Forums > Photography Talk > Movie effect. How to get it ?

Photographer

zaga2013

Posts: 6

L'viv, L’vivshchyna, Ukraine

I can't understand what is the main reason of this movie look. Photos made by digital camera but look like in movie. For the best understanding what I mean, take a look at these photos:

http://behance.vo.llnwd.net/profiles/91 … 56baf1.jpg
http://behance.vo.llnwd.net/profiles7/7 … ae3d8f.jpg
http://behance.vo.llnwd.net/profiles13/ … b4eac8.jpg
http://behance.vo.llnwd.net/profiles14/ … 4d4d70.jpg

And these don't have this effect and look like usual photos from digital camera:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/5103561054 … otostream/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/markcarlin … otostream/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/markcarlin … otostream/

What do you think, how to get this effect ? But please, don't say about vignette or cross-effect or film plugins in photoshop post production, I've tried it. smile

Jul 12 13 01:28 pm Link

Photographer

L A U B E N H E I M E R

Posts: 8786

Seattle, Washington, US

zaga2013 wrote:
I can't understand what is the main reason of this movie look. Photos made by digital camera but look like in movie. For the best understanding what I mean, take a look at these photos:

http://behance.vo.llnwd.net/profiles/91 … 56baf1.jpg
http://behance.vo.llnwd.net/profiles7/7 … ae3d8f.jpg
http://behance.vo.llnwd.net/profiles13/ … b4eac8.jpg
http://behance.vo.llnwd.net/profiles14/ … 4d4d70.jpg

And these don't have this effect and look like usual photos from digital camera:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/5103561054 … otostream/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/markcarlin … otostream/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/markcarlin … otostream/

What do you think, how to get this effect ? But please, don't say about vignette or cross-effect or film plugins in photoshop post production, I've tried it. smile

good old-fashioned photoshop/retouching.

Jul 12 13 01:59 pm Link

Photographer

SKITA Studios

Posts: 1566

Boston, Massachusetts, US

film plugins should get you close.

They're fiddling w/ curves on the different color channels mostly.  A.K.A. Instagram :-)

Jul 12 13 03:11 pm Link

Photographer

Tulack

Posts: 627

Albuquerque, New Mexico, US

It is called color grading. You need to know color theory to target image, bring color harmony, remove parasite colors etc.
Here is an example. http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=pl … 6jz15YWzOA

LR will give you the result you looking for. Movies don't look like movie. They look like crap. They look like movie after color correction.

Jul 12 13 03:50 pm Link

Photographer

me voy

Posts: 1092

Amherst, Massachusetts, US

zaga2013 wrote:
I can't understand what is the main reason of this movie look. Photos made by digital camera but look like in movie. For the best understanding what I mean, take a look at these photos:

http://behance.vo.llnwd.net/profiles/91 … 56baf1.jpg
http://behance.vo.llnwd.net/profiles7/7 … ae3d8f.jpg
http://behance.vo.llnwd.net/profiles13/ … b4eac8.jpg
http://behance.vo.llnwd.net/profiles14/ … 4d4d70.jpg

And these don't have this effect and look like usual photos from digital camera:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/5103561054 … otostream/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/markcarlin … otostream/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/markcarlin … otostream/

What do you think, how to get this effect ? But please, don't say about vignette or cross-effect or film plugins in photoshop post production, I've tried it. smile

I wouldn't be surprised if the first 4 photos were shot on film. The dynamic range and the colors are the reason why I say that.

Jul 12 13 06:48 pm Link

Photographer

L A U B E N H E I M E R

Posts: 8786

Seattle, Washington, US

me voy wrote:

I wouldn't be surprised if the first 4 photos were shot on film. The dynamic range and the colors are the reason why I say that.

however, the exif data says otherwise.

Jul 12 13 06:53 pm Link

Photographer

Green Grape

Posts: 292

West Paterson, New Jersey, US

Probably just shot with great lenses and a Lil Photoshop tweaking.

