Forums > Digital Art and Retouching > How to get the Kesler Tran look?

Photographer

- H T -

Posts: 1043

New York, New York, US

Natalia_Taffarel wrote:

ok

I dare you to DEFINE "this"

He's got several different "styles" in his port.

This http://keslertran.com/#/?g=71 is not this http://keslertran.com/#/?g=60&r=34 or this http://keslertran.com/#/?g=65&r=22 or this http://keslertran.com/#/?g=69&r=72

So WHICH style

They may be "different" technically but I get the same 'feel' from the images.  'Raw' is the first thing that comes to mind...even the soft one with color.

May 30 12 08:08 pm Link

Photographer

Grafanovitchi

Posts: 572

San Marcos, California, US

Just for the record, I tease Mr. Tran all in good fun. I am in fact a fan and have met him in person. He is good people.

May 30 12 08:16 pm Link

Photographer

Grafanovitchi

Posts: 572

San Marcos, California, US

Double post.

May 30 12 08:16 pm Link

Photographer

The Art of Churchwell

Posts: 3171

QUEENS VILLAGE, New York, US

GRAF wrote:
Just for the record, I tease Mr. Tran all in good fun. I am in fact a fan and have met him in person. He is good people.

yep, I like his style too. some people may not get it. I understand that but eventually they will. His style is fantastic

May 30 12 08:19 pm Link

Photographer

The Art of Churchwell

Posts: 3171

QUEENS VILLAGE, New York, US

Oscar S wrote:
Wow, Keslers work is amazing. I'm a fan already. His images have such raw appeal. The quality of the models also are top notch.

+1

May 30 12 08:20 pm Link

Photographer

Moon Pix Photography

Posts: 3892

Syracuse, New York, US

London Fog wrote:
I prefer the look of your work anyday. Anyone can blow out highlights and tinker with an image to give it that washed out look!

Your envy is so obvious it is kind of sad... reminiscent of a stray puppy.

May 30 12 08:32 pm Link

Photographer

Moon Pix Photography

Posts: 3892

Syracuse, New York, US

May 30 12 08:36 pm Link

Photographer

Oscar Partida

Posts: 732

Palm Springs, California, US

get great models , curves

May 30 12 08:43 pm Link

Photographer

A N G E L

Posts: 583

Los Angeles, California, US

I attended his workshop. Great workshop, great guy, awesome photographer! I'm sure if you contacted him he would point you in the right direction.

May 30 12 08:45 pm Link

Retoucher

Natalia_Taffarel

Posts: 7665

Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires, Argentina

- H T - wrote:

They may be "different" technically but I get the same 'feel' from the images.  'Raw' is the first thing that comes to mind...even the soft one with color.

This is the DAR forum, sadly Photoshop hasn't come up with the "add talent" filter  or "generate unique look" action smile

So we need the OP to pick one of the several looks within the "style" of the photographer in question

May 31 12 03:54 am Link

Photographer

Arznix

Posts: 517

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

There are lots of ways to achieve the look as many have already suggested, but let me suggest a brute force way that will get you close.

Step 1 Cross Process:

It looks like he is try to get a cross processed look of polaroid film or slide film. You can get close to that by creating a solid color layer with color setting 15, 85,255 (essentially a shade of blue). Set the layer blend mode to "exclusion". Set the opacity of that layer to about 30% to start and then play with the layer  opacity to get the look that you like.

Step 2 De-saturate:

He has removed a lot of the color from his images. I like to de-saturate by creating a gradient layer with black as the foreground color and white as the background layer. You then adjust the opacity to get the look that you want. 100% opacity turned the image into B&W. A low opacity just mutes the colors of the image.

Step 3 Reduce the contrast:

A lot of his recent images have a very low contrast feel to them. I would add a curve or level layer and reduce the highlights and lighten the darks till you get a more neutral feel to the image.


As mentioned before it looks like he uses curves in Lightroom and series of pre-sets that he was worked out for himself so his exact workflow is different. These three basic step will at least get you close to the look and then you can figure out what to do from there. These three steps can be achieved using curves and other adjustment layer, but as I mentioned this is a brute force attempt to get close. How much fine tuning you need will dictate what workflow you actually use.

