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Fine Art Photography

Lesson 30 of 38

Editing Fairytale Scene

Brooke Shaden

Fine Art Photography

Brooke Shaden

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Lesson Info

30. Editing Fairytale Scene
Fine-tune the Princess and the Pea shot inside Photoshop. Extend the canvas, work with the warp tool, clone out a doorway, and more as Brooke turns her vision into a high-quality fine art photograph. Then, learn how to add textures to your image using photographs of textures that you can create yourself using desaturated black and white images.

Lesson Info

Editing Fairytale Scene

so if I go over here I'm looking at jane now with the peas there she is she's sitting up there with the bees so if I zoom in and see what we got we've got her sort of in focus mostly and focus we've got the catch light in the eye again that I was looking for I love them actresses I love how she sort of sinking them down here a little bit I might want to get rid of the tattoos on her feet because those or something that I would have covered up I love that you can see these little bits of peas their love that little detail and over here is well and then we've got all the space on the floor but the piece I want to do a couple of things to this we're not going to go through the whole edit on this one but I do want to see what it looks like if I add floor space onto this image so we're going to go image canvas size this is one way of expanding your frame if you want to add multiple shots in so we talked about this yesterday that this is the harder way of doing it just because it's an extra ...

step but at least it shows you exactly what's happening so from inches two pixels I'm clicking my middle top arrow and that makes these three bottom boxes go blank because they've gone blank that indicates that the bottom portion of my image that's where it's going to be expanded so I can add an image into that so maybe I make my height match my wit and I say five six one six ah lot of my images end up like that because I make them square by adding one final image into the shop so I say okay that's going to be a lot of floor space obviously I don't want to leave her way up there in the top of the picture I would expand this more evenly but we don't really have to do that today let's just add some peas in and see how it looks I've got that p shot over here I've got this opened up so I'm going to go out and move this again with v for my move tool clicking dragging and dropping onto the image that we're working on now like I said yesterday I'm going to take the opacity down on that image going to start moving this around to see where it needs to go I did shoot this handheld so it wasn't on a tripod I recommend shooting on a tripod if you can because it ensures that your camera is not moving but in this case I consort of match it up just by rotating tilting things a little bit and I'm going to start to use my um arrow keys on the keyboard to just nudge this into place what needs to happen what is going on answering all these questions I can see that this needs to rotate just slightly so while I am on layer one I'm goingto edit free transform let me just zoom out here and I'm going to click right on this little corner where the two little curved arrows pop up going to click and rotate to see what needs to happen I don't know I'm challenged on this one I can't see what needs to happen yep that left no too much I went too much back there maybe do you two do to do I'm just trying to match up the bottom of the mattress is more than anything here so I think that looks pretty good say okay now the good thing is that we really just have the peas to worry about we don't have to worry about the mattresses blending or anything like that create a layer mask choose my brush tool make it much bigger it x for black opacity up to one hundred percent I'm going to start to a race now we don't wanna have overlapping peas so I'm going to take my opacity back up now and I'm going to go ahead and see what we've just done so if I make my brush size smaller aiken bring back where we erased a little bit too much the peas look pretty good I got to say the peas have it so mum's loving with you okay so I kind of like how that looks I can go ahead and crop now if I want to so if I'm going to crop I'm choosing my crop a door I can just start to hold shift click and drag the corners until we have them where we want them props over here a little bit and I might want to straighten the whole thing out by now rotating that crop however I need teo no I think actually that looks pretty good I'm going to show you a couple of ways that I might deal with this picture without changing the crop on it so if I zoom in here I'm going to I would naturally expand the top of the frame I'm not going to right now though I might do a couple of things I might pull this side of the image down because we have a line over here that I'm trying to match to the edge of my frame and a line here that I'm trying to match to the edge of this frame so they're both crooked so if I go in one direction to fix one the other one goes a lot further and I don't want that to happen so let's go ahead and work this I am going to make sure that I combine these layers first so I'm going teo do that long shortcut of command option shift e that combines my layers and duplicates them so they're still preserved somewhere back there but now I'm going into a warp so edit transform warp and this is going to allow us to move pixels around the frame aiken gently tug it things I could do it really extreme and make everything look crazy so let's just take a fresh look at this image by zooming out I know that I need to pull this side of the image down and so I'm looking at this little dot right here gonna click that just start dragging that down so now it looks a lot more even with the bottom of the frame at the same time I need to fix the top of this frame over here but this line so I'm going to choose list little square over here and just tug that over and when I say okay we now have an image that looks a lot more square on to the camera so you can see there that it just sort of even things out very very gently that's my best friend and it comes to trying to add different pictures in it comes in really handy especially if you've got straight lines now if you're doing an image where let's say that you shot the subject and her body isn't connecting you shot the upper body than you shot the lower body and it's just not coming together then you might want to use