Question: How to attain certain effect.

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by LillieDesigns, Apr 8, 2007.

  1. LillieDesigns macrumors 6502


    Oct 18, 2005
    Los Angeles
    I was looking at some pictures and this kid gets some really crystal clear, almost surreal effects on his photos. I'm pretty sure there is computer editing involved, but I was wondering if anyone knew how to achieve this effect.

    Here's the link: Click Me

    I have photoshop so if it's possible let me know.

  2. jesses macrumors regular


    Apr 1, 2007
    i didn't go into the whole site, but from the look of the thumb of the homeless man..looks like some HDR. And it could be done on PS.
  3. dogbone macrumors 68020


    Sep 16, 2005
    S33.687308617200465 E150.31341791152954
    It looks sort of like what has become known as 'the Dragan effect'.

    There is an action you can download from here scroll down and look for the Draganizer zip.

    If you do a search for the Dragan effect you will find lots of good tuts.
  4. crazydreaming macrumors 6502a


    Apr 17, 2005
    Salt Lake City, UT -Westminster College
    Now that's some nice work. Definately has his own style, everything has the same unique look to it.

    Only thing I don't like is that I'm pretty sure every photo has had heavy photoshop in order to achieve the same look throughout (correct me if I'm wrong) and I'm not a huge fan or "making" every shot in photoshop. That's just a mild critique though! really awesome stuff.
  5. cookie1105 macrumors 6502

    Mar 27, 2006
    London, UK
    A great eye, shedloads of talent and obviously some photoshop. Take a look at some of his commercial work, it's really powerful, especially the album covers.
    That Dragan effect is very cool dogbone, thanks for the tip.
  6. Mantat macrumors 6502a

    Sep 19, 2003
    Montréal (Canada)
    This website stinks Dragon all over it... That is not "his style", he is just good at emulating the style of Dragan. But I have to admit that he does it very well!

    google for the original Dragon, some of his shots are master pieces.

    The problem I have with this style is that its art, but not "photography". In the sens that the picture is only the starting point for an end. As long as your picture is well exposed (maybe a bit over exposed), super sharp (shoot at f11) and well composed, you are set. No greater photography skills are required, even lighting can be kept to a minimum since you are going to play with contrast/dodge/burn and dont want anything to be overblown. For the rest, you can either use the various PS actions, or do them yourself by hand (for better results). The time spent in PS can be ridiculously high, especialy if you are going to a porcelaine look (-> lots of girl's skin). That is why I consider this more of a PS job, than a photographer job.

    I have a shoot next week with a goth model full or tatoos and piercings. I am probably gonna Dragonize the whole set since it fits so well with her style. If allowed, I will post a few of her pics in the forum...

    Knowing about this is just one more tool to add to a photographer box for specific situation, not an end in itself.
  7. LillieDesigns thread starter macrumors 6502


    Oct 18, 2005
    Los Angeles
    Thanks for the responses everyone, I'm gonna try these techniques sometime this week.
  8. huntca macrumors newbie


    Feb 19, 2007
    It sounds like you just described photography to me! If you're walking around getting sharp, well exposed, nicely composed images... then I say you're a pretty damn good photographer! Also note that most of his images have very controlled DOF and certainly weren't taken at f/11.

    If you took these photos and removed the processing applied, you would still see a great portfolio of very creative and exciting images. The processing only adds to the already wonderful photographs.

    My point: don't discredit this work claiming it's "not photography" simply because the images have been edited to show something more surreal. Photography is an art form and if everyone used the same camera, the same film, took photos of the same thing, and processed the images the same way, ... photography would be the most boring thing ever.
  9. wronski macrumors 6502

    May 8, 2005
    This guy is 17. Pretty impressive. He uses the effect in excess throughout, at least in my opinion, but his images are good. Look at his "shoots" section; those aren't just "taken at f/11 boom done" like you describe... actually some really well done stuff in there.
  10. bertpalmer macrumors 6502

    Apr 12, 2007
    Yeah I use HDR to create this effect in PS.

    One of the problems of photography is that your camera can only capture a certain dynamic range - using the techniques described overcomes this limit and makes for some really interesting pictures.

    However as previously stated, just because a shot is exposed and sharp doesn't make it a good photo - it is the subject and ideas behind it that really count! Not just the technique!
  11. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    Much of it looks like just "straight photography" to me. What he's done is shoot in the studio where you have absolute control over the light. Control of the light is key. In fact maybe the single most important thing.
    He also is a good printer but has done nothing that was not done in darkrooms. I see some "dodge and burn" and some darkening of the edages of no gross manipulation. The way to get the effect is to have a vision of the final image in your mind and then build a set, hire models, do makeup and set a set of studio lights.

