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Forums > Digital Art and Retouching > Billy & Hells col 'look' Search   Reply
Photographer
frankgr
Posts: 24
Toronto, Ontario, Canada


I would like to learn how this look (link below) is developed. Of course the content/subject matter & lighting are most of it, but the skin tones and contrast in photoshop are what I'd like to learn about ...It seems to me that I should break the look down into components:

1. The skin color & texture - I found a tutorial in the Edu tab that shows me how to smooth it with Frequency Separation which is great. But the skin color if you d/l one of the images & open it in PS, & read it in the Info palette is about equal values for C,M,Y & 0 for K. How can one use an adjustment layer to create & then repeatedly get the same col look? I tried a new solid col fill layer to no avail.

2. The contrast - I guess there are various ways to crush the blacks...levels, curves, but the one I'm keen to learn about, in this context, is the Gradient map adj. layer. Or am I off the mark with this?

3. Saturation -I guess a Hue/Sat layer would be the obvious, but it has been suggested that the photographer/s use a high contrast (lith) black & white duplicate layer above the bkground (& change the opacity/blend mode).This may solve both contrast & desaturation. How do you make such a layer?

If anyone knows I'd love to learn.
Here is the link:
http://www.billyundhells.de/Seiten/Pictures.html
In particular look at the 2 portraits in the 2nd row- 4th, 5th from the rt side.

help appreciated, thanks.
Dec 07 12 06:23 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Dean Johnson Photo
Posts: 54,809
Minneapolis, Minnesota, US


Dec 07 12 06:45 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
frankgr
Posts: 24
Toronto, Ontario, Canada


Yes, exactly.
Dec 07 12 07:06 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
moving pictures
Posts: 639
Los Angeles, California, US


looks like they've been converted to BW, than hand colored.

they're copying the look of hand colored images from the turn of the 19th century.

http://bernunzio.com/product/hand-color … man-15635/
Dec 07 12 10:13 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
frankgr
Posts: 24
Toronto, Ontario, Canada


I'm no expert or I wouldn't be asking for help but I don't think so...look again at this image posted above by Dean Soapbox Killer
Dec 07 12 10:31 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Dan Skizz
Posts: 66
London, England, United Kingdom


Found this article which explains a little about their techniques:

http://www.galerieutrecht.nl/main.php?n … ct=&taal=e
Dec 08 12 05:12 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
frankgr
Posts: 24
Toronto, Ontario, Canada


Thanks Dan, it's a great little piece that you've linked. Now the $64M question is - how to emulate it in PS?
:-)
Dec 08 12 06:32 am  Link  Quote 
Retoucher
Benski
Posts: 995
London, England, United Kingdom


I think I get it ... The first thing they reminded me of were black & white images with a colour overlay ... lith printing makes even more sense

The difference is, when you increase contrast and crush blacks like that, with a colour image, you get radical shifts in saturation ... so instead you do it in B&W, then overlay a low *contrast* colour image (which gives you flatter colours)

And the colourised comparison makes sense too, because colourising is about painting flat colours onto (usually) high contrast images


In practice? Perhaps in your RAW editor, make a contrasy, lith-esque B&W conversion (compare with their images converted to B&W), then do a low contrast colour conversion ... In Photoshop: B&W layer underneath; colour layer on top with Colour blending - adjust Opacity to control colour strength

I think you could get the processing side pretty close doing that - you could use a Saturation Mask to check you've got the same saturation characteristics
Dec 08 12 06:38 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
frankgr
Posts: 24
Toronto, Ontario, Canada


Benski, I think you have a plan there - some direction at last and certainly worth experimenting with....let's see what 'develops' !

To see the kind of b/w 'lith' print, do you think my effort can be compared to theirs by taking one of their col images and converting to b/w - there are so many ways to change from col to b/w?

(not sure what a saturation mask is but maybe you mean a hue/sat adj. layer with a layer mask?)
Dec 08 12 06:51 am  Link  Quote 
Retoucher
Benski
Posts: 995
London, England, United Kingdom


helmutn wrote:
Benski, I think you have a plan there - some direction at last and certainly worth experimenting with....let's see what 'develops' !

To see the kind of b/w 'lith' print, do you think my effort can be compared to theirs by taking one of their col images and converting to b/w - there are so many ways to change from col to b/w?

(not sure what a saturation mask is but maybe you mean a hue/sat adj. layer with a layer mask?)

Yeah, exactly, and the way I'd convert to B&W is with a Hue/Sat layer (Saturation -100) but set it to Colour blending ... just gives you the tones as they are

I'd match the B&W look first, then work on adding the colour

And a Saturation Mask's a really useful preset to have for your Selective Colour filter ... Turns an image into a strange B&W thing, with the whites representing saturated colour, and black desaturated ... So you can analyse how your image is handling colour vs another image ... You get your Selective Colour adjustment layer; set to Absolute; on all the Colours in the dropdown menu, set the Black slider to -100% ... on White, Neutral and Black, set it to +100%

Dec 08 12 07:12 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
frankgr
Posts: 24
Toronto, Ontario, Canada