warp two just nudge the body back into place to make all the lines match up I had to do that the other day because I was photographing andrea for a little demo that I believe it's going to be available of the download and so I was photographing her body into parts of sink in a doorway and all these different things that I had to add together and I did some crazy warping of your legs I got to tell you to make them fit it looked natural in the end but they did have to warp because of the perspective change so when you are shooting especially if you have a wider lens and you are tilting up or tilting down you have a parallax shift and that's where your lines become wobbly that's where the work tool comes in really handy so I'm gonna go in here see if I can get rid of this door frame that was the other big thing that I needed to do to this image I am on one single layer here but I've already made that big change so I'm just going to duplicate that layer by dragging it down to our little page flip icon and I'm going to start to clone I might not choose to clone this if it were a bigger area but I'm going to start cloning just to get rid of the doorframe and see what happens from there so on my clone stamp tool that's a pretty decent size I could make it a little smaller and I'm going to sample from right around that same area so I'm gonna sample there drag it down start to get rid of that doorframe when I did the same thing on this side to get rid of that doorframe I went over a little do far clone the doorframe itself back in now I'm getting in around her arms so I want to make sure that I clone with a much harder brush when I get close to her so it zoom in here right click take the hardness up to match her it's still a little bit fuzzy will take my size down that looks pretty good and so now I'm going to start to clone again I'm going to choose an area just right around here and then go right along the edge of her hair and this is why she's not flipping her hair in this picture because I don't want to have to deal with cloning around individual little tiny pieces of hair so go and do the same thing on this side clone right along the edge of her head there eric go now here it's going to require a little bit of finesse because we do have these little strands of hair that perhaps don't blend as well I'm going to go in and just get as much out as I can and then I'm going to go in with a very soft brush a little bit of a bigger brush lower opacity and I'm going to start to clone just to get rid of that hard edge there maybe take that opacity up a little bit more make the brush a little bit smaller and just make it look like there are wispy hairs in there instead of going in with such a hard edge okay so we're getting rid of that doorframe and I just need to finish the job over here take that hardness up let's see what we can do for cloning on this side now hands can be a little bit tricky to get around so I just tend to use a much smaller brush doom in a little bit more and just make sure to follow the lines of the hand that are naturally there I'm still a seventy three percent capacity you guys get in there with full opacity keep making the brush size smaller to just get into every little detail happening around that hand this is where a tablet comes in really handy if you don't have a tablet this might become a lot more difficult okay now this kind of blends already but I'm just going to go over it again especially to get rid of this harsh line take my brush size up clone right up until her arm there and I'll just fill in that little space now I want to go in with my hardness down my brush size up opacity down and see what we can do about blending this area in there so we've gotten rid of that door frame we have some pieces that are cloned too much like these two pieces that just they match they can't be there so yeah question um okay so in the last picture you added the clouds to her do you always like if you want to add a different location than what you shot do you always add your location to your model or do you ever you don't cut out great and add to the love you both how do you do both and it just depends I tend to think if I have the model photographed on a backdrop or something it's much easier to just move the model and then stick her into the space but there are plenty of times like for example I've been shooting in the sewer like you see in that picture both of these pictures my sewer pictures and I don't move the subject in that case I move the location and blended into that dark background because I want the dark background so basically whichever background on favoring I blend the other element into that all right and another part of it you don't use your magic wand toll so right so sometimes okay sometimes if there's a dark background like yesterday when I was editing the subject into that ocean shot I did use the magic one because it worked really well otherwise I use blending modes when you're using the clone stansel are you favoring you seem to be favoring capacity overflow yes I am and I don't have a good reason why it's just that's just what I started with and I've gotten used to that workflow sometimes I do play with the flow of it um and in that case I find that I just don't like having to spend a lot of time in one area where you have to keep going over it you know like pressing and that kind of thing so I just don't like it as much just for how I work but I think it's it could be a great thing to start blending with so yeah okay so let's get back in here and just finish up this little bit of the background just to try to get that even down a little bit here we go I kind of did that did the job I think I'll start smoothing out this section especially cause that's so nice and easy to dio now we're going to get rid of some of these blotches that I have cloned too many times take that opacity up and I'm just going in to find a neutral space so this little space here doesn't have any highlights and shadows doesn't have any memorable bumps in it or anything like that I can start to clone from that area oh there we go I can start to clone from that area to take away those little bits and pieces that might be a little bit too memorable take thehe pass ity down start to work in there into this space get rid of that one I'm probably going to miss some right now but that's okay I would go in and clean that up later so that looks pretty good to me I'm I'm pretty happy with how that cloned out so now when I zoom out it doesn't look like there was a door in there I would definitely smooth