The Godmother!

Hello people,

The spiked image which will form the basis of today’s post is something of a new area for me! The focus for much of my work to date has been landscape photography, however I have always had a desire to have a go at shooting people, either candid shots or more posed portrait work.

This yearning for people photography was largely inspired by the work of an American photographer called Dave Hill. Dave has this amazing technique that gives his images a somewhat cartoonish and surreal look to them which as you can probably imagine appeals to me! Unfortunately Dave Hill has taken the decision to keep his post processing technique a secret, which has resulted in a great deal of speculation on various photography forums as to how he achieves his look.

The general consensus is that he gets his effect primarily from lighting effects during the shoot, finished with some pretty slick post processing. Although I think the Dave Hill effect is great, not wanting to copy verbatim, I thought I would go for my own look. Plus I find it awkward enough lugging around a tripod, let alone a lighting rig so purely photoshop will have to do for now! And guess what, I’m not going to tell anyone my technique…unless you ask me nicely!

Dave Hills portfolio can be viewed here, whereas my effort can be viewed below!

I intend to gradually compile a ‘Spiked People’ portfolio so watch this space!

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~ by imagespike on October 4, 2007.

37 Responses to “The Godmother!”

  1. “I’m not going to tell anyone my technique…unless you ask me nicely!” – imagespike

    Hello! 🙂
    As you probably know, I’m going to ask you nicely for some help with how to achieve that David Hill look in Photoshop. Pretty, pretty please teach me? 🙂 You did very well with your post-processing techniques… I wouldn’t be able to tell your photos and David Hill’s apart.

    Anyway, if you don’t mind teaching me/telling me the secrets, you can reach me via e-mail (or MSN Messenger) at testprint@hotmail.com

    Hoping to hear from you!

  2. Hi just came across you blog doing a little research here on this technique. I fist saw it done by Joey Lawerence of canada. Hes awesome as well at this style if you havent heard of him check him out and theres a flickr tutorial on his style as well. So I am going to ask nicley as well for any tid bits you could share on this. You can reach me on my blog at http://www.preston28.wordpress.com or info@photosbyjackson.com
    Any help would be greatly appreciated.
    P.S Shoot more people your doing a damn fine job at it 🙂

  3. Hey man! love the style u acomplished… love that cartoonish thing.. So did u do all the post processing in PS? No special lightning and so on? WOuld be really really nice to hear about your little secret…..would be great if u wanted to tell me… But the way, nice blog

  4. Ah man this is awesome. You have to let the cat out of the bag concerning your technique. If that was all done out of PS you have cracked it as far as getting a style like Dave Hill. and to do so wihtout a horde of lighting gives extra kudos. How many pretty pleases would it take?????

    Fantatic landscapes too.

  5. man my spelling sukssss

  6. Hey how are you, I have been trying to eplicate Dave Hill’s style also. I think Ive done a pretty good job so far, and yes Ialso am deviatin a bit, I would love to know what you have out of pure interest in knowing the differences between our work. You can see some of what Ive done at http://www.jcmartins.com

  7. I certainly would love to have the secrets to your techniques, please. Thanks in advance.

  8. plzzz teacher tel me the secret i need to know the dave hill secret and it’s nice blog and plzz email it to me boss 🙂

  9. Hello!

    I have been intrigued by this cartoonstyle since I first saw the photos of Jim Fiscus (www.fiscusphoto.com) almost a year ago. I tried to apply this on my Gold serie, you can see on my site. However I don’t think I am even close.
    I really hope you can help me with this! There are no Dutch photographers who apply this to their photos except maybe for Erwin Olaf (www.erwinolaf.com) but I know he lets a manipulationbureau take care of it.
    Could you help me out? It would be wonderful! Dying to know and learn about this and your picture with the ladies on the terrace is awesome. It’s really the cartoonish style I’d love to have on some of my photo’s.

    Thanks in advance for your trouble! Greetings from the Netherlands,
    William Maanders

  10. Dear Mr. Image Maker.

    For the last 3 months I’ve been trying to create one single image that is similar like yours(with umphhhhh), not Dave Hill’s or Fiscus’s (too strong for me), and doing it with Photomatix is not an ideal answer for me either.

    For the Photomatix I’ve been clicking the shutter button for almost 3K shutter cycle just to get the proper lighting. I would like to ask for your kindness in assisting me in how to get the picture like yours before my old 350d went kaput.

    Thank you for reading this and happy photoing.

  11. Aloha image spike
    Love !!! your images very cool look could please let me know the secret on how to get this look thank you in advance from Hawaii

  12. Hello! Well I have read this post and looked at you’re reply in the canon forum. if at all possible could you email me with some sort of idea of where to begin with the processing of images like this. i appreciate that you wish to find you’re own results and not copy the Dave Hill routine. i personally think that it is a post production technique that can be adopted and adjusted to get great images (if only i knew how to do it!!) I have had a go but alas!! No such luck!! If you are in a position to give me some help it would be much appreciated! Thanks Kris Jones pleae email to: Kristojones@gmail.com thanks again 🙂

  13. I have been seen pictures from your blog. I´m very interested in your images work process. All photos are really good (wow! the satsuma, the guitar teacher…). I´ve been trying to get results like this, but…
    I would be very grateful of your help.
    I´m from Spain (my english isn´t very goog as you can see), my e-mail is nachovalverde@gmail.com
    Nice work, nice blog.

  14. Hi Imagespike, your portfolio is awesome. I was researching Dave Hill’s post processing methods and stumbled upon your website. I have been experimenting with the lightroom method but the result is far from it and only works on certain images. I am really interested in your workflow/process to achieve this look. Can you share your technique?. Cheers.

