I have the person I’m interested in and the thing that happens between us.” – Richard Avedon

“A photographic portrait is a picture of someone who knows he’s being photographed, and what he does with this knowledge is as much a part of the photograph as what he’s wearing or how he looks. He’s implicated in what’s happened, and he has a certain real power over the result.” – Richard Avedon

“I am always stimulated by people. Almost never by ideas.” – Richard Avedon

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OP whosthatwhatsthat Forum Member • Posts: 84
Re: why do digital files colours looks so bad without post
1

stevo23 wrote:

whosthatwhatsthat wrote:

you must be joking.

I think not, I agree.

I'm curious why you think the first two are high end...

in comparison to the one of the lady:

the location is far more considered and polished (production value) the one of her has overgrown weeds and looks like the back of a garage

a serious lack of tasteful colour grading

poor composition your eyes are distracted by the lines of the building which splits up the frame into three blocks, foreground, garages, sky all at skewed angles

lack of styling the clothes are very low end in comparison to the high end stylised clothing in the juergen teller shots

the ladies body is not evenly lit

her posing is very amateur

the Juergen teller photos have good consistent lighting, subtle professional grading, sophisticated posing, well-scouted locations, high-end wardrobe styling, professional grooming

it's a matter of looking into the context of the shoot.

OP whosthatwhatsthat Forum Member • Posts: 84
Re: Questions

Mark Scott Abeln wrote:

whosthatwhatsthat wrote:

...of course there is the grey card option but what can I do when I'm not tethering to achieve these natural colours?

You can take the grey card with you, and you can either use it to get a manual white balance in the camera, or photograph it in the scene in your first photo. Raw processing software can then adjust the white balance according to the photo of the grey card.

i think i would set manually in camera as not all situations you can tether

When I started, I used the gray card all of the time, but with experience, I find that I hardly ever need it anymore.

is this because you have learnt to eyeball it

raw processor:

I just use preview on my mac then open in photoshop the particular image I want to edit.

I also own lightroom and capture one

What color profiles do you use in this software? You’ll have a variety of options such as Standard, Neutral, Vivid, Portrait, Landscape, and possibly many more.

where can I find this, when I open my raw in photoshop it brings up the option of camera raw filter and I go from there

These profiles control the overall color and tonal rendering of the raw files and I would suggest that you investigate how these influence your images before you do other edits.

I changed my camera mode to neutral recently

OP whosthatwhatsthat Forum Member • Posts: 84
Re: Questions

Mark Scott Abeln wrote:

Mark Scott Abeln wrote:

What color profiles do you use in this software? You’ll have a variety of options such as Standard, Neutral, Vivid, Portrait, Landscape, and possibly many more. These profiles control the overall color and tonal rendering of the raw files and I would suggest that you investigate how these influence your images before you do other edits.

Canon cameras have a variety of Picture Styles which do something similar when you are shooting JPEG. Canon’s DPP raw processor will honor that setting with raw files, while third-party software such as Photoshop will not.

so if i shoot with my camera picture mode set to neutral then import, photoshop will not read that?

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

Biggs23 wrote:

whosthatwhatsthat wrote:

knickerhawk wrote:

Biggs23 wrote:

whosthatwhatsthat wrote:

The image definitely has this quality of prestige not only from the subject posing but I feel the colouring and image quality, you are right it is somewhat part of a new trend whereby Juergen Teller has adopted this naturalistic style to replace his golden film aesthetic previously.

After reading this, I decided to really dive into these images, and others like it. After finding a very large number compiled in an article (https://www.wmagazine.com/story/best-performances-2020/) I began to go through each image one by one. Eventually, I found this one:

Looking closely at this image (and others, but this one is the most obvious), it's quite clear to me that these images were captured with an iPhone.

This isn't special photography or editing, it's just laziness paired with mostly attractive people in mostly stylish clothing.

