Monday, April 02, 2007

300-like Effects

My Weekend Challenge - Achieving the 300 movie effects without Photoshop

After watching the movie '300' 2 weeks ago, I posed a challenge for myself - achieve the same effects in my photos WITHOUT using Photoshop! My primary objective was to achieve it just by editing the photo in Lightroom. Of course, you can still argue that Lightroom is technically 'Photoshop Lightroom', but since this is my challenge for myself, you can't do anything about it! :) hahaha!

So, after playing around with the Settings in the Develop Module of Lightroom, here's what I came out with. It's not quite there yet, but I hope it's a good start. Give me your feedback please.

As usual, click on the photos to view the larger version.

Here's the original version of the last photo without the effects applied.

After I complete my tweaks, I'll come up with a Lightroom Preset to apply this. I tried to do this last night but the shadows and blacks were too much!

For people wanting to play with the effects, here's what you can do in Lightroom:
  • play with Split Toning to achieve a 'gold color cast'; Sepia Presets are a good way to start with this
  • Adjust the following sliders in the develop module:
    • Blacks and Contrast: Increase
    • Recovery and Fill Light: Increase a bit depending on how you increased the blacks.
    • Saturation and Vibrance: Decrease
    • Exposure: Increase a bit
    • Tone Curve: Medium or Strong Contrast generally works well
  • Finally, Add a bit of Lens Vignetting to add more drama to the photo
Found this site ( that shows how he did it in Photoshop:


Jason said...

Hey, cool! Thanks! I'll try the same effect in Aperture (which is what I use rather than Lightroom) ... it might be easier than in Photoshop. Of course, in Aperture I won't be able to add in the sword, the blood, and the background... so maybe I WILL have to stock to photoshop. Thanks!


Mike Lao said...

Hey Jason, let me know how it goes in Aperture! Might experiment with that too! Agree with you on adding the other elements in Photoshop... it's still more powerful!

Thanks for visiting my site!

Tuna Blue said...

i don't think you can achieve the same 300 effect if you have 3 little boys rather than 300 hot men! mwahahaha

my lightroom beta expired! huhu! i feel like i lost my magic wand! hassle!

great tips on adobe light room! i'll take note of them!

gwenny14 said...

Haha! Nams! That's a funny comment. :) I think it's great though Mikelao.

Mike Lao said...

hahaha! funny comment, nams! but you're right! i just don't know how you guys will react if you see me post a picture of 300 hot men. don't worry, i'll post a picture of lazy next time in 300 effect! haha!

nams/gwen - thanks!