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Post Process Q and A

Lesson 20 from: Animal Photography

Rachael Hale McKenna

Post Process Q and A

Lesson 20 from: Animal Photography

Rachael Hale McKenna

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Lesson Info

20. Post Process Q and A

Lesson Info

Post Process Q and A

Yes, george bailey all writing don't look um little mention man um we got another one open there that one what's this one. Oh, another cookie was right this more down the bottom that's what? I forgot they had heaps of cooking open, but we can we can actually go back to those we could do some more cookies in a minute, but I'll show you how I wouldn't. We might work on this one just purely because it's probably not quite as much work is thie full sharps. All right, we'll float them in seoul just close that one just hit this one up writing, so just quickly show you so is the same sort of thing with the way that she drew this full image. I'm not sure because this is actually quite a time consuming image to get the spec ground to how I would, how I would do it because it's really it's a very big, tricky some situation in regards to the fact that you've got lots of shadowing happening. So what? I'm going to try and do it? I might not in the end, actually take out all of the wrinkles, but wha...

t I want to do is just not make it quite so obvious that he was in such a bad old little position start with the easy bits and then, um, work my way in this is this is where it like I might bring in the assistance of someone like rabin, who actually has more time to sit here and do something about this, because when I've I've got to say, I've got a four year old daughter who always wants to help and when I'm trying to really cut these sort of things I team to try and do either when she's at daycare or, um, in the evenings when she's sound asleep and I'm doing this really quickly and it's probably not going to be the my best job yet, and I still have not the perfect brush tool. Teo, work on this. So here in the side here, I would be extending this out to get rid of. Yep. Yep. You said you maze, which this one to black and white would you show us quickly? What? Your years. Yet before we do all of us that's a good idea. I just may being, may I just have to finish this corner. That's what? I can come back to that that's fun. All right, so if there's, I think there's a couple of ways you can do this if you go, you can go image mode two gray scale and displayed in the image and that's gonna just basically discard the calorie information so that you have that just immediately train isn't black and white and then you'll start working on it and that regards teo actually, I really like it in black and white this one more so than I do like it in the color, but I would but the killer was looking really yellow, but it was because the studio lights anyway, so if I adjusted the colors that might start being more appealing to me and the color front but that's really quite a cute, cute color and even the february creases and not a bed and black and white, I don't think but I still would probably play around with it a little bit so it's not white as many as much, much things, but so what I would do with this now without me. So if you use a major, I would smoothing out the backgrounds just a little bit let's do some work on this and so do the same same sort of thing way now have the input output for the callen adjustments I just called because I should have called this contrast, by the way. Sorry, is it a sin to see it's it it it's it's much more subtle on this, though with the changes it's slightly different output levels, I think with the black and white, but we're going in occasionally yeah, I was gonna get that out of the way. It's gone a little bit too dense in the black and the blacks. See how it's gone a little bit harsha down in the syria here. So what I'm gonna do is I'll edit the contrast, but I'm actually just gonna bring a little bit like, say, fifty percent out of these little areas here, which is where his dike areas on his coat go layer and victor mask reveal all get the brush tall, back down to a smaller size too small still on fifty percent that's. Fine. I need to click too black for the victim mask. And what it's gonna settle there on robert and justin, those shadow areas just so it's not going really, really hash in the blacks. So I find with them converting well, often my images in the light, which I work. And, um, the converting to black and white can make sometimes even being a little bit more contrast e than I like. So I just have to really watch the contrast, which I had now, um, I haven't you know, I worry about that. Well, I probably I'm not going to because I've added layers now I'm not gonna be able to actually do much bring touching on the background unless I didn't have you suggested during a layer so I'll do everything else then maybe we've got time we might do a little bit but if you can just imagine that I would definitely this area here I would differently remove those lines there would probably del either remove those ones or soften them down quite a bit I don't like that line there I find it distracting so I'd probably just make that into a great jaw I'm using up into this area and I'd probably smooth out that bump there I'd probably keep some of us quite like that don't mind I'd get rid of bet line there um but I'll keep this one because you couldn't make it look realistic so you don't want to remove everything but I would smooth out there a little bit keep that line there and I'm smooth these areas here out which I will do it I might even do some of us tonight and then we can show you the finished products finished images tomorrow maybe if it works into the schedule somewhere and then so what I'm gonna do now is just a light in the image slightly em all right we need teo how do I need to know this is all a different format for my name jumps over top of my image any month now so this way and it's right in black and white mode I have to go down it's like the scene, why came coloring? Actually, we have to go instead of going up to light and you go