You should be able to look up cross processing and de-saturation techniques on the web to find techniques that match your workflow.

I believe he has mentioned that he also adds noise to give the images the feel of film.

May 31 12 01:16 pm Link

Photographer

London Fog

Posts: 6770

London, England, United Kingdom

Moon Pix Photography wrote:
Your envy is so obvious it is kind of sad... reminiscent of a stray puppy.

The day I envy blown out washed out images, very obviously and massively worked in photoshop to give that grainy black and white look will be...er let's see, never!

Envy, my ass!

Who the fuck are you to judge me?

May 31 12 01:22 pm Link

Photographer

Marcus Turner Photo

Posts: 201

Chicago, Illinois, US

GRAF wrote:
Just for the record, I tease Mr. Tran all in good fun. I am in fact a fan and have met him in person. He is good people.

It was a good laugh don't be ashamed of it

May 31 12 03:42 pm Link

Photographer

Select Models

Posts: 36228

Upland, California, US

Jaysen R Lee wrote:
I think his diet consists mostly of fried chicken.

Most definitely... I saw him whoof down 2 plates of it at Colonel Sanders.  Just smear fried chicken grease on your lens... there's the KT look... borat... lol

May 31 12 03:48 pm Link

Photographer

T-D-L

Posts: 10303

Los Angeles, California, US

He's got several different "looks", depending on which one you'll get a dozen different answers.

For black and whites its usually just upping the contrast and adding a shit ton of grain in lightroom.  His editing on his raw stuff is minimal, most of what he does is actually in camera.  Save for the super creative color tones (again done in LR from what I've seen and what he tells me), most of it is in camera.  So get it right there, and focus on strong images and you'll have a head start.

May 31 12 04:05 pm Link

Retoucher

Natalia_Taffarel

Posts: 7665

Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires, Argentina

T-D-L wrote:
He's got several different "looks", depending on which one you'll get a dozen different answers.

The OP doesn't want to tell us which look smile

May 31 12 08:02 pm Link

Photographer

Kevin Connery

Posts: 16928

El Segundo, California, US

Moderator Note!

London Fog wrote:
The day I envy blown out washed out images, very obviously and massively worked in photoshop to give that grainy black and white look will be...er let's see, never!

Envy, my ass!

Who the fuck are you to judge me?

The photographer whose work you are critiquing did not request your opinion. Site rules prohibit such critiques, perhaps for the same reason as your final question implies.

No matter the reason, however, the site rules are clear.

Do not post anything on the Site that degrades or insults other users or their work.

No unsolicited critiques. If someone has not asked for your critical opinion of their work, please do not give one.

May 31 12 09:15 pm Link

Photographer

BrooklynHill

Posts: 4790

Los Angeles, California, US

Mearle wrote:
He offered a $350. all day workshop on that subject in April. ...and you want a quick one paragraph answer right here?

Don't miss the next workshop!

May 31 12 09:33 pm Link

Photographer

London Fog

Posts: 6770

London, England, United Kingdom

Kevin Connery wrote:

London Fog wrote:
The day I envy blown out washed out images, very obviously and massively worked in photoshop to give that grainy black and white look will be...er let's see, never!

Envy, my ass!

Who the fuck are you to judge me?

The photographer whose work you are critiquing did not request your opinion. Site rules prohibit such critiques, perhaps for the same reason as your final question implies.

No matter the reason, however, the site rules are clear.


Ok, fair point and noted.

May 31 12 11:37 pm Link

Photographer

Faze1 photography

Posts: 568

Lawndale, California, US

Chuckarelei wrote:
Why would anyone want to look like Kessler?

Lol.

Jun 01 12 01:17 am Link

Retoucher

Han Sam

Posts: 149

Guangzhou, Guangdong, China

I think if you love Kesler Tran look, you would love KhoaBui too smile I love KhoaBui.
KhoaBui told me that he used 5-10 minutes/ images retouch (fashion, not beauty). I see some his sooc image. It's really amazing value.

