Over the years as my style and visual preferences have evolved, I’ve noticed that I’m kind of completely and utterly obsessed with any sort of float-y particle/dust/speckle/orb/bokeh/grit. Acceptance is the first step …. to NOT CARING AT ALL! 🙂 I really love the way dust can add so much motion, texture, and interest to the air in my images. Some pictures call for a very clean, sharp, uncluttered feel, but more often than not I get to a stage in my editing process where I want to muck it up a bit with some atmospheric particles. I’m always on the hunt for some great speckled textures to use in my edits.
One of the problems when trying to create the images we see in our head is that, in the real world, the constituent parts can be very difficult to get together in front of your camera all at the same time.
This is where compositing steps in. Sometimes, you just have no choice, and you may need to photograph elements separately and then blend them together in post.
I’ve been following the work of illustrator and retoucher Arun Kumar for a while now, and his videos rarely fail to impress me, and his latest two part compositing tutorial is no exception.
Some might argue that retouching photos is part of the jobs. Others would say that it’s an entirely different trade altogether.
Whatever your opinion on the matter is, it appears the art of retouching has officially made its way to the online marketplace of eBay. [Read More…]
A great way to give a photo some character is to place it in an interesting location, say a deserted warehouse or an Film Noir detective office. You hint those with light coming in though a fan or some blinds. They act as GOBOs. (Go Betweens). Sadly fans and blinds are not always available. If you have the time, you can create some paper cutouts like Alex did, but not everyone has the time or means to get it in camera. (we always prefer in camera of course!)
So, our solution for this was to create a package with textures that resemble industrial or film noir-ish scenes. This is just what we wanted to give you with this package. We used a secret weapon to create a set of images to mimic just that atmosphere. OK…. our secret weapon was actually a cut out cardboard…. Here is what it looks like:
As the New Year rolls in, I find myself looking forward to new things—new directions, new goals, new relationships. But with the start of a new year also comes a time for reflection (literally) of what I’ve accomplished and how much I’ve progressed. As I perform my annual “house cleaning”—purging old work which isn’t up to snuff, and transferring the remaining photos to yet another new hard drive (I’m amassing quite the collection)—I’ve had the opportunity to put a fresh set of eyes on everything I’ve shot over the past year or so.
For me, this is always an extremely educational experience. This year in particular, in conjunction with the typical photography and post processing learning curve, has been one of a lot of experimentation and attempting to define my “style”, and my portfolio has seen a lot of progress as a result. But I find reflecting on this old work is critical to moving forward; by analyzing what does and doesn’t work in the images I have produced, I can further understand my own style and instill it (or avoid it) in future work.
Furthermore, in reviewing old images which may not have resonated with me initially, I gain a fresh perspective and may now see some in a new light (particularly as my post processing techniques improve); and vice versa, what may have excited meinitially now appears outdated and amateurish. Even so, some of those may even be salvageable with a new edit.
High end retoucher Pratik Naik showed me this application yesterday. It is a selfie retouching app that does wonders to your face. That led to us joking about how retouchers like him will soon be replaced with apps.
While, this may be a bit far-fetched, I am not entirely sure that it is impossible. At least for the minor things that used to need a pro.
Here are two examples that may get you thinking before you watch the video below:
Being a pretty diverse tool, Photoshop suggests many ways to accomplish each task. And each has its pros and cons. One of the more powerful tools in photoshop is masks. It is probably also one of the more complex tools. We are going to tackle making today, and hopefully making them a bit less complex.
In many Photoshop 101 lessons they say that any adjustment to a photo can actually be achieved via a manipulation on the curves tool. While this may seem true, it is not really trivial to understand how each of the adjustment layers changes the curves. In fact some of the adjustment layers (like photo filters) don’t seem to be curves related at all.
Here’s a quick, yet powerful, tip on how to move a portrait from great to awesome fairly quickly. While this method is quick the results can be very impressive if done right. You would need a fire on black pattern like the Fire Pack from the texture store (either the commercial package, or the CC-BY license, but then you have to link every image to the store) , a copy of photoshop and of course, a portrait, preferably on black.
So I rarely do composite type images preferring to do as much in camera as I can. However sometimes it can’t be helped. Do do hate spending forever trying to draw paths or make complex masks though, so whenever possible I like to utilise this quick and easy composite trick.
It really is incredibly simple and uses the layer blending modes to create the composite. Ok, so first of we do need to plan ahead a little. As the composite relies on various blending modes, the tone of the images we aim to composite is vital. For example, if we take an image shot against a simple white backdrop, we need to use an image of a similar tonal value to achieve the best blending results. In the following example the subject is shot against a plain white wall.
The first thing to notice if we were to try to cut or mask the subject out, is the difficulty with the hair but also the shadow area. The image I choose for replacing the backdrop was this stock background image of a distressed textured wall. Notice that as it is mostly light coloured the tonal range is similar to the original images backdrop. (if you are looking for more textures or backplate, this is a great resource)