down, I can't see his face very well, but that's pretty that's, pretty good quite like that, but you maybe got a little bit too far, so it has come back that just a little bit more get out of my box that secured. I'm just, um, we're gonna dock in the ages now because I need to sort of I need to have them dhaka to sort of see what else I need to do within this image because I'm no, I don't do a lot of black and white, so I haven't I'm not as my eyes not is trained to do this, but I do quite like it was talking. We pick that sort of density within that, okay, get a big brush, but as you can see from what I'm showing you, this is generally what I do to most of my images, so there's not a lot, which goes on with what I do, but as they say, I might be, I might work with, um, kitten sitting on a dog's. He'd, um sounds about made, but it does, we do do these things, and and so I might have someone holding the kitten needs us for the safety of the animal and therefore the arm needs to be removed so that's but that's the basic cloning tall as well just to do something like that and then what other things might I do which needs retouching it oh yes removing leads collars that sort of thing it's not but other than that it's not not a lot which I do that is it one hundred percent was gonna bring down the capacity of that dark and age but I do find that darkening my age is just make a huge difference to my images I'm just gonna do it another one one well too it is many months one you know um and we go back down to the box move down a little bit on my gray scale on then go back round again and multiply and then just drop the capacity on that task a little bit with coming down to say fifty yeah but I think once I get rid of the destruction of some of these lines it'll make a huge difference to the image but it looks real but it is really cute I might do yeah but if I get time tonight I might just do it kala version as well so then you can actually see the difference we can start them on screen tomorrow so I'm just going to say that is keep that name um we uh george bailey such a cute name and I know that that's just a working file but more just save it as a photo shop so that I can go in and make some adjustments toe do a little bit more adjustment already okey dokey what else have we got? Three I won't do anymore we did black so we want to any more of those you've got something of a question way to have questions is this a good time? Okay. Um this actually well people are asking about do you like when you print I know that you print books but as far as using a black and white image versus colored and this is from chad's mom, do you like campus a prince or medals better for animals or do does depend on the animal doesn't depend on how you post process with how you print it I guess is what I'm trying to ask you yeah I just came to keep for printing their old kgb files that print beautifully onto canvas and order pins on the ho you printing for and what the clients preferences but all my images do print really nicely onto campus but I actually feel all my prince for personal client saying for myself I use a company which is also does the albums and thanks which I showed on my first self publishing company called queensberry, which is a new zealand based company but they teach their ship well wide and the printing I have used labs worldwide everywhere queensberry prints are exquisite absolutely beautiful and that's who I have to hide who I am discovered who will do and they've for me they would do either canvas metallic prince they'll do for me in jit like finance indeed which are the most beautiful stunning prints and just really beautiful quality images on your classic photographic papers as well right who we got let's maybe let's go him look at one off the trying to remember what we've got well that was that little chocolate puppy which was a really cute little puppy no excellent that's who might just have a quick play with this one so is anyone oh um got any other questions and what I've seen what I've been doing and any suggestions what can I do to make my images that's a careful I'd be careful with that way's suggestions go ahead yes please rachel I've quick question do you ever use light room and the other question I haven't seen you shopping it images on when you export out or in a thing do you do that? You know I don't normally only s aside what I showed you before with the the one of cookie with the time of a movement I'd sharpen the eye but that was about all so occasionally if I feel something needs to be sharpened on dude and shot might put a gunshot mask on the entire image but very, very area that I do that I'm fortunate with working with hesselboe lead the images are such beautiful quality that you don't I don't team to need to do that, which is which is a great thing yeah get a room light rooms I do well the reason I used why it's used focus with the heads of lead because that's the program which could become with the thing but I team to not doing much adjustments within light room or focus before I might maybe a light in the image slightly before I actually process the image into a turf form it but I do most of my work and photo shop yes, I got another one delivering the images to a client are they all edited beautiful, ready to go? You never show anything unedited or just show them arrange. Yeah, I do yeah, I pretty much do do some editing to do them. Yeah, I'm before I show them anything that's just what I prefer I don't like showing them or raw images. Yeah, but a lot of my life I'm doing family portrait and things like that in a lot of that doesn't need much work anyway, but um so it's possible to show them pretty minimal work done, but I don't like showing your images I always got better if they've got a bit of a kick. Yep, I'm wondering if you have any tips on fixing noise and pictures. Yeah, I know, because working in the shelters for you at the end because she went shooting on high, I said I saw in you come, yeah, that's when I probably would do it in light room or in focus, there's always options to decrease noise. I haven't had to do a lot of it because I haven't worked