Contemporary Postproduction

An interview with RGBERLIN, studio responsible for the digital retouch of the Magabook ADG Laus 2018 cover image

Lamborghini Diablo. RGBERLIN for Studio Amos Fricke.

Can you introduce RGBERLIN?
RGBERLIN is a high-end creative retouching studio based in Berlin. Together with a selected set of visual artists, studios, and agencies we are changing the look of the present. Currently we work with three studio leads and a team of up to eight freelance retouchers.


New Icons. Haw-lin Services for SSENSE.

Why do you define RGBERLIN as ‘contemporary postproduction’?
The difference between us and other studios is that we provide a creative collaboration as opposed to a technical service. Instead of a classic retouching company that receives a batch of images and then works as told, we aim to get involved in the creative process of a production. We are quite selective in the kinds of projects we take on and avoid visual cliches where possible.

New Icons. Haw-lin Services for SSENSE.

How did you start the studio?
We, Nicolas and Georg, founded RGBERLIN in 2013 with the intention to create Germany’s best postproduction studio. We were frustrated with what was available to designers, artists, and studios at the time and wanted to provide a more exploratory and collaboratory approach to realize visual ideas. Last year we took on Joscha as a third studio lead. 

Nadya Riot. Neven Allgeier for Wonderland. With Benedikt Fischer.

What's your field of expertise? What are your strengths?
Our team’s biggest strength is aesthetic understanding. No one at RGBERLIN is here only for technical proficiency but for their visual style, knowledge, and taste. Every member of our team has some kind of background in the art world, publishing, or graphic design.

G. RGBERLIN for Haw-lin Services.

What do you like about Berlin?
Berlin is the only place in Germany where the creative industry works on a truly international scale.

Portraits and the BMW i3 for Studio Amos Fricke. Styling - Lorena Maza Model - Aminata Sanogo

Which tools do you use to work? Have you recently tried any new software/app that you like?
We mainly use Adobe CC for our productions with a proprietary set of actions and scripts to increase productivity and workflows. For raw development, negative scans, focus stacking, panoramas, etc. we rely on the software packets by Phase One, Adobe, Hasseblad, and some lesser known obscure tools.


Frank Hülsbömer for Flos. Art direction: Carina Frey & Stefanie Barth.

Recently, you've been collaborating with Geray Mena on the Laus book cover's editorial photography. Can you tell us more about this project?
Geray is exactly the kind of artist who we enjoy working with. His commercial work is deeply rooted in his artistic practice. Visual experiments mingle with strategies of high-end commercial photography. For the Laus book Geray created an image between photography and illustration. Our retouching and the technical gradients in the background elevate this concept.  


Nadya Riot. Neven Allgeier for Wonderland. With Benedikt Fischer.

You have worked with many huge agencies, studios and brands from all over the world. Which was the most challenging project you have done?
We have found that there is no direct correlation between the size of the production and the challenge it creates. Ultimately, we always try to refine the photographic material in search of the best possible version of it. Certain tasks do of course require more technical skills than others (compositing, close ups of complex materials, etc.) but that is always only the first step of our process.


All images in this article are projects from RGBERLIN.


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