Ever since the release of the first Deadpool trailer I knew I wanted to do a photo-shoot based on this character. The personality of this character leaves me with endless possibilities, from badass attitude to total irreverent behavior.
First step was to source a cosplayer with a badass costume. I’ve been searching for a while and finally came across DaddyDeadpool.UK Cosplay. As soon as I saw pictures of him on Facebook I messaged him. Very quickly he messaged me back and agreed to organize a photo-shoot. YES! We created a mood board (Collection of example images) prior to the shoot. Surfing the net, looking for Deadpool images, I noticed a lot of Deadpool & Harley Quinn fan art. This gave me a few more options to add to this epic photo-shoot. I came across Olivia Ward who cosplays a pretty awesome Suicide Squad Harley Quinn. I messaged her asking if she would like to tag along and she agreed. 2 x YES!
DIY Photography heard about the shoot and asked me to break down one of the images I created from this shoot. I picked my favourite image for you!
How it’s done
The light setup I used here is pretty simple. Two strip boxes were placed slightly behind our character to create rim light that would later help us to match the background. The main light is a 150cm octa placed overhead and we had a small softbox on the left side as a kicker.
Most of my work is shot on a grey background, no difference for this shoot.
Here’s the RAW image straight out of camera.
I added in a sky by simply changing the blend mode to Soft Light. A very simple but effective technique I use a lot. You can find a short tutorial for this on my website. All that’s left to do now is mask out the sky of our character.
To turn on the flashlight I used Render Filter (Lens Flare). Select the 105mm Prime.
In most of my work I have hidden details… most of the time I’m the only one who notices them! For this edit I wanted to have money around him. I went onto RAW Exchange and downloaded their Flying Dollars pack. For the dollar closest to the camera I edited Deadpool onto the dollar bill.
A simple technique I learned to add contrast is to add a Black & White Adjustment layer and set the blend mode to Soft Light.
In this next step I added in a lens flare download from RAW Exchange. All lens flares in this pack are on a black background. To edit these into an image, simply change the blend mode to Screen. I added a little blur to the lens flare I picked.
To create the mist I made use of the Render Filter (clouds). I created a new layer and went to Filter – Render – Clouds. This filled my canvas with a cloud effect that didn’t look great. In the next step I used the rectangular marquee tool to make a small selection of the clouds. I then inverted that selection and hit delete. Only a small selection was now visible, the other clouds disappeared. All I had to do now is use the free transform tool to size my clouds to fill the canvas.
In the next step I had a play with color. I created a Selective Color Adjustment Layer. Playing around with the Neutrals and Blacks in the colors section can create some really interesting looks.
I’m a big fan of details in an image. To bring out details (the fast way) I use the detail extractor in Nik Color Efex. I’m not going to post exact settings…It all comes down to personal taste.
My favourite step … Dodge & Burn!
I created a blank layer, filled it with 50% grey and set the blend mode to Overlay. Use the dodge tool to enhance the highlights and the burn tool to enhance the shadows. Make sure to turn the layer on and off to check you’re not overdoing it.
In this step I made use of a plugin called Macphun Tonality. In Macphun Tonality I created a black and white look with great detail and a contrast boost.
Once back into Photoshop, I changed the blend mode of this layer to Luminosity. This will bring back the color but still give you the details and contrast of the black and white layer.
In this last step I used a blood splatter brush and gave it a soft motion blur. I picked a red tint that wasn’t too dark or too bright, but nicely balanced in the image.
And this is a short break down on how I created this image. There are many different ways to create similar effects In Photoshop. I just mentioned the ones I use in my workflow. This does not mean that the other techniques are wrong. It’s just personal taste.
Something you can take away from this break down is the importance of blend modes. I recommend to experiment with blend modes…they’re very powerful! Also… Don’t be afraid to play around in Photoshop! You never know what may come out of it!
Kudos to the team:
- Deadpool Cosplayer: DaddyDeadpool.UK Cosplay. FB, Instagram
- Deadpool Costume: El_Fett & Professional Cosplay
- Harley Quinn Cosplayer: Olivia Ward
- Props: ShortieProps
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