out the shadows a little bit I could do that with the heel brush tool I could do that with my lasso tool and using curves to make them match a little bit better I would probably because we have this really blank wall I would probably go in with my regular he'll brush tool and the hell brush too was very much like the clone stamp tool and that you define a source point click and drag teo blend pixels instead of moving textiles so I am going to make sure that my hardness is down all the way on this I wanted to be very smooth going toa alta option click in one of those neutral areas same is how I would want to clone and then I'm going to start to blend just by clicking and dragging like this I'm blending the shadow area into the highlight area and that way there's a little bit of a smoother transition there you khun blend a lot you can blend a little bit you can get rid of wrinkles and dresses this way that something that I do a lot if her dress was wrinkled I would go in with the heel brush tool and just get all those little wrinkles out of address it can be tedious but at the same time it could make such a huge impact on the final image I mean I guess you could also just iron things but I don't iron so I heal brush him out so that looks a lot better I think and I would probably leave that there just for right now I just want to darken down this wall so that we can move on to the snow yes quite quick question your smoothing out the area directly behind her was did you find the the paint was too distracting for your model did you think I like it personal links that adds character to the image but if you didn't like it you could easily just go in and he'll brush that out I loved it but I couldn't see exactly what you were smoothing out that well I thought that when I zoomed out there was just there's too much splotchy nous of highlight and shadow from where I cloned so I was blending the highlights into the shadows but yeah the great thing about this is I could just take this hell brushed or just totally get rid of this crack if I didn't like it and then it'll be gone so if you wanted a perfectly smooth wall that's a really great way of doing it now I'm just being really anal here and I want to get in here and fix this little bit so forgive me for being repetitive while I just smooth that out a little bit we okay that makes me feel so much better looking at this picture now so I'm going to go in and dole down this highlight I want my subject to be the brightest thing in the frame so I'm going to go ahead and just select this area wherever I think it's too bright right click refined edge now I can see how much I need to feather that I think that seventy pixels is really good and now I'm going to darken that down through curves we did a little bit of this yesterday on my channel rgb I don't want to darken down any mid tones I really only have highlights selected so I'm choosing the highlight portion of the image to pull down to make it darker but it's not yellow like the rest wass it was coming in really blew so we can go into that blue curve and take it away in the highlight portion to make that match say okay d select so now we have this highlight area that's a lot better looking to me I can see that it's not perfect right in here but that's okay in terms of overall image trying to make this look really nice I don't want to brighten my subject anymore because she's already really bright so instead I want to section her off maybe this hold joan giant mattress area here maybe take away from that selection and what I'm doing is I'm going to feather the selection I'm going to do a big two hundred pixel feather right click and select inverse and I'm going to make everything else darker that way she is really the centre of attention in this image curves making everything a little bit darker all around her say ok so if I take a look at this I think that's looking pretty good I'm not going to spend any more time on this image but I will edit it later of course and show it to everybody once I can sit down and work on it I have to add the peas in and everything like that didn't have those in there yet so that would be some compositing that I have to dio but I have made major major changes to this image so if I zoom out you can see here the changes from this to this I'm getting rid of that doorway straightening off the lines making out a little bit moodier and so now I can start to work on the color I could add those peas in there I would start to blend this a little bit more and that's where I would start to go I have a real issue with red and green together so I would might make her hair a little bit dollar maybe I would just go all out make it crazy and have red and green totally in my shot but that's not my inclination so let's go ahead and go back into bridge that's what I'm using toe look at my images and we're going to find all of the shots that we've taken so far I want to go in here I am looking for my snow shots and we're going to use our audience participation to choose which ones were going to edit hey brooke really quick before you move on from that one just because I think this one might be a good one to demonstrate this technique if if you do decide to wear a lot of people asking about textures okay about like how to kind of how you use them in your work that that one might be good because maybe a little run gear definitely let's go ahead and do that first thank you yeah no problem my pleasure so I am going to find my textures let's see let's see where I put them theirs do you see him and I'm not seeing them so I put them in here I bet no they are ok so I'm looking at my textures now I have two examples of textures here they're all in black and white I said that yesterday always use my textures and black and white this is an example of a very painterly texture in my opinion and I find this to be very painterly because it almost looks like a watercolor like you can see sort of stains and stuff like that it doesn't have a lot of um dust spots so it doesn't have a lot of like little harsh lines and stuff like that innit it's a very soft texture it almost looks like a canvas like it has that texture to it so I consider this to be a very painterly texture but if I go over here I consider this to be a very photographic texture so if you wanted your image to look more like it was from an old film camera and they were dust scratches and stuff like that on the lens that I might use this one because it has these little harsh dots and lines so this was just a piece of cement of floor that had paint spilled