When the term "compositing" comes up, one often considers it a destructive, transformative process that involves frankensteining a myriad of images into a single, completely new, composition. This method can draw as much ire as it does praise. Personally, I love great composites, but many feel that they are too fake. Not all compositing has to be a metamorphosis creating a brand new image, however. By leveraging compositing technique to make slight alterations to your image you can, instead, create a shot that is much more true to reality but still creates a sense of fantasy or surrealism.
In this video, Guadalajara-based Photographer and Retoucher Sid Vasandani, shows us how to recreate that classic Steven Meisel vibe, used in his controversial campaigns for Vague Italia's, "Makeover Madness" and "Supermodel Enter Rehab". Watch as Sid walks us through a behind-the-scenes shoot, where he runs down the lighting set up, before going into an in-depth explanation of the retouching and color grading workflow in Photoshop.
After receiving almost 300 submissions to my previous raw file challenge (inspired by Dani's post last year), I decided to cap the entries at 200, because why not, and also put out a second raw file and an all new challenge. This time, with a shot of model Anna Truett, shot inside the Union Station Hotel convention area in St. Louis.
Recently I babbled on and on about shadow and highlight recovery using raw data in Capture One Pro, something I still fully endorse and recommend you do in your post production work when recovery is needed or wanted. However, feedback and practical thinking made me create a simple Photoshop Action that sets up one of my more common methods for simple shadow recovery, but in a refined and manual way.
Color management can be one of the most boring topics to learn as a photographer, right up there with topics like digital asset management and accounting. They all have one thing in common, however: they’re important parts of being a photographer. Learning how to manage color doesn’t have to be difficult, however. Consider this your crash course introduction in learning how.
I am calling this the "Dani Diamond Experiment", because he has done this before, and I thought the end results were fascinating. See, Dani's been known to offer a totally unedited raw file of an image he shot as a free download, asking photographers and retouchers to have a go at finalizing the shot however they see fit. Rather than specifically ask anyone to retouch the image in any particular style or use any particular workflow, the idea is to simply offer the raw file with no instructions beyond "Edit it!" and see what happens.
It's been said that Prague-based Photographer and Retoucher Erik Johansson doesn't capture moments, he captures ideas. To him, photography is a way to actualize complex, surreal concepts that are in his head. So, when you think about it, it wouldn't be a stretch to say that Johansson is kind of like our generation's Ansel Adams, as they both heavily employed previsualization techniques while pioneering unique solutions to achieve their visions. The end results are images that match the exact ideas they had in their minds' eyes.
Imagine yourself under a starry night sky. Wouldn’t it be great to capture the Milky Way to show it at home or on the web? Unfortunately, you are left with a black frame after you’ve pointed the camera upwards at settings you are used to. It's time to open up the aperture, lengthen the exposure, and bump up the ISO. You will introduce noise, but do you really care? Aren’t there tools out there to reduce noise but still keep the detail?
Nik software is one of the heavy hitters in the Lightroom and Photoshop plugin world. They are so big that in 2012, the company was bought up by Google. After Google's acquisition, they lowered the price for all the desktop plugins and made their mobile app (Snapseed) free of charge. Now, four years later, Google has decided to bring their desktop plugins into line with their mobile application by making all of them free.
Recently, during my annual trek to Las Vegas for WPPI (wherein I arrive in the city of sin and proceed to actively avoid going to the actual expo because I book too many other things), I found myself in the deserts outside of Vegas with a Sony A7RII, a few bits of glorious Zeiss glass, no modifiers or lighting of any kind, and Renee Robyn as my model. Welp, guess it was time to see what Sony's dynamic range claims were truly about then.
I’m a big fan of getting images right in camera, and it's something that strive to do. I think there is something to be said for the skill that it takes, especially when shooting an event like a wedding. Getting the perfect light, the perfect composition, and the perfect moment while dealing with all the different variables of the day is quite a feat. The main image I’m going to be talking about today, though, does not fit into this category, but it still manages to be one of my favorite and most "liked” images.
Adding a colored background to your studio shots can vastly change the impact of a studio photo. The most obvious method to do this is by collecting an army of colored backdrops that take up space and are a headache to swap in and out from shoot to shoot. Instead, it is quite easy to build this coloring effect using Photoshop so that you can shoot each image using a standard white or grey background.
Whenever we've written an article mentioning Affinity Photo, people have commented and complained that it is not compatible with Windows. But this is about to change in the next couple of months. Affinity just announced that they are working on Windows versions of their different apps.
Don't get me wrong; I am not going to show you how to make up for bad lighting in post-production. However, Glen Dewis has created a very interesting video that shows us how to achieve a gobo-like effect using Photoshop, something that be very handy if you are looking for an easy way to add drama to your picture without spending too much time in front of your computer.
Have you ever had trouble with too much noise in one of your images? Maybe the shooting conditions forced you to shoot at an ISO that pushed the limits of your camera a little too much. One way to limit this problem is to shoot multiple exposures with the same settings, and then, use post-production to combine the images and reduce the noise. In this tutorial, Travel Photographer Jimmy Mclnyre shows you how to do just that.