Jul 12 13 07:06 pm Link

Photographer

Jakov Markovic

Posts: 1128

Belgrade, Central Serbia, Serbia

It is retouched, but not destroyed. Lol, nothing movie-esque about these.

But, all of them have a quite low white point.

Jul 12 13 07:28 pm Link

Photographer

Solas

Posts: 9537

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

IMO it's hardly a 'movie' look, merely an overused effect done by every photographer under the sun to make an otherwise voice-less image look more interesting..don't make nifty retouching filters your "style"

Curves is the easiest way to do this stuff

Here's a tutorial: http://www.modelmayhem.com/po.php?threa … st15855107

Jul 12 13 07:29 pm Link

Photographer

zaga2013

Posts: 6

L'viv, L’vivshchyna, Ukraine

Thank you all!

me voy wrote:
I wouldn't be surprised if the first 4 photos were shot on film. The dynamic range and the colors are the reason why I say that.

Yes, maybe dynamic range is the main reason.
As you can see in exif, photos made by Canon 5D Mark II, it's not an expensive camera like Hasselblad. I want to say that the camera is not the reason.

Green Grape Photography wrote:
Probably just shot with great lenses and a Lil Photoshop tweaking.

4th photo made by Canon lens 24-70 mm

Karl Johnston wrote:
Curves is the easiest way to do this stuff
Here's a tutorial: http://www.modelmayhem.com/po.php?threa … st15855107

Thanks, Karl. I read this post by Peano, but I think the color is not the main reason of this look, becouse the third photo is b/w:
http://behance.vo.llnwd.net/profiles13/ … b4eac8.jpg
And if you make b/w any of these 4 photos, their 'film' look will remain.

Jul 13 13 12:37 am Link

Photographer

Robert Jewett

Posts: 2460

al-Marsā, Tunis, Tunisia

I don't see anything that even remotely looks like a movie effect to me.

Could you please elaborate a bit more on exactly what it is you like about the image?

Color, contrast, color grading, depth of field, what?

Jul 13 13 04:29 am Link

Photographer

zaga2013

Posts: 6

L'viv, L’vivshchyna, Ukraine

Robert Jewett wrote:
I don't see anything that even remotely looks like a movie effect to me.
Could you please elaborate a bit more on exactly what it is you like about the image?
Color, contrast, color grading, depth of field, what?

Thanks for reply, Robert.
Maybe 'movie' is not appropriate word, let it be 'film' smile
Let me use your photos to explain, where I see 'digital camera' distinctly:
http://www.modelmayhem.com/portfolio/pic/33189974
http://www.modelmayhem.com/portfolio/pic/18051978
And now compare with these. They made by digital camera too, but looks like film:
http://behance.vo.llnwd.net/profiles14/ … 029026.jpg
http://behance.vo.llnwd.net/profiles14/ … 1ed6cf.jpg
And I want to understand how to reach this.

Jul 13 13 06:02 am Link

Photographer

ACPhotography

Posts: 8622

Plainview, New York, US

It's all in the Curves! I have made curve presets for myself for various looks I'm after based upon my shooting style and whether or not I'm shooting available light or strobed.

Here is a untouched original, default LR settings and nothing done to it.

http://acnyphoto.smugmug.com/Proofs/Mis … 4568-L.jpg


This has 3 curve layers and a Vibrance layer used to slightly desaturated it. One curve layer is set to normal and one to multiply, they have the same adjustments done to them and they also have a mask derived from the luminosity of the Blue channel with the opacity of the mask pulled down, the Curves layer on Multiply also had it's Opacity pulled down. The 3rd Curves layer is set to Luminosity and my points were derived from the highlights and shadows of her skin.

http://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/130704/06/51d57fc20313b_m.jpg

Jul 13 13 08:41 am Link

Photographer

JandRStudios

Posts: 530

Houston, Texas, US

if you have light room, they are tons of free presets on the web that can achieve this, then polished in ps.