in that many low light conditions. I'm fortunate that I do what I'm able to choose where I work more than having to be in an area which I've gotto goto work in, but I know I do know that in light remand and focus, you there's options to decrease noise, and I think some of those quite effective now, but I think if there's anyone in the chat rooms actually who has any suggestions on noise because I'm pretty sure there's plug ins and thinks he can get which help with noise? Yes, so that might be interesting for you. You'd love to know yes, be great, because they do a lot of stuff in light room first and then go into five to shop and I find that the light room, noise adjustments, our eta but it would be cool if they were plug ins that I didn't know about you know you didn't know about okay yeah might help yeah well sorry I can't help you a bit more but yeah forget about that for everybody yeah anything coming through not about the about the noise yet yeah hold tight there's a little bit of a delay were we going to then um talk about the um exporting for publication is all right that it's basically one I've done to my image so that that first image which we did the puppy it is I would supply that too that's how I was supplying to my publisher's is alone gee I pig for them provisions exist you know imagery and everything but as I say to them send it to them for actual publication I would then go through the process of changing computing it into a scene like a making sure it's in the culture the the profile for the printer and then I'll put it that way so that's not a lot to it it's all pretty it's I do do it in front of shop and there's not a hell of a lot two it really it's pretty pretty basic you just need to talk to your publishers and make sure that you've got the right settings for the color profiles and things like that but other than that it is pretty it's not that complicated yeah so did you get your image tourist visual state which you're happy with um working with the I have been doing the other little things very minimal and probably khun take five or ten minutes thinking you could do those sort of things is a bench conversion she can actually put all your images in a folder and then well then don't ask me to do it because I always I'm terrible remembering how to do a batch every single time I do it I have to look at that google it how do you bet you which is it's terrible but such a shocking memory when it comes to that sort of thing but so you know my husband's always wrestling maze like you've forgotten again how to do bet you exactly I know that's the most important thing the dog's names yeah, rachel well, we love it when we have other creative life instructors that are also watching created five classes and one matthew the body who is going to be teaching on creative live coming up shortly says that image nomics is the tool that he uses and with regard to noise reduction so thank you for that tip men made the body oh it's called image nomics image norma is the name of one of the one of the tools and there are some other ones that folks are thrown in here topaz de noise and let's see there's nick software noise where but matthew the body thanks for tuning in with your recommendation will be here next week is it next week already that's why my gosh we'll see you next week o he'll be busy I'm preparing his his ki is watching you while he's finishing putting finishing touches on his credit line is a brilliant pretty good on him were it does take a lot of effort goes into these courses yeah so that's what this image I'm doing pretty much would would do pretty much the same sort of thing what I'm going to do I'm just going to zoom and just cheat the sharpness on these eyes as well yeah it's looking pretty good with actually got yet we've already clean clean chapman's through there, which is great and we've actually got even though the sigh of time doing it again well, we're on the clock I'm going to get off the client's name because otherwise well, we've got a humongous big thing so even though this eye is quite dark and we've still got plenty of highlight on there, so once I light in that I were not probably not gonna have teo through that much to it yeah, I got a little bit of sleep under the eye here, which I'd remove um these little high highlights here on the nose I find distracting so I'd remove those no and anything and that she would manage tto very successfully completely hide her little collar under that one which was good yeah so it was obviously one of the the second or third images we took of this little door where we actually lifted the flowers over and above the thing so same sort of thing here I would go smooth out the background which are due later because it's it's the more boring, time consuming thing lytton, I'm going to go in this case because the dog is doc I'm gonna light in the image before I had contrast because it's really hard to control the contrast density in the dark areas when you're working with the dark dog so it's gonna see what we got we need to bring that up and we're gonna lighten the dog and then so it see how that's good on the right hand side of the dog but these areas here have gone a bit too light so yet again I'm gonna go um layer victor mask reveal all and get the right sized tall and the spring back that area in a bitter but just so that we don't totally bleach out land on the nose here maybe on the top of the head so that's good so that's a lightning see the difference in there during that actually have lost a lot of the background anyway so it's quite, but I still would go in and smooth because once I darken the ages, you're going to see that again when it comes back in. But I haven't actually done any of that of the cloning yet, because I just don't want to put you through all that sorry, and they were gonna do selective color to adjust the color and run down here. We've got to remove the science and a little bit more of the magenta perfect for that scene. Now this, you know, just how that's made a little bit too yellow, so then I'm going to go into the yellow and removed the yellow now as well, which is making I actually think