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Creating A 50's "Pin-Up" Style Look in PhotoShop

James Martin , Mar 01, 2005; 05:50 p.m.

I have been hired by a client to shoot a series of 50's style Pin-Up women. I am wondering if anyone has experimented with any Photoshop techniques which have this sort of 50's / Pin-Up style feel to them.

Any help will be greatly appreciated.



Beau Hooker , Mar 01, 2005; 06:34 p.m.

Hi James, I'm not a member, but you might want to check out this site: http://www.garageglamour.com/ I would think some of the members could help. Good luck!

Emre Safak , Mar 01, 2005; 06:50 p.m.

ken hughes , Mar 01, 2005; 07:09 p.m.

the "pin-ups" were done and imitations of "pin-ups" have been done long before photoshop has been around, what do you need to do in photoshop that you can't do in camera?

Tom Weis , Mar 01, 2005; 07:48 p.m.

Tons of Photoshop here: http://www.seeguysdolls.com/

Derek Stanton , Mar 02, 2005; 12:45 a.m.

There's an excellent book, entitled "Adobe Photoshop CS - The Art of Photographing Women" - by Kevin Ames. It has a great many tutorials and hints on how to achieve your goal. However, there is an 'art' to doing this successfully, and unless you already have a good deal of proficiency in photoshop retouching, learning this on a paid commission may not be wise. Perhaps you might be better-served by sending your raw files to a professional image retoucher.

By the way - i'm assuming you're referring to the Varga Girls pin-up style. If you're talking about just a 'generic' calendar girl style, like the Betty Page stuff, the secret probably isn't in photoshop. Maybe just using vintage lenses and classic films will do it for a start....

Dai Hunter , Mar 02, 2005; 05:59 a.m.

I, too, have explored this with a publisher friend, not as a project but we discussed it much more generally, and we decided that models are a fundamental problem. The F body shape of typical models, on all ends of the spectrum (fashion; glamour; and general photographic,) has changed from the 40s - 50s pin-up period. You just can not easily find models today with the right "period shape" willing to do that work. Not to say that they are not out there but they are hard to find - larger breast sizes and wide hips a bit heavy in the butt, but not really a lot of body fat in between or on the arms and legs.

Beyond that, there are non-PSable elements to consider... hair is less of a problem but a good stylist is a must; period style costumes are not too much of a problem but things like stockings with seams and corsets, period style underwear and foundation garments (with the RIGHT look in a photograph) may have to be made especially for the shoot, ect. A theatrical costumer is a good choice for that... usually what they don't have in stock, or can't get as original (vintage wear), they can make.

The least problematic part of the equation is lighting but you should revert to the old techniques to get the right result. Remember, too, that film characteristics have also changed from the period emulsions and may not give the desired results right out of the camera without a lot of planning and testing in advance... and there PS will be a great help in reproducing the generally rich and saturated period "look".

It can be done, for sure, if you can get the right model(s) (at any price,) but it won't be cheep in the other details either compared to doing a modern style glamour shoot withe strictly off-the-shelf models and other gear.


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