Jul 13 13 10:54 am Link

Photographer

Robert Jewett

Posts: 2460

al-Marsā, Tunis, Tunisia

zaga2013 wrote:
Thanks for reply, Robert.
Maybe 'movie' is not appropriate word, let it be 'film' smile
Let me use your photos to explain, where I see 'digital camera' distinctly:
http://www.modelmayhem.com/portfolio/pic/33189974
http://www.modelmayhem.com/portfolio/pic/18051978
And now compare with these. They made by digital camera too, but looks like film:
http://behance.vo.llnwd.net/profiles14/ … 029026.jpg
http://behance.vo.llnwd.net/profiles14/ … 1ed6cf.jpg
And I want to understand how to reach this.

Sorry.  Other than a little bit lower contrast to the mid tones, all I see is a good conversion to black and white.
They look digital to me, so I can't tell what part you like.  Maybe post in the retouching forum?

Jul 13 13 11:12 am Link

Photographer

zaga2013

Posts: 6

L'viv, L’vivshchyna, Ukraine

Ok. Lets try this. Compare 2 groups of photos. Do you see the difference ?

Group 1:
http://behance.vo.llnwd.net/profiles10/374039/projects/3014713/f951922f163b0a6dee92fe0ee496f534.jpg
http://behance.vo.llnwd.net/profiles10/374039/projects/3014713/f8ff818acb2062c96232272fd80293fc.jpg

Group 2:
http://behance.vo.llnwd.net/profiles14/372839/projects/4695723/b3db690b7a949f960030d911ef7b5263.jpg
http://behance.vo.llnwd.net/profiles14/372839/projects/4695723/32cdb5af95117e9ecb1d3f3fdc5a2f0d.jpg

Please, don't say about black point or grain, it's not the main difference between them, and the lighting is very similar.

Jul 13 13 12:26 pm Link

Photographer

Jakov Markovic

Posts: 1128

Belgrade, Central Serbia, Serbia

In first DNB is used to flatten out, and take detail away.

In second, DNB is used to give contrast, and add detail.

Perfect=fake.

Jul 13 13 04:00 pm Link

Photographer

zaga2013

Posts: 6

L'viv, L’vivshchyna, Ukraine

Jakov Markovic wrote:
In first DNB is used to flatten out, and take detail away.
In second, DNB is used to give contrast, and add detail.
Perfect=fake.

Very interesting idea. Yes, group 1 looks flat and more contrast, group 2 - less contrast, more detail in the shadows and in the result has a great volume.

Jul 14 13 12:07 am Link

Photographer

Solas

Posts: 9537

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

zaga2013 wrote:
Ok. Lets try this. Compare 2 groups of photos. Do you see the difference ?

Please, don't say about black point or grain, it's not the main difference between them, and the lighting is very similar.

Hard light vs not quite as hard light?

Im lost

Jul 14 13 12:10 am Link

Photographer

Robert Jewett

Posts: 2460

al-Marsā, Tunis, Tunisia

Karl Johnston wrote:
Hard light vs not quite as hard light?

Im lost

Exactly.  I see lighting differences, and overall a different look.

However, you are calling one "film like", and the other not.  But that is arbitrary.  Someone else could say the opposite.

In my opinion, they just look processed differently.  But to process them either way is very simple, so between your arbitrary definition and the simple processing, I can't figure out what you are asking.

Please understand, no-one is busting your chops here...we just don't know what you want.  Especially since all of the images you are calling film like are different, and really don't look film like (at least to someone who has done dark room work).

sad

Jul 14 13 01:38 am Link

Photographer

zaga2013

Posts: 6

L'viv, L’vivshchyna, Ukraine

Oh, I'm exhausted.. I don't know how to explain more clearly.
Yes, all the photos what I presented here and called 'movie' or 'film' look, are different in lighting, color, contrast, location and other, but all of them have one important thing, the people on these photos look like in movie, somewhere out there but not here in real world, they have some deep or volume, I don't know, but I'm looking exactly for this...
'Digital' - the people are here, they are real, right behind me, clear copy of how we see them in real life. Digital camera gives exact copy, even if the photos was retouched, cross-processed, skin is clear and shine, they still look real, and I don't want this...