I've gone too much on all of them, so I think I'm gonna go back off on the science. Two, four oh, sorry instead of little pin, take that two, two and bring that down to two may be a little more it's just warmed it up enough just to get rid of any coldness that this puppy's got the most beautiful green eyes. And then so what? I'm going to do this? Actually, you know, I'm going to see if it needs a little bit of contrast that lashing was quite contrasting on this so and, um, what the niche of the natural light coming in from the window we don't want to add too much contrast that contrast is always really helpful it does make the image just punch up a little bit so have not but we're goingto do the import at eight and can we see what about outputs doing at the moment it's not going to read it and let me go too much it truthfully one we're going to get back down to about two forty five I think what can we read it to forty four that is close enough let's call now what's that contrast looking like you're just gives it a little bit more of a punch and said she still got plenty of detail in the in the dark curious aware okay now I'll just go in and new layer too dark and edges and then again get the eyedropper but this one I'm going to choose a little pink from flowers because you don't want to put brown on the edges of this oven image like this it just it just wouldn't work so it's gonna get a pink look on that maybe this go tiny but lighter not much though okay and get your still a fifty percent capacity and we're gonna go around but is this what you ii haven't cloned the background yet so you're still going to get and I'll stop at the puppy because we don't want the puppies back to start fucking pink so you just stopped there go multiply bring it back down to say fifty percent which is good and there was going to another layer talking again and like on the color come down a little bit darker that and when you put a color like this this is a problem possibly go diagonally down the kala just so we keep it bright because if I go down that way it's gonna go dollar so we want to keep the color's quite punchy and brighter so if we go this way even that way might keep a little bit more punching and then we're gonna go around the edges that's where you're gonna practice your steady hand with during the sort of stuff because it can be but the men and this is when you'll find um awake um you guys they walk walk home wacom way say wake on but you'll find a peon much easier when you're doing these sort of actions and then multiply again what you just gonna add a little bit more to that during the and the multiple shukan seymour were you darkening when you actually do it when you've multiplied already and then we go say out too fifty again forty nine close enough there see how it's just given a little bit of a punch to the jizz yep brought color beckon now I gotta prove myself wrong and I can't remember the name of this dog nora do you remember which one of you guys name yeah, there we go, nora yeah, but you can watch all the quick question was just from travel pants do you ever from who? Travel travel pants? Well, what do you do? You ever have to fix red eye in animals? Do you ever get red eye animals? I don't with the life in which I used because I use the other natural light or studio flesh which is not a directional flesh but I'm sure I've seen images of animals with redeye before, so I'm sure people do do it but me personally no, I don't and I yeah I'm not quite sure that's what we were talking about before about redeye but no well can you ok alright can't help you on that one. No problem. I have another question for you so many people have been commenting on the background and how you're creating the backgrounds and how they like it and brenda k asked if you ever use lights on the backgrounds looking at the photo of the dog in skates looks like there could be an added light or is it just the method that you demonstrated to make the edges darker? It's the deccan ages as well but that particular image was actually shot in my studio back in new zealand which I have a the studio is got total natural daylight which comes flora ceiling light comes on one side of what skylights above um and I also use a big soft box which bounces off the ceiling just for film that's all of us a mainly it's a combination of natural light and phil flesh bounced off the ceiling which creates that effect so therefore the light is being able to come totally surrounding the dog but I have darkened the inches on that shot as well yeah, but yeah that's my favorite lighting situation there's natural light with a bit of a bounce great so let me see if I could bring up focus again and focus again is focuses the as the hassle bled um protect when you're tethering you weren't tethering into us to enter into focus yet and also if I'm working shooting on card I'll bring all my images into focus to the choose the right images and then my essay might do it a little bit of adjustment and focus before I working for the shop but I do that just slightly teo too then get them to a state where I bring them to fight a shop to doing most of my work is the easiest way to do it right let's have a look at trapper shall we go? We'll go along, we just click through the images so what I would know we do this is how I would just look at my images sometimes and then I flagged the ones which I think think work so these ones are all in the flesh the final ones that she did well, he looks really alert there's quite cute shot so what I do then is just star that up on the top right hand corner because it's quite a cute looking shot oh, that actually looks better though, so what I do then his flick through? Yeah he's seeing as more intense and that's and it other one was looking up slightly in this so what I do is take stare off that one and then put the star on this one so that seems to be how how I choose my images so now we've got one of those were natural like those ones these are the flesh ones that know yeah, well, look at the color difference with the fresh yeah, and we've got good it's actually quite nice the shape of his poor coming down and you