Jun 01 12 01:50 am Link

Photographer

T-D-L

Posts: 10303

Los Angeles, California, US

Han Sam wrote:
I think if you love Kesler Tran look, you would love KhoaBui too smile I love KhoaBui.
KhoaBui told me that he used 5-10 minutes/ images retouch (fashion, not beauty). I see some his sooc image. It's really amazing value.

5-10?  Doubtful wink

Jun 01 12 02:13 am Link

Retoucher

Han Sam

Posts: 149

Guangzhou, Guangdong, China

T-D-L wrote:
5-10?  Doubtful wink

I think with good input, he can do with some curves adj. And I don't say about beauty image with skin retouch.
Sorry if you have created any doubt. I just wanted to say, each person has a different style, sometimes, for some people, it only needs a few curves, level..., but with others, it hasn't any such results, but to get your look, you would have many practice.

Jun 01 12 02:43 am Link

Retoucher

Natalia_Taffarel

Posts: 7665

Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires, Argentina

T-D-L wrote:
5-10?  Doubtful wink

I went to Alejandro Burset studio, here in Buenos aires http://www.aleburset.com/

We were talking about editorials, I have always loved his books.

He said he had 3 editorials to be published and showed me.

There was nothing to be done, other than maybe a few blemishes. I would have printed them as they were to be honest.

Fashion editorials can be done in 5 minutes.

Is it the rule? No, but I've also sent beauty images back to my client, because they needed nothing (dark, moody)

It happens.

x

Jun 01 12 09:08 am Link

Photographer

K E E L I N G

Posts: 39820

Peoria, Illinois, US

After you learn how to do it, there's still the x factor that you either have or don't have that allows you to be or not be as good at it as him.

He has that x factor and that's why he's the subject of this thread.

Jun 01 12 09:12 am Link

Photographer

AJ_In_Atlanta

Posts: 12835

Atlanta, Georgia, US

I don't even know what he looks like.  The ladies really like Russell James - wouldn't it be better to get his looks???

Jun 01 12 09:17 am Link

Photographer

T-D-L

Posts: 10303

Los Angeles, California, US

Han Sam wrote:

I think with good input, he can do with some curves adj. And I don't say about beauty image with skin retouch.
Sorry if you have created any doubt. I just wanted to say, each person has a different style, sometimes, for some people, it only needs a few curves, level..., but with others, it hasn't any such results, but to get your look, you would have many practice.

Yes, but I've seen him work and do his retouching.  From personal experience unless he is now using actions to do everything I'd say he's pulling your leg.  Kesler 5-10 minutes?  Quite possible as his style is more "raw" and minimalistic with some stuff.  Khoa?  Again, from what I've personally seen....not likely.  Unless he's biting off Kesler now I don't see how it could happen.  It's too clean to be done that quickly.

Jun 01 12 10:44 am Link

Photographer

T-D-L

Posts: 10303

Los Angeles, California, US

Natalia_Taffarel wrote:
I went to Alejandro Burset studio, here in Buenos aires http://www.aleburset.com/

We were talking about editorials, I have always loved his books.

He said he had 3 editorials to be published and showed me.

There was nothing to be done, other than maybe a few blemishes. I would have printed them as they were to be honest.

Fashion editorials can be done in 5 minutes.

Is it the rule? No, but I've also sent beauty images back to my client, because they needed nothing (dark, moody)

It happens.

x

I don't doubt it does, but in this particular case I'm not buying it.

Jun 01 12 10:47 am Link

Photographer

Matt Forma

Posts: 373

Denver, Colorado, US

Aside from all the PS advice, he shoots mainly with kit lenses and a sony nex-7. That could be part of the "look" you're referring to. He's also a quality photographer working with quality people. That always helps things...

Jun 02 12 04:24 pm Link

Photographer

DAVfoto

Posts: 2324

New York, New York, US

Natalia_Taffarel wrote:

I went to Alejandro Burset studio, here in Buenos aires http://www.aleburset.com/

We were talking about editorials, I have always loved his books.

He said he had 3 editorials to be published and showed me.

