(201 to 300 of 967 replies)
O Casasola 9:33pm, 8 March 2007
Ok, I believe this is close to the technique that Dave Hill and Jill Greenberg use on their photos with PhotoShop. The tutorial takes a few minutes to complete. You must start with a photo that has wrap around lighting and obvious highlights.

Make sure the levels and color are fixed on the original before you start.

Duplicate the layer on the LAYER pallette
Go to FILTER - OTHER - HIGH PASS type 4.0 for RADIUS
on the LAYERS pallette choose vivid light for the blending mode
Now flatten the image.

Second Step
Duplicate the layer on the LAYER pallette
Go to FILTER - OTHER - HIGH PASS type 6.9 for RADIUS
on the LAYERS pallette choose color for the blending mode
Set opacity to 40%
Now flatten the image.

For this step you need to do the following
DUPLICATE LAYER on layer pallette
from the top menu select LAYER - ADD LAYER MASK - HIDE ALL
using the lasso tool select only the eyes and choose SELECT - FEATHER about 6pixels
now use the brush on the tool pallette and set the brush opacity to 30% - brush over the entire image
Now FLATTEN the image

the final step is to sharpen the image.


use the following settings:
RADIUS 30.0 pixels

Most of the look is due to the multiple lights used to create highlights. To get that Shiny skin apply lotion on the person before taking the picture.

edit: This tutorial is for High Resolution images. If you are working on a low res photo you'll have to decrease the suggested amount on most of the steps.

EDIT 2 : Hi everyone. Just wanted to mention that this tutorial was created with photoshop 7 in the year 2007. A lot has changed since then including Dave Hill's technique. Thanks!

Have Fun
1 3 5 6 7 ••• 9 10
(201 to 300 of 967 replies)
schmiedl-images 8 years ago
I think the 'Dave Hill Look' is no great uber-secret Photoshop action. It's a combination of superb lighting, great conceptual thinking, a wonderful ability to get what he wants from the model, and post-processing *where necessary*.

I did something similar ages ago without great effort.
doubleside portrait3
schmiedl-images 8 years ago
In case any of you guys haven't seen it, read Hobby's "Lighting 101":
And now try your photoshop actions...

taylor- I'm not sure if any of the posted pics have been shot to imitate Dave Hill's effect! I think most people looked through their photo galleries for something promising to photoshop... in my case, I didn't even bother with the photoshop (just an old cross-lighting experiment).

In a few days I'll go try some cross-lit midday portraits and see what comes out. I don't have the ringlight to use off-camera close-in (which I suspect is key to getting the subtle parts of his style down right) and not nearly as many high power heads to play with, but it's worth a shot. The point of the whole exercise is to learn something new about lighting and the effects it can create. If you honestly think you're going to be as good as Dave Hill or any other pro just by teaching yourself to ape their lighting style...
Nate Kalushner 8 years ago
This is my take on this technique.
I feel like parts of this thread make it sound like lighting for this to work is magic... It's not.

3 lights, two behind the subject on either side. you can accomplish the side lighting with any light modifier(or lack there of) just be prepared to deal with flare issues if you use something like an umbrella. The frontal lighting is a beauty dish and/or a ring-light. They both produce a similar quality of light, unique from umbrellas, softboxes, etc. It's the quality of the light that makes the effect look polished.

...at least thats what i think.
Teemu R 8 years ago
Thanks mate, Amazing work! I had to add your tutorial to my HDR blog, even it is no HDR technique!

dalyswe 8 years ago

Sorry, no before picture!
Chris Townsend PRO 8 years ago
Nate, it looks like you nailed it even better than Taylor and he got to play with Hill's lights! Thank you for the explanation of your take on things.
taylorchristianjones Posted 8 years ago. Edited by taylorchristianjones (member) 8 years ago
You've figured out Jill Greenberg, but I assure you- this isn't Dave Hill. 3 lights is nothing. I like your work though.
I thought you were gone? Welcome back! :)
taylorchristianjones 8 years ago
I was gone, but obviously I misled some people, and I hope you don't stop here thinking Dave Hill is this easy. I'll be posting about 12 more pictures for you guys to look at. Hopefully I won't upset anyone :)

Any chance we should find another photographer to try and duplicate their techniques?
schmiedl-images 8 years ago
Nate- add in a fill for the shadows and turn down the frontal light a bit and I think you've got it.
Teemu R 8 years ago
I did try this also.. Unfortunately pic was very grainy at starting point..

