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Why does this photo look so... plastic(?)


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I wasn't sure if I should post this question here, or in the "How to achieve a certain look or effect". What I really want to know is, what did this photographer do wrong?

The quick background is that this as at my daughter's wedding, a couple of years ago. The photographer is an acquaintance, given that I of course, as the father of the bride, can't be the one taking the photos. The person we we hired shot jpg and not raw (as far as I know -- I asked, and she said these were the photos she had), and many of the photos have this look, sort of like a Roman sculpture. I have more examples. In the end, a couple of guests took photos with point-and-shoots, and we ended up used many of those photos in the album. Since these were in jpg, I couldn't do too much to save these. Or could I?

Do you know what post-processing setting would have caused these undesirable results? This example is an outdoor photo, but I also have examples of indoor photos hat look similar. But not all photos are like this. Is it just over-sharpening? Like way over?

The ironic thing is that the photographer takes beautiful landscape photos which she sells in galleries, and has shot weddings before.

Thanks.

 

Wedding0272.jpg

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1 hour ago, Elliot said:

The ironic thing is that the photographer takes beautiful landscape photos

This might be relevant, actually.  It looks to me like she's applied some kind of clumsy tone-mapping, which can look nice on landscape photos, but not on people.

Or, maybe I'm overthinking it.  It might be clumsy use of Photoshop's awful Shadow/Highlight function.

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I just looked at the EXIF (I apologize for not doing this before), and I see she used Elements. Just based on previous conversations with her. I'm pretty sure that she does not shoot in raw. I'm pretty sure than any processing is done in-camera, and that she may be using Elements only to crop and change the file names.

I don't know if it helps, but I'll show one more. Not all the photos are like this, but a lot are. There are some with "normal-ish" skin. I don't think that she noticed something part way through and then changed a setting. But she did not say anything to me at all about these. So perhaps this is her interpretation. I like your observation that she may be applying some settings that she uses for landscape (most ocean) photos.

In the end, I'm only curious. I don't think these can be "saved". I was just wondering.

Thanks.

Wedding0006.jpg

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Yeah, I thought perhaps you or someone might be able to identify said awful import preset. It's water under the bridge, but as I said before, at this point it's mainly (morbid) curiosity. Also, I wanted to validate that it wasn't just me (and my wife).

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