How to achieve this look in Aperture?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by DCBass, Aug 29, 2013.

  1. DCBass macrumors 6502

    Jan 23, 2004
    Washington, DC
    Hello folks,

    I've been enjoying taking pictures for quite a while now with my trusty D40 and iPhone. However, I am getting interested in learning about how to properly post-process an image to get different kinds of looks. I'm not looking for anything extreme, but I do find myself gravitating towards certain styles that I would like to learn how to emulate.

    In particular, I am a fan of Andrew Kim's work on his website: Minimally Minimal. Here's the link:

    I particularly enjoy photos from his Mercedes SLK review, and from his dispatch reports from Tokyo. I've included a few samples below.

    Any idea how to achieve something similar in Aperture?





  2. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    These shots don't look like the result of post processing, I think he does it mostly in-camera. For example the shallow depth of field looks real. You can simulate it is photoshop (not in Aperture) but it is so easy to do in-camera. Get a loner and fast prime lens or even a 50mm f/1.8 to start with.

    Also on his product shots the lighting is flat and well controlled again not a result of post processing. Buy some white foam core board or wait for an overcast day.

    BTW I don't call the style "minimalist at all. Look at the car shot, what is all that detail in the ceiling doing? Should have found a simpler background. And the shadows are blocked out.
  3. stevelucky macrumors newbie

    Mar 30, 2012
    I definitely don't see any post processing in any of these images. What is it about these images that you like? I don't see much that stands out to me. There doesn't appear to be much color correction or even a shallow depth of field. These appear to be shot pretty stopped up (a tight aperture) which is why most everything is in focus.
  4. Virginaustralia macrumors regular

    Jun 16, 2013
    Maybe some colour correction but they look pretty much untouched. Must be the camera settings
  5. ijohn.8.80 macrumors 65816


    Jul 7, 2012
    Adelaide, Oztwaylya.
    I think like the others above, you may be confusing his style with post processing.

    If it's his style you like, just emulate him and then eventually make it your own, with your different touch to his style. Look at how he looks at things, but most importantly as ChrisA gave you a hint to, examine and copy his use of light.
  6. macpants macrumors member

    Jan 16, 2008
    I think I can see where you are coming from. Not from the pictures you feature here but from some of the product shots which appear on his site.

    I think you need to buy a book on basic photographic techniques. Even the photos on the site do not appear to have had any form of post processing applied to them. In reality, as mentioned above, a relatively long prime lens, say 80mm or above, used with a fast aperture will have a detrimental effect on depth of field. It appears to me that this is the type of effect you are seeking. This effect is only easy to get right when doing 'still life' type shots in a studio but much more difficult when shooting everyday subjects (though not impossible).

    The other way to achieve shallow depth of field is to invest in some seriously fast lenses. A 50mm f/1.2 for example will give very narrow DOF when used wide open at f/1.2.

    It is much better to learn how to take a photo than rely too heavily on filters and post processing.
  7. DCBass thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jan 23, 2004
    Washington, DC
    color balance/saturation

    Hello everyone,

    Thanks for all the responses. I look back at my original post and realize I should have been more clear.

    Really, I am looking more at the color/saturation/contrast/etc. qualities of his photos. I am not concerned with matching his sense of composition or use of depth of field.

    Essentially, what could one do with a combination of curves/levels to emulate the color/saturation/contrast/etc. seen in his photos. There is a lightness to them, without being "high key", that I admire.

    The product shots in his other posts are also good examples, but I didn't want to clutter/spam the forum too much ;)

    Cheers, and thanks again.

  8. flynz4 macrumors 68040

    Aug 9, 2009
    Portland, OR
    I would recommend getting accustomed to some of the RAW controls in the adjustment panel of Aperture. It looks to me like the black point and recovery might have been used to increase the contrast in the picture of the car. Probably careful setting of white balance as well. has some great training videos. Check out videos 8-12 in the series. They are only $2 each and quite helpful.

    You can also use round trip tools such as Nik Software (now by Google). Things like the "tonal contrast" (in Color Efex Pro 4) can do a lot for a photo.

  9. dss10 macrumors member


    Jul 25, 2012
    Me too....

    I have also been trying to produce the same type of pictures. I saw in one of his tweets that he uses aperture and has three presets. I think that he steps down his photos two or three steps too FWIW....

    On another note, is it possible to figure out the processing that has been done to a photo by looking at a pictures meta data?

  10. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    Yes. +1. If that is what you want then it is easy. What the photographer has don is gottenthe exposure correct and then carefully adjusted the exposure and saturation and white balance in Aperture. Nothing special or different from what "everyone" should be doing.

    What I would suggest is to work in this order
    1) Select the best shots, trash the rest
    2) Crop (crop FIRST so parts of the image you don't care about to not influence the following steps.
    3) look at histograms and see what needs fixing. Hopefuly if you did the camera work and lighting correctly you have a "hill" near the center and tails on both ends.
    4) apply any highlight or shadow recovery if #3 looked bad (bad = "U" shaped histogram)
    5) I like to move vibrancy or saturation up untill it looks "fake" then move down a bit.
    6) burn/doge local problems, but keep it subtle and not noticeable
    7) resize image for distribution
    8) sharpen, Yes sharpen LAST is it depends on final resolution.

    Others may have other workflows, that is good. Take everyone advice and adapt it to your taste.

    To copy this guy's exact "look", I'd study the histograms of his images. Make your histograms look like his. The histogram shows the distribution of tones and that defines hs look, he seems to b compressing a wide rand unto what "fits" on the average LCD monitor. No magic.

    The reason why no one saw what you were looking for is that these image are no outstanding, just pretty much workman like. Allyou need for that is a well through out technical decent work flow and some care when yuo take the exposure. Look for good even light that "fits" within the dynammic range of your camera.

    Also, and this is key. You are seeing only this guy's "selects", that is the one in 100 shots he likes and thinks are worth publishing.
  11. dss10 macrumors member


    Jul 25, 2012
    Here you go, the tweet I was talking about. He uses four presets..... presets&src=typd
  12. BigJohno macrumors 65816

    Jan 1, 2007
    San Francisco
    His camera is an rx1. He has a review of it on his site some where. He also uses a 1020 lumina for his day to day shots.

    Been following him for a few years now. We are in the same field of study. Industrial design. He is a very talented designer.
  13. sim667 macrumors 65816

    Dec 7, 2010
    I wouldnt imagine a huge amount is done in post processing, mainly it looks shot under flat light.

    If anything there may be a bit of desaturation in there.

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