Nate Kalushner 8 years ago
"You've figured out Jill Greenberg, but I assure you- this isn't Dave Hill. 3 lights is nothing. I like your work though."

I didn't really figure anything out. I used the tutorial and adjusted the values to suite my image.

Again, there is there air of supposed mystery surrounding the lighting here. ITS NOT MAGIC!!!!!!!!!!! my shot was a portrait, if i had done something full body then YES I would need more lights. outside? EVEN more lights, flags, scrims, and modifiers. I appreciate that you like my work but seriously, stop making this out to be more than what it really is.
taylorchristianjones 8 years ago
The topic of the thread is the Dave Hill Look, and I thought that's what we were talking about. I just didn't want you to think that you had figured out what Dave Hill was doing.... and I don't think I'm making it out to be more than it is- this is a flickr group haha. Maybe you could elaborate on what is being blown out of proportion, or whatever.
BTW, Taylor, where's the setup shot you promised from when you were on the Dave Hill set and took you own pics with Dave Hill's WL1600 lights?
K e n B r o w n PRO Posted 8 years ago. Edited by K e n B r o w n (member) 8 years ago
I think it hits the "blown out of proportion" phase when people start getting hate (kind of) email, people are discussing ethics and whether or not techniques should be shared and a photographer is looked at more as a magician who can summon light from the heavens rather than a guy with a unique style and the means to get it. FYI since this is the internet and a joking tone is sometimes difficult to get across, I'm not knocking anyone. Just think this topic has turned into something very odd for, as taylor mentioned, a flickr group. It's also funny that I took the time to post this rather than working...
McClanahan Studio 8 years ago
For the record, I've been talking with Dave Hill as a source for a school project, and light is the secret behind his look. He does minimal photoshop work after the fact. He just has a crap ton of white lightnings shooting from all angles to "pop" the details during the image capture. His look can be decently emulated using PS, but you can't copy it exactly unless your shot is stratigically lit from the get go. This high-pass filtering is neat stuff though
jjlphoto 8 years ago

rastaricanstudio says:

I posted an action based on this tut a while back. The action is not for every type of photo. I see it used for babies and such not it's intent. I see it for edgy look to model shoot or character portrait.
I offer the action free and have set up a flickr group to show everyones use of my actions. I know about the mega lights and I can't afford one AB let alone a hoard. Peace/Paz

Can you post the link to the action if you have time? I must have been asleep at the wheel the first time. Thanks in advance.

Alex Galt 8 years ago
I'm confused, can't you see all of this clearly on the Dave Hill behind the scenes videos? Isn't his lighting clearly visible? The only thing that I spotted that seemed a little unusual were the banks of flourescent light tubes.
You'll probably have to visit Hill's myspace page from where he's linking the above pic to find that out.
taylorchristianjones 8 years ago
That's not Hill's myspace. What flourescent lights are you talking about? I don't remember those.
Alex Galt 8 years ago
Just a little more than half way through this video... I don't know Taylor, I'm not buying it. Clearly he is very good at lighting, but looking at the behind the scenes stuff I'm seeing pretty normal set ups resulting in pretty abnormal looks. I'm convinced that post processing is responsible, ultimately, for the Dave Hill look. I don't doubt that lighting gets him half way there though.
man schutt [deleted] Posted 8 years ago. Edited by man schutt (member) 8 years ago
not even sure if anybody here already posted this *sooo many posts*. the dave hill look has been discussed in several places. i remember reading a discussion where dave hill walked in to comment about it, and i tracked it down for you guys. hope this settles something, anything. here's the link to the page.

and here's the comment itself:

Hi guys,
Wow, I'm flattered by all this talk! I'm glad some of you like my work. I really can't share much about specifics, and I'm not a photoshop guru, but I am definitely down to discuss. I haven't used HDR or that tone-mapping stuff. I just recently heard about it, and it seems you need to bracket your images to do it well. That would be almost impossible when shooting humans! :-) In terms of cameras, depending on the budget, I use canon digitals and H1's; all prime lenses. Canons are SOOO fun and easy to shoot with, but the H1 files are crisp, edge to edge, and print bigger. Kinda a trade off. I'm a big fan of using lights, and I'd say the primary factor of how my images look is the lighting setup. Photoshop is of course crucial as well, but you gotta have a clean raw file to begin with. Too much processing can give you nasty digital grain, halos, all that stuff, which may look good on Flickr, but when printed on paper for a portfolio that an art director sees, looks like junk. I would totally suggest that new photogs spend less time on PS and more time shooting and playing with lights, and learning how to direct their subjects. As to the comment about $50k shoots... haha... that made me laugh. For sure my budgets have been getting bigger, but a lot of the stuff on my site paid peanuts. You really have to work your butt off; lots of sweat, set-building, hauling lights all over the place, day after day, for at least a few years etc. But that's part of the adventure, right!? Let me know if u guys have any more questions. Thanks!

Dave Hill

ultimately there's one thing i'd like to say: even if you nail the (i'm inclined with, elaborate) dave hill look, you're not dave hill. you won't get famous for doing exactly what someone else is famous for.
Teemu R 8 years ago
*ultimately there's one thing i'd like to say: even if you nail the (i'm inclined with, elaborate) dave hill look, you're not dave hill. you won't get famous for doing exactly what someone else is famous for. *

True, but in photography, as in painting, you get better when you try to imitate good old(?) masters. After that you have learned so much that you might be able to develop your own style. So this copycat game is actually a driving force to learn and develop your skills. Just remember, dont write picasso on your piece and try to sell it as original in ebay.. =)
man schutt, thanks for posting that... lol Maybe we can get Hill to post here too, to try to clear this up. Im guessing its a combo of lighting and PS like he said.. you gotta start with a clean file... so true. I love his work and while id love to know his secret, i can honestly say, i prolly wouldnt use it all that much and i definetly wouldnt get rich off it. Why would someone NOT want it done by the master himself? He's a great photographer and probably a great guy to hang with.

Taylor, glad to see you werent serious about leaving here...
Maybe Taylor can ask Hill to drop by?
munchydoan 8 years ago
Why don't you guys come up with your OWN LOOK?
fstops and shutter speeds [deleted] Posted 8 years ago. Edited by fstops and shutter speeds (member) 8 years ago


I want Daves look.

Besides, i think it's pretty clear any one of us could get the lighting right and nail it in photoshop but what are we really gonna do with it? I mean, at most we'll have bragging rights on flickr...Hardly comporable to Mr. Hills success, imho.

Besides, I'm learning a ton about lighting/ratios, metering and ambient light while trying to figure this guy out.
taylorchristianjones Posted 8 years ago. Edited by taylorchristianjones (member) 8 years ago
Munchy-You're probably just jealous that we don't want your "look"

Go play with your cockatiels, or talk to your hardcore street photographer friends
Munchydoan... I actually HAVE my OWN look..... its called crappy!
I bet you cant figure out MY look...lol
munchydoan 8 years ago
Hey, sorry I didn't mean to insult anyone. I'm just saying I've seen some great work on here and theres no reason why any of you couldn't come up with your own hot look.
taylorchristianjones 8 years ago
We're all just a bunch of cranky flickrites waiting for a good fight. Haha all this angst...

I think I'm creating my own look thanks to Dave Hill.
MUNCHYDOAN, I dont think you insulted anyone...well, at least not me..lol I just like the style DH gets and would love to know how... thats all. Like I said, i have m own style and, if i may say so, am really good at it.. why im so good I can shoot with the best equipment ever and STILL take a crappy photo.. id like to see Dave Hill Do that!!

Taylor, youre right, everyone loves a good Internet brawl every now and then. But, I guess its just the nature of the beast.. Litght on y'all!
josh_prins [deleted] 8 years ago
Did a bunch of posts get deleted from the second page of this discussion? I was just going over it this morning and in all the conversation with taylorchristianjones, I only see responses...no posts from taylor himself.

taylorchristianjones 8 years ago
I posted a bit too much information. I deleted it.
O Casasola Posted 8 years ago. Edited by O Casasola (member) 8 years ago
Everyone learns from taking a bit of information and making it their own. How else would you learn to walk.

Here, read this article about Gabriel Figueroa
RastaRicanStudio Posted 8 years ago. Edited by RastaRicanStudio (member) 8 years ago
My lowly attempt. I too have gotten shiitake mail over the silly action. come on people. I basically copied the tut. All I am trying to do is learn something new. Peace/Paz
eduardo_frances 8 years ago
IMHO it looks way too over processed, this opinion comes from someone taught to do minimal PP.

