Signature look?

Have you ever tried to create a signature look for your photos? I certainly have tried. I am pleased to my achievements for a certain time after which I will change my mind. Usually I am going back to more natural look. For that “natural” look it is very important how the camera renders the image I am going to see in my computer monitor.

For color shots I have tried out desaturated look. I think I have found quite good adjustments for that in Lightroom. But using the desaturated look for a while I am not happy anymore. I am craving colors back. Here are some examples of my desaturated look.

There are times when I am very much into B&Ws. I have made my own B&W preset in Lightroom and many times I really like the results. Here are some B&Ws processed by using my own preset.

In addition to my own B&W preset I use VSCO Film presets for post-processing. I really love those presets because they are not made through any plug-in which always generate those huge TIFF files.

So it seems to be a long road to a signature look.


  1. Do you print Jonne? Are these images all for the web? If you print them or if a fine art print is in your mind when you take the images you may change what you think your signature is.

  2. Richard, I agree that the above color shots may be problematic when printed (i.e. not looking good). Those B&Ws, however, are nice in print.

    The above processing is just those I have tested so far. I am not sure about them. As I said in the post, it may be so that more “natural” processing could be better option.

  3. Jonne: I wasn’t commenting on the images, just the signature part. Any images can be printed and any images can be your signature images. I just wondered if you’d combined the two. In other words, it’s not always easy to get a good print out of an image that looks good on the web.

  4. I think the look is also a matter of technique rather than just post processing presets. The look is created on site with composition, vision and timing, and at least I feel quite restricted trying to “push” the same preset to different images. I’ve found it easier to enhance the characteristics I like by customizing post processing per image. I just can’t seem to create a preset that suits to more than one or two images randomly. That’s why I like Color Efex and Silver Efex, they make customizing easy and effortless.

    Speaking of the look you are mentioning here, I think the switch from film to digital has caused many of us to crave for that unique look. On film days when there was the choice of film, developing chemicals, developing process and high/low contrast lenses, the “look” was created almost unconsciously. Now majority of cameras use Sony or Canon sensors and lenses have similar clean and sterile characteristics, resulting in a base image that is more or less indistinguishable from camera to camera.

    Then there are alternatives like Foveon sensors, Kodak CCDs and Fuji X-trans which all have their characteristics (and problems). Finding your own might be a tad restrictive, as you are bound to the user experience and body features when choosing a sensor. How easy it would be, if you could buy a roll of 36 disposable image sensors with certain characteristics, and fit it to any frame you like experience-wise 🙂

  5. The nice thing about the desaturated look is that it makes us really see the subject, the light and the shadows, while the color is still there but less of a distraction. These are all great, but I really love that last one. I’m betting there’s a story to go along with it!

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