on it and stuff like that and that's all this wass textures are so simple so if you really get into it you see texture everywhere I'm going nuts in this building wanting to take textures everywhere but texters can be a lot simpler than that yeah question can you explain why you take de saturate everything absolutely so I am de saturating my textures because if I go in here to photo shop and I take a look at this image let's just pretend that I had just colored this thes colors I loved them is perfect I don't want to put a color texture on there because it's going to change the color of the image that I've already edited so if I have a texture that's a has lots of orange in it and I put it on top of my green backdrop it's going to change the color of that green where has already worked on it to get it the color exactly as I wanted so if I put a dis saturated texture on then it doesn't affect the color it only applies the texture so let's go back in take a look at these textures that I have these air all textures this is a curtain I haven't used this very often but it is good to make a canvas feel so this is just a curtain from my home this is uh tile that I have in my house so I just photographed the tile thought it was a beautiful beautiful texture and I'm just photographing different things that I found around my house all sorts of different things so these air samples of my textures and as just a blurry piece of wood nothing more that's just a wall that's a sidewalk no idea what that is oh that's a that's a tree that's another tree stump no idea what that is either but it looks really cool and then that was actually just the side of like a sandbag it was just a bag that had sand in and that was really scuffed up and it looked really awesome so let's true the texture I'm going to go through them and you guys say yea or nay okay if you see one that you like just shout something that way we can't do that one I don't have it in high resumes it was ari that's the only one that you can choose okay we'll keep going I like that yeah ok good let's do that one so for this image I would be looking at what kind of an image is this so in terms of text during if I go back to our shot do I want this to look photographic or do I want this to look painterly I personally would want this to look photographic because of the space that were in weakens see all the detail of the peeling wallpaper it would make sense for the wall toe look really grungy on dh like it was an old photograph so let's use this one and see how that works it does have a lot of little cracks in it so that's really good for this film on my move tool dragging it over to the image that we're working on dropping it on top I'm going to move this up into my image and I'm going to free transform this to stretch it across my image I don't have any problem with stretching textures I've never had an issue with it with quality or anything like that they can stretch because you're blending them with a different blending mode so it's really actually blending pieces of that texture and rather than the whole thing sticking to your image at it free transform you khun dragged that down I can say ok I can also decide how I want this to be orientated oriented not orientated I heard myself say it before I said it was bad ok s o I'm placing this into my image let's say that I wanted the dark part of this to be up here instead of how I have it right now I can go into edit transform flip vertical and that will flip just my texture so that I can re orient it into this image maybe I like it maybe I don't I don't think I d'oh so I'm going to go back flip it how it wass now how do I want to blend this you could blend a texture by taking your opacity down but that's going to create a haze over the entire picture and I don't want a haze over the picture I want the texture to actually blend into the picture so I'm taking the opacity back up and instead of playing with my blending modes so from normal my personal blending mode of choice is soft light it's my favorite one so you can see here when I choose soft light it's not sticking to everything so harshly you can still see though that it's coming in on the background is adding really amazing texture to the wall and absolutely thrilled with this one actually but I don't leave it just like that play with your textures like you would play with any image you don't have to leave it exactly as it isthe so maybe I'll go into curves maybe I'll make it brighter maybe I'll give it some more contrast you know give it less contrast and take it away a little bit more whatever you might want to dio try it and curves see what you can do to it now let's save colored dream and you put it too saturated black and white texture on but maybe you want to add texture overall to your image with color so now you can go into curves and go into your colors maybe I want to add yellow overall to this picture I could do that on my texture if I want could add blue I could add any color that I want any color combination the reason why I tend not to do that is because I'm now going to create a layer mask on this layer on my texture I'm clicking my brush tool taking my opacity down and I'm going to erase it off of the subject just a little bit I've never met a model who really enjoys having texture legs eh so we might want to get that off of her legs you can kind of see in there how wow that's not really a skin texture that I enjoy so I'm going to take that down opacity all the way up and we're going to help her out I'm not even a racing we're going to help her out by just getting that off of her legs now the reason why I don't usually a race at one hundred percent opacity and lets the textures looking really crazy is that I don't want my subject to look like she was cut and pasted into the scene so if I go around her perhaps not with this image but if I were to go around her and just erase that texture completely off of her she'll either start glowing as you can kind of see because the textures being erased off of the back wall is well so we don't want that or she's going to look cut and pasted because we have a harder brush and we're really separating her from the background so I definitely don't want to do that off of her face is always a really nice thing to do for somebody so if you're feeling kind feel free unless you're going for that kind of creepy swamp months or look for something and you want to create crackly skin it's totally something that would be worth doing but that is exactly how I would add a texture and manipulate that texture