Reverse image search in Google sources this image to this girl's Instagram account, so no surprise there about it being from a phone. However, the Brad Pitt shot (I haven't checked the Joaquin Phoenix shot) was clearly done in a professional shoot. Not sure what your point is here.

you can see in the reflection

Based on the angle, I'm 99% sure that's not the photographer who took the shot above.

that is juergen teller though, the photographer, but I do understand geometrically how this shot wouldn't work

MOD Biggs23 Veteran Member • Posts: 4,887
Re: why do digital files colours looks so bad without post

knickerhawk wrote:

Biggs23 wrote:

knickerhawk wrote:

I don't think so.

"I don't think so" = I've got no substantive response.

You ignored my substantive response. I believe the angle precludes it from being him. You disagree. What's more to say?

I see ZERO resemblance between the shot of the girl in the car and the original Brad Pitt and Joaquin Phoenix shots. I see ZERO resemblance in the other shot of the same girl posted in the article either:

Minus the poor image quality, SOOC look, and no quality or directionality of light?

It's a "look" that's very popular in commercial fashion photography, in no small part because of the efforts of this particular photographer. "SOOC" is the photographer's intent.

Popularity is irrelevant to quality. McDonald's burgers.

I certainly don't *know* that they are, I simply suspect. Even if they aren't, these are mediocre images captured by a photographer that doesn't care about photography.

LOL. They are images captured by one of the world's best known fashion and fine art photographers.

A name does not talent make.

Don't confuse Teller's trademark casual look with carelessness. .

Oh, I wasn't. I was simply paraphrasing the shooter's own words about himself. Quoted from the very article you linked to: "I'm not interested in photography, I'm interested in how I can express my ideas and feelings."

He's successfully cultivated that look for many years now to considerable success.

Which is, again, irrelevant to quality.

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

knickerhawk wrote:

Biggs23 wrote:

knickerhawk wrote:

Biggs23 wrote:

whosthatwhatsthat wrote:

The image definitely has this quality of prestige not only from the subject posing but I feel the colouring and image quality, you are right it is somewhat part of a new trend whereby Juergen Teller has adopted this naturalistic style to replace his golden film aesthetic previously.

After reading this, I decided to really dive into these images, and others like it. After finding a very large number compiled in an article (https://www.wmagazine.com/story/best-performances-2020/) I began to go through each image one by one. Eventually, I found this one:

Looking closely at this image (and others, but this one is the most obvious), it's quite clear to me that these images were captured with an iPhone.

This isn't special photography or editing, it's just laziness paired with mostly attractive people in mostly stylish clothing.

Reverse image search in Google sources this image to this girl's Instagram account, so no surprise there about it being from a phone.

I'm sure she put it there, but it was taken by the same photographer the rest were. Check the linked article for credits.

OK, got it. But that still doesn't tell us much (and how you think it might be relevant to this thread). It certainly looks like an iPhone-style shot (especially noting the deep DOF and smeared fine detail, blown highlights, etc.) Teller does a lot of work with a camera phone:

Not long after Juergen began shooting the project did he change his approach, placing his SLR camera back in his bag and taking out his iPhone instead. “Immediately I realised the camera might not be the correct approach. I got my mobile phone out and I thought it makes more sense. It's like, the cousin or the uncle that comes to visit, and then takes a snapshot, you know? I know quite well, the restrictions with the iPhone, what you can do and what you can't do but I didn't want to be so intrusive with like, when the nurses were working, and the parents playing around, and they start suddenly to cry. It made much more sense with the iPhone. I get even better results with an iPhone than with a professional camera. There was also, in certain low lights, in certain scenarios, with these colours, the iPhone is even better.”

Juergen is one of the few big photographers who made their name in the 90s in style magazines to truly embrace the possibilities and new directions of phone photography. “A lot of my photography is on an iPhone. I enjoy it very much. I find it, I always found, in the whole spectrum of my career, that the more flexible I am with my tools, the better it is for my work.”

The above quote comes from this article about Teller.

interesting, i think its obvious which are taken with iPhone and which are not however I'm more referring to the ones noticeably taken on a camera

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

The Davinator wrote:

whosthatwhatsthat wrote:

Thank you so much for an honest and genuinely helpful answer!!

More people like yourself needed in these comment sections!

Do you mean in terms of subtlety how naturally comfortable the subjects appear?