I prefer to spend time shooting than spending time doing post processing trying to emulate someones work, in the end it is up to each photographer to choose which path they want to follow, but a good lighting setup with a good plan will be much better and attractive than hours and hours of photoshoping when I am looking photos in this pool or any other website :).

schmiedl-images 8 years ago
Getting there... NO photoshop, adjustments only in Adobe Camera Raw (and few adjustments there, if any)

Nexusix Photography 8 years ago

Just my two cents, I feel like time psent in PP is the same as time spent in the darkroom. I've spent hours and hours in the darkroom (and hope to have time to again) and I figure that if I'm not going to spend that time with my hands in chemistry I might as well spent the time in post edit.

Only not nearly as long. To me the image isn't done till it's done in PP. Just a different outlook on photo proccessing.

Matt Stec Posted 8 years ago. Edited by Matt Stec (member) 8 years ago
OK,I'll post my 2c too. Dave himself and someone else here said that most of this let's call it DH look comes from good lighting setup, and postprocessing is just a minor addition to achieve the final efect, well BS IMHO... take photo of the tree in a bottom bar of PORTFOLIO2 gallery on D.Hill's website... u want to tell me that all the rocks in the BG were lit artificially, or even the tree? it casts more than natural shadow on the ground yet has got this beautifull DH look, so Photoshop and Photoshop,and Photoshop... my opinion, of course portraits ARE perfectly lit, and I'm not trying to take anything from Dave, I love his work, i loved this style eversince I found my "homie" Andrzej Dragan. similar look , different mood... just a thought...
eduardo_frances 8 years ago
Weinheimerphoto: I agree with you there is certain PP needed, for some may be the David Hill look, for some may be curves/levels and noise reduction :) it is up to each photographer to decide what works for them.

IMHO Different paths in post processing doesn't mean someone is actually wrong :).

My best regards :D
K e n B r o w n PRO Posted 8 years ago. Edited by K e n B r o w n (member) 8 years ago
Matt Stec: No, no, no. He doesn't use photoshop. He lit that perfectly textured mountain in the back right of the tree picture with a couple white lightnings. You didn't know that his lights go to 11 on power?
many spirits gather here Posted 8 years ago. Edited by many spirits gather here (member) 8 years ago
A guy like Dave Hill might not even know that he's using photoshop.

He's surely got someone on his team to do the postprocessing for him, and when that guy came up with a good result one time, he might have said, "Hey, let's do the next one the same way, this works well with my light setup."

Then again, he might be a full-on CS3 guru, and just prefer to not talk about it.
SlowmanLuis [deleted] 8 years ago
How's this?

alley with the dave hill look
Luis, I already saw this set on your stream - I love all four pics, and the effect works well here in my opinion.
wetdogsmell 8 years ago
My favorite is the Jon Heder shoot. The behind the scenes video shows Napoleon sliding down a wood framed slide in a studio.... but the final result has Heder in a playground with kids on either side. That's some impressive lighting techniques! I can get my strobes to make dogs but not kids!
jdcrew99 8 years ago
As was said before he uses composites.
One that I like and is easy to see the setups used in the composite is the Cassie for Rolling Stone shoot 8/7/06.
ddesimoni67 8 years ago
jd nailed it. The shoots are multiple composite shoots. Backgrounds are shoot seperately from the subject matter and even the individual pieces around are shoot seperately.
cosmicnights 8 years ago
Thankyou so much for putting this up. I call it the Jehovahs witness effect as it reminds me of the printed pictures in their books etc. I love it. Here is one I did.
olemlund 8 years ago
Nailed it perfectly. This is my try:

Mapewibe 8 years ago
It's fairly common for these guys to grossly underplay the role of Photoshop in their style. I think they have two reasons for doing this. Firstly, they want to make out that it's all about how being a great photographer, and that they are so good at this that they don't need Photoshop. Secondly they, I guess understandably, want to keep whatever they do in Photoshop (and let's face it, we all know they do quite a lot in Photoshop - no-one's lighting set-up or expensive DSLR produces RAW files that look like that, no matter how skilled they are) a total secret. It's like a recipe for a chocolate cake or apple pie that you don't want anyone else to know. Dave Hill's thoughts on the matter reminded me A LOT of the reply I got from Matt Hoyle when I emailed him to ask him about his Photoshop 'recipe'. They try to make out like there is no Photoshop!!! Guys, please, we may not be famous professionals like you but we're not silly!
popescool 8 years ago
Here is one of my try at this: actually is a multiple exposure image and a litle high pass filter on vivid light mode:

I dunno, lighting DOES play into it alot... I can see the difference in MY shots to prove it..at least to me anyhow. I do lost of HDR stuff and there is a huge huge HUGE difference between shots taken in very early morning light and bright, sunny afternoon light. I will post some samples in a minute...be right back!
Ok, as promised, Both shots taken the same way, processed the same (except for #1, its a tad less saturated but thats all...
I cant figure it out, the only real diff is the lighting and time of day. Id like to get consistant results like the first shot..personally.

Early morning (just at sun up) shot.
goth church

Bright midday sun!
youth center
Jon MacKinnon [deleted] 8 years ago
First one has been sharpened WAY too much.

I think i hate HDR. No offence to you, but people are starting to overdo it and using it on photos that really dont need it. What once was an original effect has now become so widespread that it takes the wow factor out of it.
Hugh Macdonald 8 years ago
Jon: I agree with you on these ones..... It's the saturation of that first one that turns me off it....

Also, lightnewb, your heavy, heavy sharpening is doing some funny things along the edges - look at the sky behind the powerlines on the right - it's very different from the rest of the sky, because it's close to the trees...

This guy does, I feel, HDR well:

thanks guys... but it still doesnt explain the difference in looks... they were both shot the same way but at different times of the day in different lighting.. yes the first one is way sharpened but, i did the second the same way..
as for the difference in the sky around the powerlines.. i see that alot with HDR in general.. i have that on alot of my shots ...ever those dont the traditional way. it must be something with the program.. photo matix, it must get confused somwhere along the way..lol
@Hugh macdonald:

"This guy does, I feel, HDR well:

www.petecarr.net/hdr "

He does have some sweet HDR files on that site... I can see where if he did the sharpening to some of them, they would look the same as mine..lol I will take the originals back into PS and try it with less sharpening to see what i get.. thanks for the like and advice!!!
McClanahan Studio 8 years ago
i gave "dave hill" a shot last night. forget the high pass filtering. i had my apature cranked up to 20 and three flashes blasted full power from the front and the sides. the high apature resulted in huge depth of field and the side lighting produced great details. The only photoshop used was levels and unsharp mask. according to Mr. Hill, that's all he does most of the time as well. I think it looks more authentic than the high pass filtering, so give it a shot if you've got some time :)

Unsharp mask is basically the same as highpass filtering & blending the result anyway. Cool results!
cosmicnights 8 years ago
Mine was a small aperature (about f16) with HEAPS (the bright Australian sun and Metz 45 close to subject at almost full power) of bright light too.
woundkiller 8 years ago
danthesnoman, do you mind posting the original shot of the first photo? Thanks :)
greg.newman 8 years ago
Yeah, what wounkiller said
Great results
woundkiller Posted 8 years ago. Edited by woundkiller (member) 8 years ago
This shot of mine's inspired by Taylor Christian Jones flickr.com/photos/blackicewap

I only have 2 AB800s at the moment:

tjhole [deleted] 8 years ago
Dan Atkinson for Bad Taste Magazine
Latest attempt
bjfphoto [deleted] 8 years ago

this plug-in does the same thing, basically you have to use it on a 16 bit raw image

rastmansar 8 years ago
Here's my style, similar to Dave Hills:
Dr Gonzo Photography 8 years ago
He uses a 'Phase One' Camera/digital back.. These cost $$$$$$ as they go up to 39million pixels! I reckon that and the huge flashes he's got may have something to do with it also... If your working with 39mp compared to 10 then your gonna get a lot more detail into the effect and it wont be lost during processing like a low res image does..

If danthesnowman could upload some of the pictures unprocessed that would be great to see what two flashes and high aperture can achieve as these are two of the closest I've seen on this thread..
ChrisVPhoto 8 years ago
It's been said before, but....

People, the effect is nice and everything, but I think some of you are plugging numbers in and leaning back, satisfied that you punched your numpad way through to get something approximately like David Hill's images.

The effect is really getting overused. More and more you see people starting to go back to great lighting instead of using the bleach bypass (for that's what this really is emulating) process.