There was nothing to be done, other than maybe a few blemishes. I would have printed them as they were to be honest.

Fashion editorials can be done in 5 minutes.

Is it the rule? No, but I've also sent beauty images back to my client, because they needed nothing (dark, moody)

It happens.

x

good makeup, wardrobe, hair and lighting can make a difference as well, all that needs to be done are accents, contrast, color and other such things.  and of course the occasional highlight and lowlight additives.

Jun 03 12 11:11 am Link

Photographer

Erlinda

Posts: 7221

London, England, United Kingdom

RJJ Photography wrote:

Great all this time I thought my wife was having orgasms and she was just bloody pre-menstrual!

yikes

Jun 03 12 11:42 am Link

Makeup Artist

ArtistryImage

Posts: 2845

Washington, District of Columbia, US

K E E L I N G wrote:
After you learn how to do it, there's still the x factor...

QFT   i.e. compelling visual statement...  believe there may be much confusion between technique verses a tenured artist's voice...

The talent in question indeed has strong coherent visual integrity, a compelling positioning statement permeates his book... that said editorial fashion has few if any constraints... whether the magic happens or not is for the most part a function of creator's narrative vision... at least in my humble estimation...

Jun 03 12 01:54 pm Link

Photographer

Glen Berry

Posts: 2788

Huntington, West Virginia, US

Natalia_Taffarel wrote:
ok

I dare you to DEFINE "this"

He's got several different "styles" in his port.

This http://keslertran.com/#/?g=71 is not this http://keslertran.com/#/?g=60&r=34 or this http://keslertran.com/#/?g=65&r=22 or this http://keslertran.com/#/?g=69&r=72

So WHICH style

- H T - wrote:
They may be "different" technically but I get the same 'feel' from the images.  'Raw' is the first thing that comes to mind...even the soft one with color.

For one thing, they all have a reduced amount of red in the images. Even the B&W images seem to show a reduced sensitivity to the red tones in the original scene.

Jun 03 12 02:29 pm Link

Photographer

Kenny Yeoh

Posts: 5

Kuala Lumpur, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Only found out about Kesler's work recently, and if you read his Tumblr website, he does answer questions. What might be interesting is that he uses film for some of his work. So there you go, not necessarily all digital, might be shot in film then re-edited again to have a certain look/mood.

Apr 24 13 12:00 am Link

Photographer

WIP

Posts: 15545

Cheltenham, England, United Kingdom

All these 'How to get ( insert name) look', never work even if you assist these photographers you'd still struggle to achieve it.

Apr 24 13 02:01 am Link

Photographer

richy01

Posts: 153

Amsterdam, Noord-Holland, Netherlands

I see so much different looks in Tran's portfolio I guess the workshop would be paying off to do.

Apr 25 13 08:55 pm Link

Photographer

Kelvin Hammond

Posts: 17361

Billings, Montana, US

GD -  Beauty Retoucher wrote:
can i see examples of the menstrual cramps look?

how different is it from the orgasm look?

GRAF wrote:
Well that really depends on the model, doesn't it? smile

Very experienced agency models can also pull off the "opps!  just  s h h h a r t e d"  look.

Apr 26 13 07:51 am Link

Photographer

A-M-P

Posts: 18211

Orlando, Florida, US

Moon Pix Photography wrote:
Your envy is so obvious it is kind of sad... reminiscent of a stray puppy.

Not liking a certain style does not necessarily mean envy. I'm not  into photography that looks raw like that as I prefer polished does not mean I'm jealous because is not something I would personally be into. It just means everyone has different taste.

Apr 26 13 01:36 pm Link

Photographer

Joey

Posts: 453

Orange, California, US

OMG this whole thread is FUNNY! Reminds me of something like a Seinfeld episode. LMFAO!!

Apr 26 13 02:21 pm Link

Model

Tiffany Bond

Posts: 76

West Jordan, Utah, US

http://www.galitz.co.il/en/articles/bluechannel.shtml

This technique tutorial might be similar to what you're looking for, and it's really easy to personalize it to different variations.

Apr 28 13 03:59 am Link