can see his little party dick toe tow with the lines of the actual hammock it she doesn't want to badly yeah he's a good I'm just gonna it's just going to go in and see if oh crikey that way a bit too far yeah it's not it's that's on his nose so it's not perfectly sharp so it wouldn't be a perfect picked for me but if we moved through that's looking a little bit better that's where if he definitely has that really startled look, he was in total hand mode okay, but we might what we might do this gun let's go and find tripper and see those ones were well that was cute though that one room yes, he could see his little thing get compounds is right. Yeah, that is quite cute and its shop so that she is quite a cute little image yeah, we'll be able to do that one. I just quickly explain what what exactly is it you're looking for? Is that the eyes the expression in the eyes or you definitely the it's definitely the eye contact often it's just I'm looking for that image which is going to make give like exactly what happened then you had an emotional reaction to it so that's what I'm I'm really striving to get within my image is something which is going to have a reaction and give people and emote a reaction to the images here and, um the eyes always helpful yeah, this is all gorgeous old trapper that's the one where he looked up at me yeah, which was really going on on the spring back and again well did shop yeah, so which is so that was all that was shot in natural light so that differently with studio lights up with a lot of yellow I need to remove from there um I'm gonna need to smooth out the background quite a bit at the end, but that will end up being an absolute beautiful image went on finished with it yeah, but here that's cute so this year so even that's quite a cute one as well see the difference that settled differences actually between these guys here down this with well al qaeda tail in there which might get removed, I think yeah, so there's this a really subtle, subtle difference with that? But actually, um I might might even go with that one I don't know still directly down through the lens and crispin clear, which is great got kits have got the most incredible eyes him up there beautiful so and this I would this might be smoothing out the background I'd see that theis each of the fabric here, I'd probably smooth that out a cz well so that we didn't have the edge I'm showing, which means I take it that away up there, I'd get rid of that as well. Just smooth it on. You've got nice little bits of light coming in here seeing the kid through here. This is why natural light work so nicely with this one because you actually do seem or of the kick through the fabric was the flesh flattens that when you richie when you're shooting but it looks a little bit more unsure there he's got very amtrak has got incredibly intense eyes, so so even though he was really relate, she still has that in creating incredible, incredible intensity in his eyes. You've got a question. Yeah, sure now the rescue wanted to use any of these photos. What? How did you arrange that? Are could they use thumb? Are just would you give him a small raise for? Yeah, seriously, if I'm I was more than happy for kitty habit to use these images within the rescue, they could use him on the website if they wanted to use him for broad brushes and promotional material. I don't have a problem, I asked for a credit were impossible on dh if they want to use the images anywhere further than that, then I always have to approach me and get permission from me before doing so, so if they want to use him for an article in a magazine, which is advertising, or just like telling people about kenny harbor, then I I often say, yeah, that's fine, but just make sure you created me put in a possible link to my website as well. Is actually something I I meant ask earlier about the approximate size of the fabric you used for the hammock are about the same size as the backdrop yes yep, that was just basically oh, here we go again on three meters you can tell me meters your english you know major you guys I'm really sorry you're going to have to do a confusion if you but I had about three meters maybe four meters of fabric and I disrupted in half half of what became the background and half of it became a thing the hammock so it was either probably one point five to two meters of fabric a pride thing was only about one point five actually which spread between the two poles for to create the hem it leader is about three feet property fate okay, nice brit awesome. Okay, we'll have ah final question to ask. Yeah, and this is from johannes sofia who would like to know how much editing you did on the image on the new york dog book cover and do you remove elements or change your editing style for those in a natural environment? How much editing was done on the new book cover cover? Yeah, and then do you remove elements completely out of the picture or do you change of your own? That s a lot of them that was completely no retouching other than adding contrast and you know, lightning, the image, maybe in certain areas. But those is exactly how I shot that image right to the one on the and if I had on my files with may actually do over the thing. I could show you the raw image of that image. And it is literally exactly is. Then it cools. Tell us again about the new york dog book where people can find it. It just came out it just come out fighting. Well, it's a bit off course, available online through my publishers, which is abrams. Come on, doll. So, of course, on amazon looking in it, but it's available in america now, through all local bookstores. I got someone tweeted a picture and grand central station bookstore used today off my book in the window, which is great. I love seeing you love saying saying things like that if it's fantastic. So, yeah, she should be about all those great little bookstores, which is still surviving. It's be fantastic if you can. If she got by books from them and support them, that would be really wonderful. But of course, if you can't get to a bookstore which has got it, then you can get it online, through abrams or through