    When you are outside of a studio you may have to deal with a wide dynamic range in the light and resort to fill flash. Special technics in photoshop and so on but in the studio YOU control the dynamic range. For example if you want the shadow areas to be one and a half stops lower than the key you just make that happen. A hand held flash meter makes it easy. With some exception I see mostly traditional photographic techique used

    I think this is what separates a commercial photographer from a snap shooter. The commercial photographer will willing to "make" the shot, that is set up everything. It's just like Hollywood does in the movies, you hire actors, costumes lighting sets and so on. It's expensive but if yo have a client wh wabts the image it's on the client's dime.
  12. Mantat macrumors 6502a

    Sep 19, 2003
    Montréal (Canada)
    BTW, I never said that he wasnt a good shooter. I said that the effect he used is well overdone and is easy to do in PS if you start with a very sharp image well exposed.

    Doing the Dragan effect on an hobbo is totaly not original. But the punch pic is quite good.
  13. Martin C macrumors 6502a

    Martin C

    Nov 5, 2006
    New York City
    For those saying that he uses the Dragan effect, he claims specifically in his site's FAQ that he does not:

  14. Mantat macrumors 6502a

    Sep 19, 2003
    Montréal (Canada)
    Draggan effect isnt just the name of a PS action... its the name of the dude who invented the style... It is obvious that it is not the custom Draggan FX macro because the macro doesnt do such a nice job, but still we can all agree that it is in the same style: desaturation, oversharpening, overlay layer, etc..

    I have seen someone doing the draggan style but with very saturated colors, but I cant find back the link! Anyone know of which photographer I am talking about?
  15. mcmadhatter macrumors 6502


    Sep 6, 2005
    Bath, UK
    Wow I haven't seen that effect before, thought I'd run the macro over some shots quickly this is what I got. I guess like most techniques there is a time and a place for it, I might be tempted to try it properly at some stage.

    Attached Files:

  16. Lovesong macrumors 65816


    Sep 15, 2006
    Stuck beween a rock and a hard place
    This whole thread got me thinking a bit (watch out!). Photography is a very peculiar art form, in that unlike most other art forms there is a great deal of science that is associated with it (you could argue that cinema is similar in that aspect). While there is no right or wrong way to paint (think Pollock, El Greco, Caravagio, heck, even Van Gogh), in the world of photography there is a certain science to taking pictures (i.e. you need to have that small aperture for a larger DOF, you need to have that slower shutter speed for taking "flowing" photographs (you know what I'm talking about), and you have to have at least somthing in that focal plane).

    That seems to have created two camps of people- those that see photography as a science and those that see it as an art. There is a group of image purists that feel that in order for an image to be "good" it must have the perfect exposure, be sharp, in focus, use the thirds rule, and have the correct DOF. You see these people in the commercial photography sector, weddings, advertisements, etc. There is also those that see photography as an art form (more like paint for the canvas). These photographers will use photoshop 'till they are blue in the face, various color filters, and generally do whatever it takes to be different, and use whatever they can to be creative. You think of Ahura Azan, certainly Andeij Dragan, among the myriad of fine art photographers.

    It's interesting to read all the comments here, and see the clear lines where people fall on this. Certainly there are those that believe that there is no right answer, and both camps have valid arguments. It's just interesting to hear that a certain photo is "over-processed." Yes, the original quality of these "over-processed" images may not be as good as those that one would get with their Hasselblad (Dragan used the lowly 10D, and Joey Lawrence took most of the pictures on his site with a Minolta Dimage). Does that make them lesser photographers, with less skill than the medium format user? That's certainly up for debate. Are their art skills better than most of ours? Sure. I guess where I'm going with this is that it's interesting that such a debate would occur about photography. There are few (at least today) that would renounce the works of Renoir, Manet, Pollock, or any of those crappy cubists as being "not art," because they couldn't draw "pretty pictures." I'm not arguing for one side or another- just an observation.
  17. wronski macrumors 6502

    May 8, 2005
    Except that it's not always so black and white either; you can balance the two as well. I also assume I'm not the only one that strives to create art using the science, on the spot, without turning "blue in the face" from using Photoshop.
  18. kitki83 macrumors 6502a

    Mar 31, 2004
    Los Angeles
    Did anyone else who saw his site, did it use all your screen when loading?

    edit: Good site and discussion about this, made me think am I for the art or science
  19. bocomo macrumors 6502

    Jun 29, 2007
    New York
    bravo to lovesong

    i've had this discussion more times than i can count. "photography" is no more a set of rules/styles than any other artform. there is no "purity" in unmanipulated imagery. it has been going on since the inception of photography. just look at man ray and moholy-nagy for a bit of a history lesson. those guys were trying anything they could think of without concern for what "photography" is. i have this conversation with students all of the time. they seem to have some notion of being able to capture what they want without doing ANYTHING to the image. i can't understand why. every photographer (darkroom or otherwise) lightens and darkens and adjusts contrast at the very least. why limit yourself to the tools available just because photographers in the past didn't have them? ansel adams certainly manipulated the tones in his images (read his book, "The Print") and check out rolfe horn's website, for a some cool before and after images. i think if you are a journalist or documentary photog then there are certainly rules and guidlines that must be followe. otherwise, just make some damn art already!

    also there are some interesting reads about all of this on


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