Look at your oversharpening. Sure, some of you think it's all just tossing a TON of high pass filter on your image, but you need to take a look at what that's doing to your images. Look at the edges; there's haloing going on (where the dark edges are being sorrounded by lighter areas due to the high-pass filter going too far past reasonable boundaries.)

As much as you guys all complain that it's all the photoshop, that nobody could possibly light the image and have the result that Hill does, think about it for a sec.

What is the picture result?

Muted Colors, increased line contrast, and color contrast.

What happens when you massively light a subject? You end up with increased line contrast, due to the eyes perception of the subject being fooled by brighter highlights and darker shadows. With good lighting, your bright colors will be brighter, and you can very easily SLIGHTLY adjust your overall scene contrast through final editing in order to make your darker shades have a much range.

Sure, you can try to photoshop the image, but you need good lighting before you can attempt that.

Mr. Dr. Gonzo: The 39MP is simply a measure of how large you can blow something up. The real thing that Hill has going for him is his Hasselblad lens quality, which may only be second to that of Leica's.
Spencer E Holtaway Posted 8 years ago. Edited by Spencer E Holtaway (member) 8 years ago
Here's 2 off-camera flashes in direct sunlight. Descriptions of setup on the photo page.

I have done some bumping up of saturation and very minimal sharpening (unsharp mask, none of this 'dave hill technique' stuff. He clearly doesn't do too much in photoshop now that I had a try).

Jack Attack 3

and here's a 'set up shot' - flash as seen in shot, and an Sb-28 in my hand, low camera left, plus direct sunlight (you can see where it was from the shadow on the ground)

Jack Attack setup shot... kind of

Now stop messing about with photoshop too much and get out there and try some strobist work! :-)


p.s. I have had the Sb-28 for a long time, and the setup to add an extra, remote flash since then has cost me £25, approx US$50! A cheap investment for fun results that will hopefully lead to something more (like, a third strobe and more cables and wireless gear :-)

p.p.s. respect to danthesnoman who got me to borrow the extra flash in the first place. Since blagged a free cheapo flash from a friend who didn't want it any more. yeahh!
petecarr 8 years ago
@lightnewb hey thats me :D
h_oudini 8 years ago
I'd really like to see the original, to get a before/after kind of feel.
@ petecarr lol.. cool. well I stand by my previous statement...lol
Spencer E Holtaway Posted 8 years ago. Edited by Spencer E Holtaway (member) 8 years ago
Here you go - looks like I bumped the fill light more than I thought when I posted it! :-)

Nonetheless, I didn't use anything but Lightroom (but it all could have been done in the photoshop raw plugin dialogue too). Basically a 5 minute job in Lightroom, export and upload to flickr!

JackAttack no colour edit sampleJack Attack 3
RastaRicanStudio 8 years ago
h_oudini 8 years ago
Thanks! Nice to see that you can achieve the effect without a bunch of PS work.
zoetrope 8 years ago
(JA) ★★ What's an ACIS ART filter?
Zacker The One and Only Posted 8 years ago. Edited by Zacker The One and Only (member) 8 years ago
lucis art (sp?)
ExNihilo [deleted] 8 years ago
Lest we forget the trouble Dave Hill goes to before getting to photoshop...

Climbing through cold creeks.

Putting up strobes in the woods.

Building fake humans.

Dousing them with gasoline and torching them...


zoetrope Posted 8 years ago. Edited by zoetrope (member) 8 years ago
Ok, I guess it's this:

Anyone else played with this? Is it any good? (A bit pricey)

[I looked at the samples on their site and they are awful IMHO]
QGuilloryPhotoArt 8 years ago
here's my try at this tutorial....

rastmansar 8 years ago

It just takes a bit of good lighting. As I suspect, Hill is right when he says he uses minimal photoshop.

Findo PRO 8 years ago
yep.... good lighting is always the start.. no PS can fix bad lighting..
Benji2008 8 years ago
Here is one of mine along these lines.

kubicekjim 8 years ago
The "Dave Hill Effect" is a piece of cake in Adobe Lightroom. Just max out Recovery, Fill LIght, Blacks, Brightness, Contrast and Vibrance, then adjust Exposure and Saturation as needed.

Dori 1
Dori 2
wetdogsmell 8 years ago
I think it's getting pretty obvious which shots are 90% photoshop and which are 90% Lighting.