The image definitely has this quality of prestige not only from the subject posing but I feel the colouring and image quality, you are right it is somewhat part of a new trend whereby Juergen Teller has adopted this naturalistic style to replace his golden film aesthetic previously.

🙄

go on...explain

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

Jimmy Simpleton wrote:

whosthatwhatsthat wrote:

Thank you so much for an honest and genuinely helpful answer!!

More people like yourself needed in these comment sections!

Do you mean in terms of subtlety how naturally comfortable the subjects appear?

The image definitely has this quality of prestige not only from the subject posing but I feel the colouring and image quality, you are right it is somewhat part of a new trend whereby Juergen Teller has adopted this naturalistic style to replace his golden film aesthetic previously.

My pleasure, whosthatwhatsthat.

Yes, I believe all of those attributes you listed work together to advance the aesthetic.

Good thread.

thanks for welcoming the question positively!!

keep an eye on the thread, a lot of interesting opinions here.

Ellis Vener
Ellis Vener Forum Pro • Posts: 13,829
Re: why do digital files colours looks so bad without post

Biggs23 wrote:

knickerhawk wrote:

Biggs23 wrote:

knickerhawk wrote:

I don't think so.

"I don't think so" = I've got no substantive response.

You ignored my substantive response. I believe the angle precludes it from being him. You disagree. What's more to say?

I see ZERO resemblance between the shot of the girl in the car and the original Brad Pitt and Joaquin Phoenix shots. I see ZERO resemblance in the other shot of the same girl posted in the article either:

Minus the poor image quality, SOOC look, and no quality or directionality of light?

It's a "look" that's very popular in commercial fashion photography, in no small part because of the efforts of this particular photographer. "SOOC" is the photographer's intent.

Popularity is irrelevant to quality. McDonald's burgers.

I certainly don't *know* that they are, I simply suspect. Even if they aren't, these are mediocre images captured by a photographer that doesn't care about photography.

LOL. They are images captured by one of the world's best known fashion and fine art photographers.

A name does not talent make.

No, but talent does make a name.

Don't confuse Teller's trademark casual look with carelessness. .

Oh, I wasn't. I was simply paraphrasing the shooter's own words about himself. Quoted from the very article you linked to: "I'm not interested in photography, I'm interested in how I can express my ideas and feelings."

He's successfully cultivated that look for many years now to considerable success.

Which is, again, irrelevant to quality.

What he does isn't your cup of tea. and that's fine. If you are a working photographer, and your clients like what you do, that is what matters. Do you compete in the same arena Teller does?

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MOD Biggs23 Veteran Member • Posts: 4,887
Re: why do digital files colours looks so bad without post

TN Args wrote:

stevo23 wrote:

One can cultivate weeds on purpose with considerable success. But convincing a group of people that your weeds are important and special takes a quality other than photographic talent.

knickerhawk's comment to Biggs23 applies to you too. Making random negative assertions against a proven successful photographer, makes one look like one has appointed oneself to the pinnacle of all knowledge and judgement, which actually does not make one look as good as one might think. And all because backing down is too hard in an internet discussion forum for some to manage it -- and learning is apparently out of the question.

Well, couldn't you then turn around and say the same about the opposite side as well? They refuse to back down and learn?

What is happening in this part of the thread is different. Someone decided to go on a witch-hunt against the photographer's merit, by trying to prove that he was using a phone camera, and then drawing a very long bow to connect use of a phone camera with sloppiness and lack of care about photography.

No, certainly not. It was no witch hunt against the photographer at all. I was simply attempting to evidence that the images required no special effect to emulate.

As for lack of care about photography, here's the quote given by the photographer about, well, photography: "I'm not interested in photography, I'm interested in how I can express my ideas and feelings."

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

Flowchart wrote:

You are probably on to something here and for the OP the ohotographer has been careful with the white balance and have been using a colour checker (of some sort too).

would he have tethered to do this or would it have been done in camera???

I do wonder about the lighting though as it has an outdoors (shade look to it). It's not even unthinkable that he is using fake rooms to get the look.i.e shot outside.