Class Materials

bonus material with purchase

Black on Black
Photographing Kitten and Puppies
Shooting for Licensing and Publishing
Working with Adult Cats
Working with More Challenging Animals
Shooting on Location - The French Cat - The French Dog
Taking an Idea and Working Through the Process
Ways to Get Started in the Animal Photography Industry
Rachael on Location - Kelsey Creek Farm

Ratings and Reviews

a Creativelive Student

This course was definitely worth the investment - both time and money. With about 15 hours worth of video sessions and amazing bonus handouts - Rachael provides some really useful, practical tips that you can apply straight away regardless whether you're just beginning your photography journey or are a seasoned professional. It was great to see Rachael at work in session - especially her techniques used to calm and quieten her models if needed. She had a potpourri of helpful suggestions such as remember to take both landscape and portrait shots (if possible), know your rights to take and use images - don't assume, be extra vigilant with cleanliness especially around kittens and puppies who may not have been fully vaccinated, keep kittens and puppies isolated in pens or cages if not in their own environment as they're escape artists etc. Her extensive experience with licensing agents and publishing houses was insightful ... and not for the faint-hearted, so it seems! Thanks Rachael for taking the time to share your know-how, tips and techniques and giving us a peek into your world and workflow you follow to produce awesome animal shots.


I loved this class! I don't I tend to be a "pet photographer" but I do want to be a "Pet friendly" photographer! I have gotten lots of tricks and tools to use while photographing occasional clients pets and my own! ( I have a horse, a pony, bunnies, cats, dogs and ducks) I'm super glad I watched the class live and I'm even more glad I bought it so I can re- watch it whenever I want :) (The shoot with the mini horse, dogs, chicken, duck and people was awesome! It loomed like my family picture would look if my husband didn't say "no" on occassion! lol)

Rebecca Potter

Love, Love, Love this course... Rachael is so down to earth and inspiring and I enjoyed all the hands-on shooting which shows you how patient you need to be for this type of photography. Truly an amazing course... Thank you.

Student Work