Nathan Elson's How I Got the Shot, Episode 6: Quick Tips on Models, Lighting, and Editing

Nathan Elson is back with another installment of his How I Got the Shot. As always, it's the little details he shares about his process that makes tuning in so valuable.

Like the last several episodes, Elson takes the time to show a brief behind the scenes of his shoot to help photographers understand his settings in practice. 

Watching Elson's videos, it struck me that it's the little comments he shares while working through a shoot that keep me coming back. While discussing his white seamless strategy Elson also explains how he tilts his umbrellas just a little to create a bit of depth by taking advantage of some spill to rim his model. I've always set up another light to do this. I know spill can be hard to control, but with a little practice I'm sure I could master this. 

Jumping into the edit, Elson takes us through his Capture One and then Photoshop work. Here, a few more things jump out for me. First, Elson shares a subtle tip for bringing life back to colorful eyes after you convert your images to black and white. Just a little pop, but a pop that helps lift your images. 

Second, Elson's quick tip for testing for the uniform whiteness of his backdrop is a different shortcut than what I normally use. I appreciate seeing different ways to edit. It's how we grow.

Last, and don't forget, Elson's dodge and burn technique is always worth a quick look. He makes his action available for photographers to download and use. 

What do you think? Quick, useful tips?

All images provided by Elson and used with permission.

Mark Dunsmuir's picture

Mark is a Toronto based commercial photographer and world traveller who gave up the glamorous life of big law to take pictures for a living.

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Wonderful photos, but short of leaving the lens cap on, it would be impossible to take 'bad' pictures of a stunning model like this.

Still not sure exactly what he's taking about. I think I need to watch his video about 100 more times. Ok, let's make it 500 more times just to be sure.