Chances are you have already learned what Frequency Separation (FS) technique is, as it became mainstream in the past few years. However, many FS technique users actually know very little theory behind it, thus have little control over its implementation. I've set out to research and collect all the important and useful information about it, so we can together learn how to become better at it.
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There are times when I find myself shooting the same stuff or using the same lighting setup over and over again. Repetition helps to improve and fine-tune my skills, but sometimes it just feels boring and degrading, let alone useless for my portfolio.
But as much as I dislike feeling stuck and repeating myself, I now realize how such times in fact help me to become a better artist and shooter. It's usually the desire to entertain myself and experiment that leads me to new personal artistic discoveries. It's when I'm bored and want to "spice it up", I start searching for new lighting ideas, tricks and techniques.
Dodge & Burn (D&B) is a technique that came to us from the darkroom days when luminosity values in a photo could be only manipulated by the duration of the exposure of the light sensitive photographic paper. And while there’s so much that have already been published about it, I hope we can still shed some light on the aspects of it that are usually not mentioned in retouching tutorials.
Almost a year ago I posted The Ultimate Guide To The Frequency Separation Technique article and soon after that I created our Retouching Academy community group for retouchers and photographers who retouch their own work. We have been seeing a lot of before & after images posted there by artists of all levels from complete beginners to seasoned pros.
This is the third part of The Ultimate Guide to the Dodge & Burn Technique. Check out Part 1 and Part 2 where we talked about the fundamentals and tools. Today we finally get to one of the actual setup variations for the Dodge & Burn technique in Photoshop. But before we begin, I'd like to share a few words of caution with you.
One of the first very important skills I acquired in my Australian Photography course was the ability to breakdown lighting and determine approximate camera settings in images taken by other photographers. If you understand how the direction of light and its degree of diffusion are controlled and how they affect images, it should be easy for you to train yourself to "read" lighting in the images you see in magazines, on billboards and in your favorite photographers’ portfolios.
A few years ago when I was still new to the world of beauty photography and digital photo retouching, I prided myself on the ability to "fix it later in Photoshop." I would welcome retouching challenges as I was still learning, but things changed forever after I started working with professional teams and shooting for commercial clients.
There are a few unarguable reasons for getting it right in camera.
I would like to wrap up my Secrets to Crafting Top-Quality Beauty Portraits series in a quick roundup on the most common mistakes I have been noticing beginner Beauty photographers make.
I will sure talk more about Beauty photography in the future, but I'd like to summarize a few things at this point.
When we talk about on-location mixed lighting we usually mean shooting with light sources of different nature, such as natural ambient light and artificial, or shooting with lights of different color temperatures (tungsten, fluorescent, flash, etc.).
There are dozens of cool effects that one can achieve when mixing ambient light with controlled lighting, but today I would like to talk about mixing lights in studio - impulse (i.e. strobe or flash) and continuous. I love this technique and hope my article inspires you to try it out too.
This is the second part of The Ultimate Guide to the Dodge & Burn Technique. Check out Part 1, where I covered the fundamentals of light and shadow rendering in painting here.
So, now that we understand that the shadows and highlights are what makes our 2-dimensional pictures appear to have more volume and dimensions, let's move on to the technical side of the Dodge & Burn implementation in retouching.
This is yet another article of the Secrets to Crafting Top-Quality Beauty Portraits series. If you haven't read the first three, you can find them here: on compositing, on shooting Beauty portraits on location and in studio.
Today I would like to talk about framing, posing and directing your models when shooting Beauty portraits. While lighting and compositing are very important parts of creating a striking image, the model's pose, facial expression and her body language can make or break it.
I am continuing my series of articles about creating stunning Beauty portraits and I would like to talk about on location lighting today. Please note that not only are we talking about advertising Beauty photography, examples of which you may see in the cosmetics section of a department store, or in fashion magazine ads, but we are also talking about simple female Beauty portraits that many of you are probably often hired to photograph for your female clients locally.
This is the second part of the article on how to learn to "read" lighting in photography. If you haven't read the first part yet, please start here: How To "Read" Light In Photography - Part 1.
And for those of you who have been waiting for the second part, let's jump right back in and see what other cues we can use to breakdown lighting in other photographers' work.
This article is for those of you how enjoy beauty photography: from fashion and advertising beauty, to beauty portraits of non-models and even boudoir photography. And while there are always millions or rules, trends and opinions, I base my article on my own ideas and beliefs as to what's important to be aware of to successfully create attractive beauty images.
When I first attempted to retouch the photographs I took in 2006, I had no idea what I needed to do and how. Today there are thousands of video tutorials on the web on how to retouch, but nobody explains what it is that needs to be retouched to make a female face look more youthful, healthy and beautiful. It took me some time to figure out what the common problems that I needed to remove from my subjects' faces and bodies were, and what I had to alter to make them look more attractive.