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Author Topic: Is it me? or...  (Read 11425 times)

Dustbak

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Is it me? or...
« on: October 10, 2013, 04:53:54 AM »

I am now working as a photographer full time for about 13 years. Much of the work I do is for catalogues, web, etc. commercial work. It seems that every year my clients are demanding that images are more contrasty and colors more saturated. Up to a point that the images have absolutely not much any more in common than the what you originally saw before your eyes. Enough never seems to be enough.

Is it just me that has the feeling that most people/clients are craving for more contrast, more saturation and more 'pop' every year? Do others get the remark too that sometimes images are a bit flat (while the contrast is already at the point where you feel you should not take it much further)? I sometimes wonder whether using state-of-the-art calibrated monitors are becoming an obstacle?
« Last Edit: October 10, 2013, 07:00:15 AM by Dustbak »
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louoates

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Re: Is it me? or...
« Reply #1 on: October 10, 2013, 08:05:36 PM »

Before I'd go too much overboard on the saturation and contrast controls I'd try to work with the sharpening techniques, especially if the images is to be printed. My properly sharpened (Nik Output Sharpening) images when printed are far better than without. Lots more "pop" on paper.
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kers

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Re: Is it me? or...
« Reply #2 on: October 11, 2013, 03:20:34 AM »

My observation is that commercial work - especially in the USA- is often going over the top with color and contrast while on the other hand artwork in Europe tries to be very natural ; even undersaturated.
yes, probably they get inspired by the Adobe RGB capable monitors. They want to have every color 100% saturated...after you have seen that natural colors look dead.
I guess it is a trend and soon it will be the other way around again...
« Last Edit: October 11, 2013, 05:47:19 AM by kers »
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Hulyss

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Re: Is it me? or...
« Reply #3 on: October 11, 2013, 07:17:58 AM »

My observation is that commercial work - especially in the USA- is often going over the top with color and contrast while on the other hand artwork in Europe tries to be very natural ; even undersaturated.
yes, probably they get inspired by the Adobe RGB capable monitors. They want to have every color 100% saturated...after you have seen that natural colors look dead.
I guess it is a trend and soon it will be the other way around again...


Exactly my though. Adobe RGB monitors are common but we also see a lot of people working on WideGamut and Prophoto RGB, thus inducing some differences I guess. Well, I always work in prophoto color space and I'm obviously not alone.

That said, it is clear there is a difference in rendering between US and Europe. US start on something, Europe follow some month later, as usual. US always work as a precursor of trends, generally.
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Bullfrog

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Re: Is it me? or...
« Reply #4 on: October 18, 2013, 04:01:35 PM »

I think HDR has really changed expectations and one dimensional "flat" tonal values almost seem lost.  Having said that, I tend to agree with another poster, its culture, climate and region that dictates.  Popular artists in the area will also influence what people want - and in some genres, I feel we really have stayed the same :-)

It seems to me that a landscape artist in Ontario is subconsciously compared against the Group of 7 - and if you look at a GO7 painting - its rich, bright and vibrant with bold strokes.  One really good reason is the terrain - in autumn, our landscape is incredible - bright reds, golds, and crimson.  You just cannot be drab.  If you travel in shield country in autumn, its an assault on the senses - there is just so much colour.


As a Post script, I love the whole GO7 culture, the mystery of Tom Thomson (was it in the library with the candlestick or if not, HOW did he die?)a and much of the work, but some of the groups work in my opinion is just plain awful (did I say that! ) and while it borders on sedition to even THINK it, and high treason as a Canadian to write it, its true.   So, to answer your question, is it just you - maybe - but more likely, some of us (moi?) are probably guilty of just really bad taste.
 ;D
 

http://tomthomson.org/
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Dustbak

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Re: Is it me? or...
« Reply #5 on: October 21, 2013, 06:16:05 AM »

Thanks all for your replies. It shows me this is a topic that doesn't come up often but I see I am fortunately not the only one that is experiencing this :)
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DeanChriss

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Re: Is it me? or...
« Reply #6 on: October 22, 2013, 04:35:21 PM »

In the film days Kodachrome 25 had very natural and accurate color. When Fuji Velvia came along the colors were insanely saturated. Many, including engineers at Kodak, initially wrote off Velvia as something that would die because of this. But when editors and others need to select a few images out of hundreds on a light table, they tend to pick the ones that stand out at a glance. Velvia was more often selected because it stood out, and because it was more often selected even people who didn't like it started using it. Nobody wanted to have the accurate but receding image among hundreds that were eye popping. In short Velvia took over because its colors were not natural or accurate.

I think history is repeating itself in a way. Whether it's photographs for wall art, publication, or product marketing, everyone wants theirs to stand out from the rest. All else being equal "saturated sells" more often than not and over-saturated images dominate. Especially in the marketing world everything is about "grabbing eyes" and getting clicks, so appearing natural or accurate takes a back seat. I'm not saying any of this is good, just that it has happened and continues to happen. Frankly I think people quickly grow tired of cartoon colored photographs, but everything now is about the immediate wow factor. All IMHO, of course.
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joneil

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Re: Is it me? or...
« Reply #7 on: October 23, 2013, 10:13:53 AM »

While there are exceptions, overall, yes, I too find that people do seem to want or prefer more "pop" in their images.   IMO, it is a definite trend.   

...... and don't get me started on camera clubs and the excessive use of HDR anymore.....
:)

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David Eichler

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Re: Is it me? or...
« Reply #8 on: October 25, 2013, 05:54:52 PM »

In the film days Kodachrome 25 had very natural and accurate color. When Fuji Velvia came along the colors were insanely saturated. Many, including engineers at Kodak, initially wrote off Velvia as something that would die because of this. But when editors and others need to select a few images out of hundreds on a light table, they tend to pick the ones that stand out at a glance. Velvia was more often selected because it stood out, and because it was more often selected even people who didn't like it started using it. Nobody wanted to have the accurate but receding image among hundreds that were eye popping. In short Velvia took over because its colors were not natural or accurate.

I think history is repeating itself in a way. Whether it's photographs for wall art, publication, or product marketing, everyone wants theirs to stand out from the rest. All else being equal "saturated sells" more often than not and over-saturated images dominate. Especially in the marketing world everything is about "grabbing eyes" and getting clicks, so appearing natural or accurate takes a back seat. I'm not saying any of this is good, just that it has happened and continues to happen. Frankly I think people quickly grow tired of cartoon colored photographs, but everything now is about the immediate wow factor. All IMHO, of course.

Never thought any Kodachrome had a "natural" color range, but it did have color characteristics that many found pleasing. When using transparency film, I always thought that EPN Pro Ektachrome had the most most neutral color overall, without seeming cold or sterile.
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