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How to achieve these colors?

Hi, guys. Im a night club photographer, beed using photoshop since CS2. Till now I haven't had any problems to achieve whatever I have wanted to achieve. But i stumbled upon a night club in Dubai and the colors they got in their photos are just woah. The lightning is similar /through led lightning/ so I guess there isnt a difference in it. But the colors are just.. whoa. Anyway, I really hope to get any help from you, gurus. Here's a link with pictures and the colors im dying to achieve:

Huge thanks in advance!
Looking at the first few postings on the page you cited, I presume you are wondering how the skin tones can be so good when the ambient lighting contains all sorts of colors and varies from point to point on the dance floor.

If that is your question, the answer is easy: The photographer used a strobe with a fairly small softbox (maybe 18 - 24 inches wide by 12" high) mounted a foot or so above the camera. He then set the camera to expose the near subjects correctly while underexposing the background by a stop or two.

Tom M
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This guy is a well known club and band photographer in San Francisco. Take a look at some of his work:

Both he and I use more or less the same technique I described in my previous post.

Attached below is one of my own club shots. I had been shooting by myself for the entire day, was getting tired, and I didn't feel like lugging around a softbox on a Stroboframe at 11 PM, so, for the shots in this club, I just bounced my flash off of a white card mounted only a few inches above the camera). You can see that it gives flatter lighting and harsher shadows and less facial modeling than if I had used a softbox mounted much higher above the camera but pointed down.

I also could have also used any of several other diffusers.


Tom M


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I'm not and expert on night club photography but apart from what Tom said there is a lot of postprocesing in those photos in my opinon.

If u were referring to my photo, actually, I shot that one on Fuji pro negative film years ago when I hadn't yet fully transitioned over to digital. The image I posted looks almost exactly like the print. I scanned it on an Epson V700. Just some straightening, cropping in PS, as I recall.
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Hi, guys. Thanks for the answers. Tom, as much as I want you to be right, you're not. That photographer actually uses a ring /not a ring flash, just a ring/ with led-lights on it. You can see it in some of the photos there. It's not the lightning that i cannot achieve /I've got a similar ring/, but the actual post-processing to achieve these amazing colors of his. I shoot in raw and i've tried a thousand different edits of the pictures and im still so far away from it.
Thx, just as and example (made it rally fast) is this the effect you're looking for?







Of course it will require a lot of more work, smoth skin ilumination etc to optain the same result.
Hey Vlado -

Yup, you were absolutely right. It was pretty obvious that the photographer uses some sort of extended source to light his subjects, but I was only looking at the photos on my phone so I didn't notice the unusual catchlights, and just assumed the light source was something conventional like an ordinary, small portable softbox. Now that I'm looking at the pix on my desktop machine, it's clear what's going on.

Now that the configuration of the light source is ruled out as a possible problem, with respect to the colors, are you talking about skin colors, the colors of the ambient illumination, or both.

Also, just so we are talking about the same thing, can I assume that the colors you want to emulate are like those in this specific photo:

BTW, I'm curious: Was your ring of LEDs a do-it-yourself project, like one of these:



or a commercial unit designed for photograpy, maybe something like this, except battery powered:

One last question: If it was a DIY project, do you know the CRI (color rendering index) of the LEDs that you used?


Tom M

PS - Yes, if you can post the RAW file, as Argos requested, that would be great!
i used this one as reference (more similar on ambient, colors) but then i dont know what you mean by colours, maybe it's my bad english XD.

Tom - I already posted it, check above ;) It's absolutely self-made, literallly a childish ring for games with led lights on it. I dont know the cri, in the shop i just asked for some warm-white led lights :D Yea, im looking for these colors, i cant achieve neither the red, blue or the skin color, its drivin me crazy!
Argos, u used pretty good reference, but your results are still far away from this :/
of course as i said in the example it was made in 3minuts only altering the exposition to see if you were looking for that effect, to match the photo you have the retouch and smotth the skin, lower the reds, fix ilumination problems, all i said before a lot of work. but you said you were looking for and effect to match the colours (tone) of the image, you cant match all of the above touching only the colours.
FWIW, here's what I got after 15 min of work. I didn't have any more time to put in, but it could obviously still could use more work (incl. improving my selections, reducing the strength of some of the efx I already used, etc.) to really match the examples.

I used all sorts of tweaks including a few Topaz plugins (NR, Detail, and Adjust), and just don't see how this could be done by an action.

Tom M


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