The ones with excellent lighting have depth and detail from what i'm assuming is a small aperture.

The photoshopped ones have increased graininess, halos, and pretty nasty skin.
Spencer E Holtaway Posted 8 years ago. Edited by Spencer E Holtaway (member) 8 years ago
@kubicekjim -

I certainly didn't max ou my blacks in lightroom for the 'jackattack' shots - fill light was always in the 90%'s and recovery was 'seasoned to taste' (usually quite high, but closer to 60% than 100%).

@kubicekjim & @ wetdogsmell -

yes, it is obvious which are photoshopped and which are down to lighting. Sure, my shots have had a fair amount of 'bumping', probably down to inexpensive gear, and having to compensate in the 'dark room'. However, many shots with lighting that doesn't lend itself to 'the dave hill look' are CLEARLY photoshopped as you lose so much detail going through the process to get there. Tons of blow-out, horrible sharpening artefacts, etc, etc.

In short, the subject pops out of the background because of the lighting, and not a sharpening and blending mode layering effect in photoshop. Yes, you can achieve it in photoshop, but it's actually EASIER to do it with lighting, if you have the equipment. Which, in strobist style, is cheap.

As a final note, I'd like to ask people to stop replicating styles, and rather take the information and experience that is shared here and on strobist.com to make their own style out of it. My 'jackattack' stuff is similar, but not the same as Dave Hill's stuff - because I use different gear, I shoot in a different area (so different light and surroundings).

If you like him that much, I honestly think he'd be more proud of people taking inspiration from his work rather than just trying to find quick fixes to replicate what he does.

Sorry, that turned into a bit of a rant, but I hope it was friendly :-) !
Sean McCormack 8 years ago
Maxing out these settings cause the mask edges to become highly visible, as in along the babies arm and knee.
Ironically I posted an image done with Lightroom here a while back and was completely shot down for it. Oh well.
Spencer I agree but have one additional comment to make which is entirely personal to me...

each person learns in a different way - talking about just me I have to grasp. In your case I love what you've created and would love to know how you actually achieved it then I can form my own style tweaking here, changing there etc.

However, I tried it yesterday with my son by using the method you describe and failed miserably. Standing in our garden with the sun over my left shoulder and the flashes set at 1/8th power we tried to replicate what you did but every image was significantly over exposed. played around with exposure values but even in LR I could replicate your look. What am I doing wrong? Aarrrgghh!! lol

No I don't want to copy your look but I do want to be able to achieve it first, understand what's going on then move on.

Thanks again
taylorchristianjones 8 years ago
Justin Hard
kubicekjim 8 years ago
Spencer and sean:

Lighting and focus are the two most important ingredients. That picture I posted was the result of opening Lightroom and using the most recent picture I could find that was well lit. Have a huge depth of field and a very bright image would make my pics a lot better. I posted that with the idea that the lighting/focus was the "easy" part for strobists to figure out, the photochopping was the hard part.
Trev Harmon 8 years ago
Here's my boy Xavier and my attempt

carlos.benjamin 8 years ago
Looks like Xavier found it to be an unpleasant process.....
Trev Harmon 8 years ago
yeah he says "WHERE'S MY MILK"!!!!
lol @ spencer.. your stuff is "Different" from Hills because you use different equipment and are in a different location?? Well, Im am too in a different location than Hill and I suspect that most of the other members here are too... and we are all using different equipment than Hill... so you see, were wouldnt really be copying Hills work.. right?
lol... too funny!

Good job on your shots and Taylor... cut it out.. lol Looking good!!!!
iHartPhotos.com 8 years ago
Really only 1% of the posters here that are even close to the Hill look.

If the other 99% can't see how far off they are then they really need learn how to 'see'. I would've thought that 'photographers' would have a better eye.
Trev Harmon 8 years ago
I think thats why we say attempt in front colin.
Zepofan 8 years ago
Here´s one more attempt...

IMG_6020_hp copy
Snipps PRO 8 years ago
I didn't bother to read this whole thing so I don't know if anyone has done this already, but I made an action(doesn't include feathering the eyes ,though, obviously) for this. I can email it to anyone that wants it, but then again you cold just as easily do it yourself :)
1 3 5 6 7 ••• 9 10
(201 to 300 of 967 replies)
Groups Beta