Converting to b/w-
I took the example portrait image that Dean linked to above and d/l it. By applying a Hue/Sat layer>sliding the master slider to -100> & setting the blend mode to Color, it should as you say give me their b/w tones as they are. Well, surprisingly the b/w image is very smooth and full  toned, and not at all what one may have expected - a very high contrast 'lith' type of b/w image.
?
Layering Col version above B/W-
Blend mode set to Color> I did this with one of mine and yes the the amount of desaturation is adjusted with the Opacity.
It may be a function of the actual skins, the make-up, the lighting, but even when the opacity seems to be a similar amount of desaturation, the relationship between CMYK on theirs compared to mine is very different. In the d/l sample, the CMY are of almost equal value.
?
The saturation mask -
This is very interesting, I'd not come across this before. I made it and saved it as a a Selective Col adj. layer preset. But I'm not really sure how to "read" it effectively ? My own test compared to their sample image are "roughly" similar looking except in their image the girls lips are white i.e very saturated. Other than that...
?
Dec 08 12 10:28 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Smedley Whiplash
Posts: 17,146
Billings, Montana, US


Benski wrote:
... so instead you do it in B&W, then overlay a low *contrast* colour image (which gives you flatter colours)

Great observation!  I always did it in reverse, with all the inherent problems you mentioned.

Dec 10 12 10:13 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Esid
Posts: 3
Minneapolis, Minnesota, US


www.osamaesid.com
and then click on studio Bahrein
Jun 08 13 11:19 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Robert Randall
Posts: 13,805
Chicago, Illinois, US


frankgr wrote:
1. The skin color & texture - I found a tutorial in the Edu tab that shows me how to smooth it with Frequency Separation which is great. But the skin color if you d/l one of the images & open it in PS, & read it in the Info palette is about equal values for C,M,Y & 0 for K. How can one use an adjustment layer to create & then repeatedly get the same col look? I tried a new solid col fill layer to no avail.

The highlights and 3/4 tones in their images are flooded, creating the flat and  muted color tones. I created a layer and filled it with 50% gray, toggled the mode to multiply, reduced opacity to 50%, and added a positive luminosity mask to keep the shadows from being affected too much. This single move gave me approximately the same effect that you are looking for, although you might want to make a saturation layer with a mask attached, and paint in specific areas such as lips and eyes for more intense color.


frankgr wrote:
2. The contrast - I guess there are various ways to crush the blacks...levels, curves, but the one I'm keen to learn about, in this context, is the Gradient map adj. layer. Or am I off the mark with this?

I think you would get smooth and seamless results by making a duplicate version of your image and separating it into CMYK. On the RGB original file, create a blank layer at the very top of the layer column, and apply the K channel from the CMYK version into the blank layer. Set that layer to multiply or darken, whichever you prefer, and slide the opacity level to the desired effect. If you want a crunchier effect, just link a curve to the K layer and crunch to the desired effect.

frankgr wrote:
3. Saturation -I guess a Hue/Sat layer would be the obvious, but it has been suggested that the photographer/s use a high contrast (lith) black & white duplicate layer above the bkground (& change the opacity/blend mode).This may solve both contrast & desaturation. How do you make such a layer?

That part of the process, as outlined at the link I read, is a wet dark room process. Lith printing involves using lith film developer with BW papers. In the beginning, it seems they were working with BW inter-negs and either transparencies or C-negs. I assume they would make a lith print, scan it, and then combine it with a scan of the color version of the image. I used to do the same thing with BW infrared film and color transparencies.

Jun 09 13 08:40 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
LA StarShooter
Posts: 1,682
Los Angeles, California, US


Robert Randall wrote:

frankgr wrote:
1. The skin color & texture - I found a tutorial in the Edu tab that shows me how to smooth it with Frequency Separation which is great. But the skin color if you d/l one of the images & open it in PS, & read it in the Info palette is about equal values for C,M,Y & 0 for K. How can one use an adjustment layer to create & then repeatedly get the same col look? I tried a new solid col fill layer to no avail.

The highlights and 3/4 tones in their images are flooded, creating the flat and  muted color tones. I created a layer and filled it with 50% gray, toggled the mode to multiply, reduced opacity to 50%, and added a positive luminosity mask to keep the shadows from being affected too much. This single move gave me approximately the same effect that you are looking for, although you might want to make a saturation layer with a mask attached, and paint in specific areas such as lips and eyes for more intense color.


frankgr wrote:
2. The contrast - I guess there are various ways to crush the blacks...levels, curves, but the one I'm keen to learn about, in this context, is the Gradient map adj. layer. Or am I off the mark with this?

I think you would get smooth and seamless results by making a duplicate version of your image and separating it into CMYK. On the RGB original file, create a blank layer at the very top of the layer column, and apply the K channel from the CMYK version into the blank layer. Set that layer to multiply or darken, whichever you prefer, and slide the opacity level to the desired effect. If you want a crunchier effect, just link a curve to the K layer and crunch to the desired effect.


That part of the process, as outlined at the link I read, is a wet dark room process. Lith printing involves using lith film developer with BW papers. In the beginning, it seems they were working with BW inter-negs and either transparencies or C-negs. I assume they would make a lith print, scan it, and then combine it with a scan of the color version of the image. I used to do the same thing with BW infrared film and color transparencies.

That was very informative and awesome to read.

Jun 09 13 08:51 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Robert Randall
Posts: 13,805
Chicago, Illinois, US


LA StarShooter wrote:

That was very informative and awesome to read.

It was fun to write, thank you!

Jun 09 13 09:10 am  Link  Quote 
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