Class Description


  • Brainstorm and plan a fine art photograph
  • Design a story with props and posing
  • Shoot an image that only exists in your imagination
  • Complete the vision in Adobe Photoshop
  • Self-critique your own work
  • Build a business from fine art photography
  • Approach galleries with confidence
  • Grow your own unique style and brand


Sometimes, creative vision is bigger than a camera can capture. In this class, learn how to turn imaginative ideas into physical fine art prints. From planning the shoot to assembling composites in post, work to turn the images in your dreams into a concrete photographic image. Go from a dreamer to a professional photographer with the help of artist Brooke Shaden.

Start with defining your style and building your creative vision in this three-day class. Then, learn tips and tricks for bringing that vision to life using posing and props. Go behind the scenes in nine live shoots ranging from self-portraiture to creating your own fairytale. Use posing, props, motion, and composition to tell a story.

While fine art photography isn't usually the first business model that comes to mind when considering a career in photography, Brooke shares how it's possible to earn a full-time living from your art. From building a brand to approaching fine art galleries, learn what you need to turn a passion for fine art photography into a career. As Brooke says, you can't stop because your best work is just ahead.


  • Intermediate photographers ready to take fine art to the next level
  • Professional photographers looking to expand their storytelling and compositing skills
  • Fine art photographers at any skill level


Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Lightroom


Brooke Shaden is a storyteller. The American fine art photographer is well-known in the art world for her dream-like, fairytale images. Her work often uses dark tones, heavy emotions, self-portraits, and juxtapositions. Working as a fine art photographer for more than a decade, she started her art journey after studying film in college and now teaches and speaks along with continuing her work. Brooke's work has been featured in dozens of gallery exhibitions, along with magazine and book covers and limited edition fine art prints. After growing up near an Amish community in the United States in Pennsylvania, she now lives in California.

Class Materials

bonus material with purchase

Brookes Posing Guide

Self Portraiture

The Art of Self Critique

Ratings and Reviews

Student Work

Related Classes



Brooke says she wants to be inspirational - she has achieved this and so much more during this course. I am so inspired to follow my dream of becoming a fine art photographer and step out of a life as an academic and stop finding excuses. Watching other photographers shoot and edit is always a great way to learn, everyone does things slightly differently and I enjoy Brooke's no fuss techniques. Seeing so many of Brooke's beautiful images through the course has been great and seeing shots from the shoot through to editing really makes them come alive. If you are looking for inspiration or you want to learn techniques or new skills then this course provides all of these things with a big dose of positive thinking thrown in.


Brooke is amazing! I love this course. Brooke is easy to listen to. She has a beautiful insight into creative fine art . Love it! I have learned so much. I especially love that she is so candid about everything.

renee Akana

I love Brooke and the wonderful way that she teaches. She is a gift to us all. Jane, her model, was lovely - a beautiful girl, a wonderful attitude and a real professional.. I could not do what Jane did to help Brooke convey her story.