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Dave Hill Style

Discussion in 'Retouching and Post Processing' started by NYCPHOTO, Aug 3, 2007.



    Jul 5, 2006
    I posted this over in the people section and they pointed me over here. I am trying to recreate the style of Dave Hill. Just wanted to know if any of you photoshop gurus knew of any good tutorials anywhere. I have found some but of course my work is not even close to his:


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    Any advice would be awesome
  2. Gale


    Jan 26, 2005
    Viera Fl
    I remember the post over at DPR and seeing his gallery.
    I think alot of what he does is in his photography and then the PS skills.
    Don't think anyone has come up with anything yet

    Your first one is a close one.
    Very nice.
    Love the lighting and processing.
    Good job


    Jul 5, 2006
    Thanks Gale,

    Yea from what I have heard having great pro lighting makes the process really pop. Hopefully I will get a chance to shoot with all that one day
  4. I like 'em both John :smile::smile: Your web site is VERY nice as well !!!


    Jul 5, 2006
    Thanks Mike I wanted the website to look as close to a professional one as i could. Since I know nothing about webdesign it took me a long time (lots of tutorials)
    Today I tried to turn up the post-processing to see if that would help but I lost all the color:
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  6. yamo


    Jun 28, 2007
    Santa Cruz, CA

    Greetings. I saw a Photoshop Workbench video from Radiant Vista that stepped through a technique which purportedly is similar, though not near the polish of what I've seen on Dave Hill's site. You'll have to join Radiant Vista to get to it though, because it's in the archives (which is not a bad thing, the critiques in The Daily Critique are outstanding... I've certainly learned a lot... my mileage varys a bit on the Photoshop Workbench stuff).

    My vague recollection of the steps involved duplicate layers and playing with high pass filtering and blending something like

    high pass on separate layer, 3-5 pix?, vivid light blending
    second high pass blend on separate layer (higher pixels 5-7?), color blending
    opacity to taste
    surface blur
    detail to taste through masking
    unsharp mask large - large radius (to taste) 100% 0 levels, mask opacity to taste

    I think that montage and perspective distortions play a part in these types of images... Your second shot has that montage feel to it. You're headed in the, uh, right direction with the dog (you can blend back some of the color by using the original or a manipulated layer for higher pop edge color). You could also throw in some wide angle distortion...

    just some ideas...


  7. Very nice! I like yours better....what was your method?


    Jul 5, 2006
    Yamo thanks I am going to try it out


    for the 1st:
    All you color correction and retouching then:
    Flatten Image
    Duplicate Layer
    Filter>Other>High Pass> 4.0 Radius
    Add Layer Style>Blend Options>Blend Mode>Vivid Light
    Flatten Image
    Duplicate Layer
    Filter>Other>High Pass> 6.9 Radius
    Add Layer Style>Blend Options>Blend Mode>Color 40% opacity
    Flatten Image
    Duplicate Layer
    Filter>Gaussian Blur Radius 9.4
    Filter>Add noise 3%
    Layer>Layer Mask>Hide All
    Paint over the whole image with a brush set to white @ 30% opacity
    Flatten Layer
    Filter>Sharpen>Un Sharp Mask Amount 100% Radius 30 Threshold 0

    For the 2nd I first opened it in Photomatix as a Raw and converted to an HDR then did the process

    And for the dog I just did the process twice

    If you try it out post your final shot I would love to see how it comes out.
  9. mr2monster


    Jun 29, 2007
    interesting... I like the effect. I tried it on one of the wedding shots that I'm processing right now. not sure what i think so far. I'll keep it in my bag o goodies, but i dont know if it works with wedding shots (or maybe it's just this wedding).

    Original straight from camera:

    Using the steps from above.



    Jul 5, 2006
    James I like the shot but i dont think I would use the process on this one. For me the only shots it seems to work on are those I took with studio strobes and the people really stand out from the background.
  11. PixelFactory

    PixelFactory Guest

    After looking at his portfolio, what I notice first is how he has everything in focus. He is using a mixture of multiple images to get everything the focus, great lighting on the subject and his post process looks to be mostly hand done. A combination of sharpening, high pass, dodging and burning, etc. This guy spends some serious time in pp.

    John, your second shot has the type of lighting he uses. The only way to make it more like his would have been to take a few shots of the background in focus and mask them in.
  12. JeffKohn


    Apr 21, 2005
    Houston, TX
    Seems to emphasize local contrast but minimize micro-contrast and fine details. Skintones look smoothed out. A lot of the backgrounds/environments look liked tone-mapped HDR or what I've seen from images processed with the LucisArt plugin.
  13. mr2monster


    Jun 29, 2007
    Yeah, i agree... I mostly did it because I was bored from doing the same ol' processing on all of these underexposed wedding shots that i did. Break up the monotony, ya know? haha.
  14. PJohnP


    Feb 5, 2005
    Here's a quick 'n' dirty approach. Open the file in PS-CS2 or CS3, then :


    Turn up the highlight effect to 30 - 60%. Play with the shadow effect up and down a bit.


    Depending on the exposure of the shot, it can work something like 2/3 of the time...

    John P.
  15. Ahhh

    Photomatix...that works too.
    Thanks for the instructions!
  16. mikeyd86

    mikeyd86 Guest

    I think Dave Hill also uses strobist style lighting to achieve the kind of detail he has. I've tried to do something similar, blending multiple exposures in photoshop, rather than using something like photomatix:

  17. PixelFactory

    PixelFactory Guest

    Here is what I've done with your photo Mike. Basically all id did was use dodge and burn. You almost have to take a whole lot further than you might think necessary. Mostly it's dodge highlights over and over again. I think its pretty close.

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