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Author Topic: Curious About a Style  (Read 6506 times)
misterpatrick
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« on: September 07, 2009, 03:22:35 PM »
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Hello all,

I am curious about a style of portraiture that has become very popular in the last decade or so. I am curious if there is an informal name given to the style, who the main proponents (if there are any) might be, and what some of the lighting and post options are for creating the style. I am a loss to describe it so haven't been able to find out much about it. I describe it as "ultra-sharp". It seems to be high-contrast, very sharp and flat lit. I've seen this style used in a lot of very close-cropped portraits where you can make out all the pores of the skin. It seems a reaction to the overly smooth fashion photography that proliferates. There is an example on the cover of the New York Times Magazine this week. Not as extreme as some I've seen but it's a starting point for discussion.



Thanks!
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bill t.
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« Reply #1 on: September 07, 2009, 11:59:53 PM »
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Since no one is stepping up to name the PS filter or Action normally used for that, one way to get that look is to run a "Single File HDR Conversion" in Photomatix, then go crazy with the Tone Mapping adjustment sliders.  The one caveat is that you can only process RAW files that way, you can't start with a .jpg.
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Colorwave
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« Reply #2 on: September 08, 2009, 12:54:44 AM »
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Is this what you had in mind?

http://www.andrzejdragan.com/

http://www.flickr.com/groups/draganizer/

Mr. Dragan has become the patron saint of the process now called "draganizing".  Google it, and you will find many tutorials and actions, if this is what you are referring to.  I'd say your description sounds more like it than the photo of Mr. Sofia Coppola (Being John Malkovitch, and some great videos, too!).
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misterpatrick
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« Reply #3 on: September 08, 2009, 10:02:49 AM »
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Thanks for the pointers! I'd say what I was talking about is more like the work of Andrzej Dragan. Is he using HDR or shooting fast and sharp? The HDR makes sense as it meshes with the time this style started showing up. I've played around with HDR but never ended up with good results but I've only really used it with landscapes, not portraits. This thread has really helped as I now have a couple keywords to look this stuff up and learn some techniques.

I am mostly curious as I teach at an art and design college and students are always asking me about various styles and how they can create them. Thanks! Anyone else who has some more thoughts on this feel free to weigh in.
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Geoff Wittig
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« Reply #4 on: September 08, 2009, 03:25:34 PM »
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Quote from: misterpatrick
Hello all,

I am curious about a style of portraiture that has become very popular in the last decade or so. I am curious if there is an informal name given to the style, who the main proponents (if there are any) might be, and what some of the lighting and post options are for creating the style. I am a loss to describe it so haven't been able to find out much about it. I describe it as "ultra-sharp". It seems to be high-contrast, very sharp and flat lit. I've seen this style used in a lot of very close-cropped portraits where you can make out all the pores of the skin. It seems a reaction to the overly smooth fashion photography that proliferates. There is an example on the cover of the New York Times Magazine this week. Not as extreme as some I've seen but it's a starting point for discussion.

Thanks!

Martin Schoeller and Nigel Parry have done some vaguely similar stuff: large format capture, lit and exposed to show every pore and nose hair on the faces of the celebrities involved. The desaturated 'steel blue' color palette has also been popular for quite some time now. That probably means a dramatic shift to a vivid lemon-yellow palette is just over the horizon.  
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JeffKohn
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« Reply #5 on: September 08, 2009, 03:41:20 PM »
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Quote
I'd say what I was talking about is more like the work of Andrzej Dragan. Is he using HDR or shooting fast and sharp? The HDR makes sense as it meshes with the time this style started showing up. I've played around with HDR but never ended up with good results but I've only really used it with landscapes, not portraits.
Probably not so much HDR tonemapping, but rather local contrast plugins like Lucisart or Topaz Detail. The ones who get the best results are indeed using a lot of sharp lighting though, you can't do it all in post.
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bill t.
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« Reply #6 on: September 08, 2009, 06:03:30 PM »
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Frankly it's getting kind of old.  I mean, like totally last month.  Edgies no longer take it seriously.
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Rob C
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« Reply #7 on: September 09, 2009, 03:15:49 AM »
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Quote from: bill t.
Frankly it's getting kind of old.  I mean, like totally last month.  Edgies no longer take it seriously.



And can you blame them?

Another cliché, then?

Rob C
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johnwolf
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« Reply #8 on: September 20, 2009, 10:27:44 PM »
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In Silver Efex Pro I think that would be the Structure function. Similar to Clarity in LR and ACR. They increase mid-tone micro-contrast to make fine detail more pronounced. It's a very useful function -- at least in moderation. In many of these portraits I expect there is also local dodging and burning involved.  

John
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LKaven
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« Reply #9 on: October 14, 2009, 02:55:45 PM »
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The Dan Winters photo that you posted, like some of his other work, seems to be done using a combination of ring flash coupled with post processing.  It's my opinion that the post processing involves use of an overlaid blend of the original photo, processed with high pass filter and blur, but there are so many variations on that kind of recipe that it is hard to tell which one exactly he might be using.
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