Creating Still Life Images with No Photoshop Retouching

Karl Taylor is a name you’ve probably heard of if you look for photography videos on YouTube. He’s been working with big brands such as Hasselblad and Broncolor to create comprehensive content helping beginners as well as advanced photographers. In his latest video, he shows us how he created a beautiful lighting setup yielding photoshopped-like results.

Taylor is a commercial and advertising photographer, quite known for his educational content as well. I’ve always found the videos he created with Urs Rech and Broncolor incredibly insightful, but his latest one is probably one of my favorites. He decomposes a complex lighting setup and makes it simple to understand, and possibly recreate. It’s refreshing to see a photographer working so meticulously on set instead of spending hours in Photoshop. The result is elegant, and so is the lighting.

We have grown so accustomed to retouched and over-retouched images, that we don't even wonder if a particular image was photoshopped or not. Even worse, photographers often rely heavily on postproduction techniques to correct things that could and should have been corrected in camera. The content available on Karl Taylor's YouTube channel and Broncolor's website are a gold mine for any photographer willing to learn light, improve their craft, and rely just a bit less on postproduction to get the perfect shot.

If you are like me, when watching the video above, you probably told yourself you don’t own all the gear he uses, nor do you have such a large studio with a medium-format camera. Well, lucky enough for us, Taylor created another video talking exactly about this particular issue: making do with the gear you have. Granted, the final shot isn't as refined as the makeup picture and the color consistency of the lamps won't match a Broncolor Picolite, but still, it proves that with a little bit of creativity you can get a more than decent shot with very little gear.

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3 Comments

Harrison Barden's picture

Does anyone know what materials he used to make those scrims?

Tracing paper on the homemade, and he mentions that the material in the first video is available on his website https://www.karltaylorphotography.com/lighting-diffusion-rolls.htm

Savage also makes diffusion material. They have various sizes and thicknesses too