EDIT: I now see that the car one IS shot outside (I'm reading on a phone)

Jimmy Simpleton wrote:

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?

stevo23 Forum Pro • Posts: 24,468
Re: why do digital files colours looks so bad without post
1

whosthatwhatsthat wrote:

stevo23 wrote:

whosthatwhatsthat wrote:

you must be joking.

I think not, I agree.

I'm curious why you think the first two are high end...

in comparison to the one of the lady:

the location is far more considered and polished (production value) the one of her has overgrown weeds and looks like the back of a garage

a serious lack of tasteful colour grading

poor composition your eyes are distracted by the lines of the building which splits up the frame into three blocks, foreground, garages, sky all at skewed angles

You're talking about the one behind the storage units? There are a lot of things about it that are done properly, but there are things that are wrong with it as well. It's a stock photo, I don't know what to expect.

lack of styling the clothes are very low end in comparison to the high end stylised clothing in the juergen teller shots

the ladies body is not evenly lit

her posing is very amateur

the Juergen teller photos have good consistent lighting, subtle professional grading, sophisticated posing, well-scouted locations, high-end wardrobe styling, professional grooming

I'm not sure what makes a wife beater shirt high end, but the quality of the clothes should be of little consequence to how well the photo is composed and captured. And what is well scouted about a boring hotel room? And I don't see subtle professional grading - the stock photo of the girl is much better from a tonal gradation standpoint.

These are technicalities more or less. What do you see that shows he is professional and conscious of what makes a fantastic photo?

it's a matter of looking into the context of the shoot.

Context of the shot - you mean context as in what you just mentioned above?

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MOD Biggs23 Veteran Member • Posts: 4,887
Re: why do digital files colours looks so bad without post
1

stevo23 wrote:

But would you say the same about me or Biggs or anyone who isn't an established professional? Care to test that? I've got tons of schlock I can show you...

Well, I actually am an established professional.

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

Biggs23 wrote:

knickerhawk wrote:

stevo23 wrote:

Mimics amateur photography? Maybe that's a thing, I don't know. But it strikes me oddly that one would want or have to strive to achieve such a thing.

Check out the article about Teller I linked to in my other response. It's a thing...

He's an arteest!

I think the point is that the OP is looking for an explanation of how to achieve some kind of "high end magic" when there really isn't any in the examples. Pedestrian, flat, relatively boring shots of pretty people with a low quality sensor is not a combination that should prove difficult to emulate.

But apparently there is something about these shots that the OP really likes and wants to emulate. So...well dressed pretty people, iPhone, flat lighting. Done. There's your majik.

And yet Biggs23 had no trouble distinguishing that one shot from all of the others in the article.

I suspected from the OP that the first two posted images were iPhone shots. The image I posted simply confirmed it for me.

not entirely, he switched to iphone doesn't confirm those particular ones were shot on iphone

The shots are pretty terrible from start to finish, and Stevo's explanation is exactly correct. There's no magic, no special sauce, just an iPhone, laziness, and no dedication to craft.

MOD Biggs23 Veteran Member • Posts: 4,887
Re: why do digital files colours looks so bad without post

whosthatwhatsthat wrote:

stevo23 wrote:

whosthatwhatsthat wrote:

you must be joking.

I think not, I agree.

I'm curious why you think the first two are high end...

in comparison to the one of the lady:

the location is far more considered and polished (production value) the one of her has overgrown weeds and looks like the back of a garage

And the Brad Pitt image is taken with a fluorescent orange traffic cone in the back of a parking lot. The Pheonix shot in a messy hotel room.

a serious lack of tasteful colour grading

Which image are you speaking about? The one of Pheonix? Agreed.

Lack of styling the clothes are very low end in comparison to the high end stylised clothing in the juergen teller shots

True.

the ladies body is not evenly lit

Even /= well, necessarily.

her posing is very amateur

Yes, as are those in the OP.

the Juergen teller photos have good consistent lighting

Nope.

, subtle professional grading

Definitely not.

, sophisticated posing

Negative.

, well-scouted locations

Not in the slightest.

, high-end wardrobe styling

True.

, professional grooming

Definitely.

it's a matter of looking into the context of the shoot.

Agreed.

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