Saturday, May 26, 2012

Superheros at my door

Photobucket I have been very very busy lately and have felt like i've been chained to my office chair. So friday after work i said to myself "not touching my camera this weekend. Going to read, go for a run or three, and thats it." Then Friday night two superheros rang my doorbell. I had my lighting figured out before the cat ran outside. Main light up high pointing down at a 45 degree angle (sb flash zoomed in to 85mm and at full power), background light behind them pointing directly at their backs and zoomed to 85mm at full power. With superheros they will complain if you dont use full power. Its all or nothing. I laid on the ground in front of them with a 24mm lens to maximize the sky which was looking pretty cool. Managed about 10 shots before their bedtime. In photoshop i upped the clarity, used topaz detail 2 a bit, and then imported back to lightroom to use the bleach bypass preset filter (i think that was the one i used). I did this on a seperate layer so i could lower the opacity and flavor to taste. I also retouched my lightstand out of the background and darkened the houses and car that was on the road. I overdid the image a bit with sharpening and detail and drama but felt it needed every bit. I got up at 8 this morning and saw the two of them, back in costume, running up the sidewalk by my house. You can never go wrong with a couple superheros in the neighborhood.

Friday, May 18, 2012

dramatic sky hdr

Photobucket I had a few minutes tonight while leaving a wedding and the sky and light was very nice. Grabbed my tripod and did a 9 stop bracket of this building with a 24mm lens. I ran 5 images through photomatix and then used topaz detail 2 on most of the image (did the whole thing then masked out the sky and a bit of the foreground). I applied a heavy vignette and masked out the building and a bit of the flowers. The flag was moving so it was pretty messed up. To fix it i opened one of the images and stripped in the flag. I retouched a bit of the messy one out. I was going for nice and dramatic.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

145 layers

Photobucket I was very fortunate to work with a great team recently to produce a photo that i was very very happy with. I photographed 142 individual people one evening over a span of three hours and spent the entire next day selecting people and pasting them into this one comp. I have done this type of work before several times but this was the most amount of people i have done in one image. I used the photoshop 6 beta and it worked perfectly. Not one hitch or crash, however i did save often. For selections i used the quick selection tool and then the refine edge command with smart radius selected with a radius of 10 pixels and a feather of .3. For most i then had to zoom in and use quick mask to tweak my selection as patterned clothing did not select well and the white hats had some troubles also. I used an action for refine edge as i did it on each image. I would then drag the person onto the comp and use another action for matting - defringe by 1 pixel. I then just arranged the layers for look which was the fun part. I was exhausted after this job was complete but it was well worth it when i saw the look on the conference attendees faces when they saw it for the first time.