Desaturate of Not

Just back from a Philly shoot where client wanted an edgy look to their head shots.  I saw this technique this past weekend at a PPA conference.  Desaturate the colors about 50% and boost the clarity in lightroom.  Not sure if I like it but the client seems to think it is a go.  Feedback please.

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6 thoughts on “Desaturate of Not

  1. Most of the musician I have captured over the past 18 months want their images processed similar to this. I am not a fan of it however I made the mistake of processing film star Jim Sturgess like this and it made a bad candid shot acceptable, unfortunately not everyone has the looks of Jim Sturgess. I stumbled upon it going through a LR2 book by Scott Kelby I think. Now I tend to just desaturate only a few colours using the HSL sliders.

    I have also seen loads of local authority brochures with portraits processed with a desaturated bronze look. Must be the in thing at the moment.

  2. I guess my eye is tuned to like a nice explosive range of colors, so the desaturated look is not for me. Lightroom has a setting called ‘direct positive’ that usually gives a raw sort of look that I like. It aggressively punches the highlights brighter and the shadows darker.

    *Quick edit just to say if the client is happy, then its fine… right? (Govie Cubicle thought process)

  3. I’m not all that happy with this method. I saw it demonstrated during PPA program Monday by a photographer doing an ad campaign for an African Relief campaign. After a while the images reallybstsrted to annoy me. Thanks for your input

  4. While most of the photo stuff is above my understanding. I do not like the results. Who wants to zombify themselves? It looks like an clinical autopsy photo. Where are the suttle hues and shadows that define the face. As an amatuer, I would think i did something wrong with my settings.

    I am sure you nailed the technique, it’s just to bad that’s what they wanted.

  5. I agree totally with the last comment. Stupid idea. There is always one true rule to follow. Just because something is different does not make it better.
    Thanks for all your input.

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