In my opinion, mastering negative dodge and burn is the key to any beauty retouch. There are many steps and many hours that go into a great retouch, but negative dodge and burn is as essential, if not more so, than any of them. The term "negative dodge and burn" is one that I first heard from fellow retoucher Pratik Naik. It was the concept of having a specific process of removing distractions and smoothing tonal transitions through dodge and burn that was responsible for one of the biggest jumps in my own personal retouching game.
From St. Louis’ Bruton Stroube Studios comes the impressively cinematic tale of food preperation as it battles the elements within the kitchen. At just over a minute in length, “Cooking Up A Storm” manages to breathe an extraordinary amount of drama and depth into the culinary practice. This short film is testament to what a skilled production team and sound designer can bring to seemingly oridinary situations.
In Part 3 of the Dramatic Beauty Portrait Tutorial, we will finally get into the first main step of the skin retouching process. Basic skin retouching involves addressing subtle skin and texture issues on our portrait images. We will not only look at techniques for skin retouching in Photoshop, but also discuss the theory behind our decision process during the retouching process. I will also show optional techniques for those looking for quicker or alternative options during their portrait or beauty retouching. In case you missed it, during Part 1 of the tutorial we went over the lighting and shooting of our image and in Part 2 we looked at the "pre-editing" process.
Anyone who likes to bring a light or two on-location knows the frustration of wanting soft, controllable light that won't weigh you down or break the bank. The Westcott Apollo Orb is, without a doubt, one of my favorite lighting modifiers. As you'll see below, the Apollo Orb has just about every feature you could ask for in its unique, somewhat-brolly-box-style design, all at a modest price point.
Zach Arias has a new educational site called DEDPXL where him and a group of his friends write on their experiences, struggles, and successes. Commercial Photographer Sid Ceasar is among those writers. A few months ago he produced a video appearing as Sid "The Muppet" Ceasar and talks about inspiration, getting out and making new work, and why surrounding yourself with creative people is so important.
A couple of weeks ago I had a chance to shoot with the Broncolor Siros Monolights for the first time. Until now, my light of choice has been the Profoto D1. I, like many of you, have seen reviews on Broncolor's new monolight, and like many of you as well, have been a bit skeptical about their delve into competing with Profoto's D1 and B1 Series for the high-end monolight market. The Siros is available in two models, a 400W/s monolight and an 800W/s monolight, and for this shoot I used five Siros 800s. In this article I will give you my complete lighting setup, gear list, a retouching preview, and complete review of my experience with the Siros Monolight and BronControl app.
Beauty photography is something that I have become drawn to over time. Setting a mood, imagining a makeup style, and finding or even creating props to fill the frame with my model’s face is something I came to love more than anything else. In any genre of photography, I feel like it is important to develop a style that is recognizable. May that be retouching, posing, lighting, or something else, if people can tell you took the picture it means you have developed a signature style. For my beauty work I wanted to create a signature lighting setup that would be easy to recreate wherever I would go, no matter the condition or the place the shoot would take place in. Here is how I created it and how you can recreate it as well to make it your own.
Recently I went to New York City to do a week of headshots. As many of you know, part of my cinematic style involves shooting outdoors, but flying from Los Angeles to New York City to put this on meant I couldn’t rely on the weather. Figuring out how to translate the look and feel of my style indoors was the only way to make it a success. As I’ve had many questions about how to make this look happen inside for those that can’t always be outside, I decided to share my own experience with you.
In Part 1 of our Dramatic Beauty Portrait Tutorial, we looked at the lighting setup, gear breakdown, and shooting of our dramatic beauty shoot. In Part 2 of the tutorial we will now look at two different ways of exporting and preparing your image for retouching. The first method involves creating versions in Lightroom and exporting directly to Photoshop. The other method utilizes Adobe Camera Raw and the ability to make variations within Photoshop. I will also discuss the overall goal of our pre-edit stage.
Coolors is a fantastic new app that I stumbled across the other day. It is an incredibly easy and intuitive way to generate a beautiful 5 color palette for any situation. Primarily developed for designers it has instant appeal to us photographers. We deal with colors in most of our work and knowing how to match and complement effectively can make or break the images we create.
This is Part 1 in what will be an 8 part series for a dramatic beauty portrait. In the series of tutorials, we will go through everything from the gear used, to the lighting setups, and all the way through the complete retouching process. In Part 1, I will breakdown my gear list used for the shoot and I will thoroughly go through my lighting setup. In this video tutorial not only will you see the gear and setup, but also a behind the scenes look as me and my team go through hair, makeup, and shooting. The complete series of videos will be available here on Fstoppers and on my YouTube Channel.
In Part 1 of the "Start to Finish Fashion Editorial Retouching" tutorial, we looked at how to clean up a white background, how to liquefy clothing to achieve a better fit, and how to clone and heal out distracting elements in our editorial image. In Part 2 we will look at how to go about the more common and essential retouching steps including: skin retouching using dodge and burn, color toning, sharpening, and value adjustments. In this video, I take you through each step and give you insight into the "why" as well as the "how" of editorial retouching.
When you are shooting for magazine publication (outside of the medium format realm), one thing you always have to consider is the aspect ratio of your images. Paper sizes, in most cases, do not match up to image size, so there are crop variables you have to constantly keep in mind -- especially for editorials where there will be titles, typography or article copy on the page as well.
For the "Preservation" project, widely acclaimed Los Angeles-based photographer Blake Little covered a variety of models in 4,500 pounds of honey. You read that right. The idea for this shoot was originally inspired by a previous session where he depicted a man as a bear eating honey. He was startled by the way that the honey gave the appearance that the man was "preserved in amber" and by how it can "distort and amplify forms."