  15. Hi there,
    VERY nice work !
    I hope you don’t mind me asking (in the nicest possible way of course) what your workflow is….
    Cheers old bean….

  16. What a fucking moron! People are begging you and i guess you enjoy this…. Well my friend…..Fuck you!

  17. Hi Friendly, thanks for taking the time to comment on my blog and to give me abuse…nice!

    I can see you’re a bit upset at the fact that I haven’t broadcast my photoshop post processing technique to everybody on the web so let me explain things to you.

    It’s taken me about four years of hard work to get where I am with my photography and for that reason I don’t make my knowledge easily accessible to every Tom Dick and Harry.

    Of all the requests for help you can read on this page, I’ve taken the time to email these kind folk back and give them advice on how to get the look they want.

    The reason I don’t just post an explanation on here is simple…that would be too easy, If people take the time to ask, I take the time to answer…in private.

    I’m assuming your spitting feathers because I didn’t respond to you and for that I apologise.

    But at the end of the day, what’s in my head is the sole property of me and because of your earlier outburst your never getting access…unless I get an apology.

    I’m sorry if this has made you angrier 😉

  18. I love your sample image “The Godmothers”. Would you tell me how to do this please?

    Thanks, in advance!

  19. Matt,

    Thanks so much for your quick reply and for generously sharing your post-processing technique. Your work is very good indeed, and I sincerely appreciate your spirit of cameraderie!

    Cheers,

    r.

  20. Hi imagespike,

    I love your work and I would love to work at learning your technique. Your comment to Friendly was priceless! I totally understand your reluctance to share with just anyone. I would be honored and extremely appreciative if you would share your technique with me. I have been really trying to get this technique down with lighting and photoshop. My photos end up looking hyper real. Here is an example:
    http://albums.phanfare.com/5219953/3064451#imageID=54135734

    What do you think?

    Matt Mason

  21. Really nice job with the post process. Could you please send the recipe to me at photofarrell@gmai.com?

  22. I really love what you have accomplished. I would like like to know how you accomplished this, but I understand you put in a lot of hard work and don’t want to just give it out to everyone. I would to receive an email with the techniques but if I don’t get one, I understand that as well.

    Anyway, good work.

  23. Hi! I love your work and I’ve been reading your blog for a while now. I have also tried hours and hours to find this “Dave Hill -look” without any results. So, please could you be very kind and share your technique with me?

    Mandy ❤

  24. He used LucisArt.

    Its a plugin for PS.

  25. Hi Chris,

    I didn’t actually use Lucis in this shot. I’ve heard about it but to be honest don’t fancy the £500 price tag.

    Regards,

  26. hi there, I just found this page and was fasinated by you technique , I have been working on getting this type of result for some time and also trying to incororate it with strobist techniques. Would you be able to share some of your work flow techniques I would be eternally grateful
    Kind regards

    jamie

  27. Hi. Great blog.. I came across it while searching for some hints on how to achieve a Dave Hill type look. If you could share your technique with me, I’d greatly appreciate it. JJacobyPhoto@gmail.com

    Thanks…

    Jeff

  28. Hi Matt,
    would you like to share me, the technique you used in doing this photograph?
    Thanks in advance.
    beraucoal@yahoo.com

  29. hai im interested in knowing your techniques, its rely awesome..please teach me how to do it ..my email artesianart@hotmail.com…im really kindly thankful in advance for your help and teaching…thanxs alot..

  30. You have done a fantastic job here. I have seriously been trying to duplicate this look for three months straight…

    Would you mind sending me a few pointers? thanks,

    robert@robertjewett.com

  31. Hey Matt,
    I really enjoyed looking around your site. The way you “spike” your pictures give me inspiration to take more pictures. I have been a big fan of Dave Hill’s work & would love to hear about your techniques. Your straight-forward attitude is refreshing… thanks!

  32. Hi Alex, if you drop me an emaiil I’ll give you some adviice.

    regards

  33. hey matt,
    you inspired me continuing my shot in photography and post processing. i would love to know how or give me advice for your beautiful artwork. at least i keep myself busy during weekends in Afghanistan while in deployed for 12 months.

  34. I love what you did with the post process. I came across your blog while searching for advice on how to achieve a Dave Hill look. I’d appreciate if you shared your technique with me. Thanks in advance.

  35. I forgot. My email is: ichigoausucre-blog@yahoo.de

  36. Hey matt,
    I am very impressed with your work that has extreme localized contrast and tonality. This style has always appealed to me as I view things in a surrealist way and have always come close to finding an editing style I like, but never am fully satisfied. I currently play with topaz adjust, and .raw sandwiching, I have tried layer based dodge and burns and even copied a few tutorials from joel grimes, but nothing seems quite as stylized as your work, and from what i have heard, noone else is near as willing to share a few pointers. If you would be so kind as to drop me a line @ Terhunephoto@aol.com, it would be greatly appreciated.
    Thanks,
    Tyler

  37. Hey matt,
    I am very impressed with your work that has extreme localized contrast and tonality. This style has always appealed to me as I view things in a surrealist way and have always come close to finding an editing style I like, but never am fully satisfied. I currently play with topaz adjust, and .raw sandwiching, I have tried layer based dodge and burns and even copied a few tutorials from joel grimes, but nothing seems quite as stylized as your work, and from what i have heard, no one else is near as willing to share a few pointers. If you would be so kind as to drop me a line @ Terhunephoto@aol.com, it would be greatly appreciated.
    Thanks,
    Tyler

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