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Thread started 26 Mar 2015 (Thursday) 00:07
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How to achieve muted/matte tones using Lightroom?

 
Owhat
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Post edited over 4 years ago by Lester Wareham with reason 'Image copyright'. (3 edits in all)
     
Mar 26, 2015 00:07 |  #1

Hi All,

So I've been learning how to apply this effect to my photos using the tone curve in Lightroom. I understand how to get that flat one-dimensional look... but for the life of me, I can never get it to look as good as this:

https://www.flickr.com …586213780/in/ph​otostream/ (external link)

I've contacted the photographer to ask him for advice, but he won't share anything, other than the fact that all he uses to edit is Lightroom. I'm not demanding that he share his trade secrets with me, but all I want to do is understand. I've been practising with the tone curve, and many other lighting sliders for almost a year now, and still cannot do it as well as this photographer.

Any help/tips/advice would be greatly appreciated.

Here's the link to the rest of his work:
https://www.flickr.com​/photos/kidkutsphoto/ (external link)

Thanks,
Owhat


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Mar 26, 2015 02:44 |  #2

Not sure if it's helpful or obvious, but the black point looks raised. I don't have Lightroom, but I would guess there is a levels type slider that allows for this?




  
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Owhat
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Post edited over 4 years ago by Owhat.
     
Mar 26, 2015 04:24 |  #3

Benitoite wrote in post #17492340 (external link)
Not sure if it's helpful or obvious, but the black point looks raised. I don't have Lightroom, but I would guess there is a levels type slider that allows for this?

Yes, there's a slider for the blacks. There are a few ways to raise the blacks in LR, actually. It can't be as simple as just raising the blacks, though. I've tried that many times already, with disappointing results! Haha.

Thanks, though.


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Mar 26, 2015 04:50 |  #4

It looks quite like the SLR Lounge "matte" finishes (part of their preset system). It's primarily a function of the tone curve; that image might have some colour toning as well (separate Red, Green, Blue curves as well as an RGB curve).




  
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Owhat
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Mar 26, 2015 05:24 |  #5

TerminalCity wrote in post #17492399 (external link)
It looks quite like the SLR Lounge "matte" finishes (part of their preset system). It's primarily a function of the tone curve; that image might have some colour toning as well (separate Red, Green, Blue curves as well as an RGB curve).

Just wish I could see his settings, so that I can have an idea of how he's obtaining these stunning results!


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Mar 26, 2015 05:38 as a reply to  @ Owhat's post |  #6

So why don't you ask Mr. Google?
For example: photoshop retro look tutorial


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Sreter
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Mar 26, 2015 07:50 |  #7

So I actually had the exact same question for my buddy who does this kind of effect on alot of his automotive photography and I've always really liked the look so I decided to give it a try... set your curve adjustment so its only editable with the curve itself and not the sliders, it will make it easier...

basically, this is what you want your curve to look like:


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This was my end result doing so on a photo I took that I felt would look nice with this effect:

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I think this is what you're trying to do? and I hope this helps!

PS: I found it to be a little easier to do this in Photoshop with a curve adjustment on the layer.

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Sreter
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Mar 26, 2015 07:56 |  #8

not sure if its obvious but the green line is what it is as a default and the red curve line will be your settings goal with the 3 points in a similar location


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Mar 26, 2015 13:04 |  #9

... and if you pull up those points in shadows/blacks area of the blue curve even more, it'll give those blue-tinted shadows which are part of that popular look.

You can also use a little bit of split toning to further enhance it.

I can't do it. I like the finished look on other people's work, and I roughly grasp the technical steps to get there, but while I'm doing the process it always looks bad to me, on my photos.


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Mar 26, 2015 13:18 |  #10

nathancarter wrote in post #17492900 (external link)
... and if you pull up those points in shadows/blacks area of the blue curve even more, it'll give those blue-tinted shadows which are part of that popular look.

You can also use a little bit of split toning to further enhance it.

I can't do it. I like the finished look on other people's work, and I roughly grasp the technical steps to get there, but while I'm doing the process it always looks bad to me, on my photos.

The lighting and colors of the scene have a lot to do with it to though, it's not likely just "you". ;)

For this I'd just add some clarity, pull back vibrance just a smidge, set a "medium" tone curve then lift the bottom point (black point) up the side of the graph. Or you can leave the tone curve linear and just lift the bottom, then make your contrast adjustments using the sliders. Something similar to this (it's an old screengrab so won't get you exactly there)


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Owhat
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Mar 26, 2015 15:56 |  #11

Thank you so much, Sreter, nathancarter and Scatterbrained! I'll definitely try everything you guys mentioned. I really appreciate it! :-)


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Post edited over 4 years ago by BlakeC. (2 edits in all)
     
Mar 26, 2015 16:22 |  #12

Google "Lomography how to"

It's pretty easy, but the biggest thing to remember is to make your curve look like an "S"


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Mar 26, 2015 17:00 |  #13

no prob dude. let us know if that works out for you


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Owhat
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Mar 27, 2015 03:27 |  #14

The information you guys provided has definitely given me a better understanding of how to apply this look effectively. All I need to do is practise these techniques to find the right balance. Thanks so much for all of your help! I seriously appreciate it!

Happy shooting,
Owhat


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Mar 27, 2015 05:51 |  #15

no prob


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How to achieve muted/matte tones using Lightroom?
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