I just got the NST Hawaiian tankers in chromexcel from Leathersoul and I too found the color to be much less rich/deep/lustrous than the photos. IN fact, I wish mine were chocolate brown--they are quite light--reddish/midbrown/tan/dogshit colored. I asked Bryan the LSBH manager what they do to photograph them and he told me nothing, no tweaks. Maybe it's just lot variation, but mine are significantly less brown even than other Horween chromexcels I've seen (like the Timberland Abingdons). So be aware when ordering.
I'm using a canon t2i, which is basically a crop version of their 5D, "L" series lenses and a 580EX flash. Unless there's some magical studio lighting going on it's definitely post production or a camera made specifically to photograph shoes and make them look like pornography.