My original K14 -style has been neglected by me as I have progressed in the art of style making. But some things have happened quite simultaneously that brought me to rethink the K14 -style again. So what happened?
2. I tested systematically the arsenal of styles I have for Capture One and was melted by a warm style, Warm Color -style made by Esben Zollner Olesen. That style screamed to me about some mood I relate to many vintage Kodachrome photos I remember to have seen. BTW, if You download that package You also get IMO one of the best landscape styles ever made by anyone, by IQ Professor himself, the “Landscape Punch”.
3. I finished the kPro II -style that made me ride again a Kodak “rollercoaster” browsing hundreds of Kodak photos and bumping to Kodachrome slides occasionally.
4. I watched again the documentary of the last Kodachrome roll shot by Steve McCurry and read some articles and user reviews of Kodachrome films.
My K14 -style was my earliest attempts in style making. I was heavily influenced by Ritchie Roesch’s in-camera -styles and the Fujifilm Classic Chrome film simulation. I just wanted to make a style that is more “me” and the way I see the mood of aforementioned looks. The K14 -style was a simple play with warm color balance, contrast and rusty red I relate to Kodachrome and I found the look pleasing and very usable.
Now, I wanted to look again the K14 -style and it’s mood. What could possibly make the style even more appealing? How could I add there warmth a bit without going over board and make it too heavy?
One description of Kodachrome has played in my head after reading comments from the users of Kodachrome. It wasn’t the idea of “most real/true” colours, as that comment I do not buy. But what was very interesting description was the sense of being in the picture, having a feeling that You are present in the situation the photograph was taken.
Now the above mentioned sense of presence must be a combination of things, or combination of things can lead one to feel that way. First I think is that the colorscape can’t be totally off but it has to have some immersion. You cannot have strong grain for example so that You see colors purely. And the colorscape must make You feel familiar, so that nothing rejects You from the view. Second is that the image has to express a 3D -look. So the image has to have suitable contrast at all “levels”. 3D-look can be affected also by light intensity and direction, or the lens used, but with Kodachrome there is 3D-look present even in mixed lighting situations and with wide variety of cameras and lenses, so the contrast of the film plays here a bigger role.
For me the 3D-look wasn’t something I was after, but in the end it was a pleasant reward with the choices I made for this style.
What did I do to the new version? First, I changed the style to be based on a linear curve. This choice gives more freedom to the contrast curves and I have already become used to tweaking the linear curve. Second, I decided to tune the contrast to have even deeper shadows. Third, I added tweaks to both blues and yellows in addition to the reds in the original. I tried to make the color changes subtle so that the changes improve the look but aren’t dramatic.
I expressed of the original K14 -style that it is a look I can use when I want to “play the blues” with my photos. The same can be expressed of this new style. And the pleasant extra, immersive 3d look is there. Even as this look or style never was meant to be simulation of Kodachrome it sure now has some of those element that I find Kodachrome have, but with my own taste. Overall though the use for this kind of look is limited, it certainly isn’t appealing for people’s skins and it cannot stand overexposure as much as many of my other styles do (You might change this with highlight recovery in HDR-tool, but I didn’t want to go that path with this style).
As usual I throw this style available. I am happy with it and sincerely believe there are others who could enjoy the looks. Just remember that the deep shadows might call for some positive exposure compensation, not too much though as the look is not intended to be light.
And the link to download the style is down below:
I did find some similarity with a film simulation setting and I add below the setting as a curiosity. My C1 tweaks aren’t possible to replicate with more limited tools that the in-camera settings offer. And I certainly wouldn’t start shooting with so extreme settings as the setting below, but just wanted to share it anyway.
Film simulation Classic Chrome
Grain effect OFF
White Balance DAYLIGHT
WB Shift: R:+3, B:-6
Highlight tone +3
Shadow tone +2
Noise Reduction -4