Jul 14 13 02:13 am Link

Photographer

Kerri Sullivan Photo

Posts: 98

Red Bank, New Jersey, US

VSCO Film would probably be great for what you're looking to achieve.

https://vsco.co/

I haven't used it, but I love their iPhone app.

Jul 14 13 08:07 am Link

Artist/Painter

The3LivingAndThe3Dead

Posts: 963

Los Angeles, California, US

Movie subjects almost never make eye contact with the camera.

Might be part of it.

Jul 14 13 09:02 am Link

Model

Shei P

Posts: 402

Los Angeles, California, US

zaga2013 wrote:
Ok. Lets try this. Compare 2 groups of photos. Do you see the difference ?

Group 1:
http://behance.vo.llnwd.net/profiles10/374039/projects/3014713/f951922f163b0a6dee92fe0ee496f534.jpg
http://behance.vo.llnwd.net/profiles10/374039/projects/3014713/f8ff818acb2062c96232272fd80293fc.jpg

Group 2:
http://behance.vo.llnwd.net/profiles14/372839/projects/4695723/b3db690b7a949f960030d911ef7b5263.jpg
http://behance.vo.llnwd.net/profiles14/372839/projects/4695723/32cdb5af95117e9ecb1d3f3fdc5a2f0d.jpg

Please, don't say about black point or grain, it's not the main difference between them, and the lighting is very similar.

I see exactly what you mean. Group 2 looks looks like old photos. I have some old fashion photography books I have been studying, Arthur Elgort, Sante D'Orazio, David Bailey, lots of the photos look like that.

Also, the retro "styling" adds a lot to the effect of Group2, where Group 1 styling is avante garde/fantasy

Jul 14 13 09:06 am Link

Artist/Painter

The3LivingAndThe3Dead

Posts: 963

Los Angeles, California, US

Try outputting your digital file as a slide and re-scanning it.

Jul 14 13 09:38 am Link

Clothing Designer

GRMACK

Posts: 2138

Bakersfield, California, US

Shei  P wrote:

I see exactly what you mean. Group 2 looks looks like old photos. I have some old fashion photography books I have been studying, Arthur Elgort, Sante D'Orazio, David Bailey, lots of the photos look like that.

Also, the retro "styling" adds a lot to the effect of Group2, where Group 1 styling is avante garde/fantasy

Lighting is not at all similar and that's what makes them different.

Looking at the catch-light in her eye in the first photo, and then the extreme lighting on camera right in the second (sun on camera left), he did some strong fill lighting in the original shot and flattened it out quite a bit too.  Maybe a large flat reflector of the silver type.  He seems to have intentionally overexposed it a bit too, maybe 1-2 stops at least to push her skin to white.  Playing in Curves in PS, it is hard to duplicate without some work in steeping the curves at the shoulder.  Getting the concept done at the time of the shoot is much easier.

Second series is sort of flat.  Most any plug-in film filter can do that.  You can just pull the Curve back to around 240 from 255 to flatten it.  Lighting was much softer than the harshness of the first set.  Toss in some NIK, Topaz, onOne film duplicate filter for grain and you're done.

If you are looking for some greenish/yellow Instagramish skin color, there are filters for it.  Or you could use the Color Picker Tool in PS and compare it to a Pantone color chart for the effect you want.  Then determine which color is to be altered in the original and play with the color curve for that channel.  You can also Saturate and Desaturate that channel too.  Another is to go to to PS Channel Mixer and maybe pull the Red channel's Total: Constant down 15% too.

Lots of options, just you need to play and experiment for what you want.  But for set one, you may need to do some strong fill light and flatten the harshness of it first.

Jul 14 13 10:00 am Link

Photographer

Ally Moy

Posts: 405

New York, New York, US

Sounds like you just want to 'style' your photos. There's no advice more than "learn the tools to manipulate photos." It's light, it's processing, and it's retouching. Photography is art, it's creative, you make the photo how you want it to be. You can style it as flat or dark or colorful as you like. It has nothing to do with anything specific to film or movies. Someone already checked that some of the photos you linked were shot with digital.

Jul 14 13 11:09 pm Link