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Composting Backgrounds: Refine Edge

Lesson 24 from: Fine Art Compositing

Brooke Shaden

Composting Backgrounds: Refine Edge

Lesson 24 from: Fine Art Compositing

Brooke Shaden

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Lesson Info

24. Composting Backgrounds: Refine Edge


Class Trailer

Day 1


Class Introduction


Why Composite ?


Logic Checklist


What Not To Do When Compositing


Shooting for Composite


Changing Backgrounds and Light


Shoot: Simple Swaps Part 1


Lesson Info

Composting Backgrounds: Refine Edge

let's take this off for just a second and let's go into bridge and let's find this black background now this was the one where this was the black and then this was the other black but it turned grey so it's just for a challenge go with the black um one quick question though from like a anna does this method only work when you're shooting when you've got one of the images on even backdrop no yes and no I I almost wide to u s so it it works and we're going to we're about to pull a backdrop that's not uneven backdrop just to show this it has trouble working but I'm going to show another method in a second that works a little bit better for a more distracting background so yes and no depending on how distracting it is and highly god I miss you so let's go ahead and just select around the hair like we've been doing and you can see how close this harris to the background now I can definitely see zoom in here I can definitely see hairs that are sticking up back here and I see that separation ...

so maybe it'll work in our favor let's have hope okay so we're going to have hope I'm going to actually just add to the selection because I was being a little bit too rigorous their copy it and paste that in now we're going to put her at the top of the frame all right so now let's see how that background eraser tool works we're going to choose the background eraser tool I'm going to start to a race on the edge is here and this is actually doing exactly what I thought it would d'oh which it's pulling the black it's saying okay I recognize that the background is black but then it's saying I don't know where the edge is of her head compared to the black in the background because it was so similar so right up here we have the hair turning white or basically disappearing fading from this image so they're two things no I would step back in history and I would choose a smaller brush I'm going to choose a smaller brush just that I can get in a little bit closer around the edges of her hair and I don't necessarily mess them up so much so oh dear now I have to do this again we'll go back to paste and no I'll paste you again hold on here we go paste ok so now I'm going to go in on the slayer and I'm going to try to a race with a smaller brush but now that smaller brush is having a very difficult time finding what it needs to find its not really doing anything o except for a racing her face which actually that looked very nice didn't owe too far okay so the issue here is that it just doesn't know where that background is now it's just too dark her hair's too dark we can't use a smaller brush so we've got these issues I did say that we would try this other mode here sampling continuous so we can just see if that has any effect here and it doesn't it still looks bad so what else we can do here we can go ahead and step back in her history and we can try to make her hair pop from the background a little bit more so we could take that layer five which is where her hair is and if we zoom in on that we can kind of see the variation of light and shadow we can try to pull that up we could do that by going into image adjustments replace color and we could select her hair color and then play with that fuzziness to try to select more or less and once we do that we could up the saturation of her hair a little bit okay a little bit I said just there maybe we can try to take the lightness up just a little bit I keep pulling him way over and that could help create some separation because we're trying to leave the background so you can kind of see what that's done we've just highlighted the hair a little bit more and now we can stay on that background eraser tool to see if it's going to help us but we're in a bit of a pickle here so let's try something else instead of just erasing her hair every single time let's try to go over to the shot of her on the black background okay and let's click out of that and let's try refine edge instead of the background eraser tools in fact let's go ahead and make this easy on ourselves for the first time around and choose the shot of her hair on the other black okay so we've got another shot here and we're going to go in with our back for our refined edge tool this is very blurry hair so this is something that again convey difficult to work with but I'm on the lasso tool and the way that we're going to use refine edge which is this button right here that we use before the feather so before we made a selection I chose refine edge and then we could feather that selection right so instead of doing that we're actually going to do smart radius and then change the radius of that selection which right now is not doing too much you can see this not what we need so I'm gonna cancel that I'm going to make a new selection and what I want to do is select pretty closely around her hair and right in between the curls and no I mean don't have to be perfect but just generally in between her hair I'm just sort of weaving in and out I'm not worrying as much aboutthe little ends and getting in between every little bit and where it gets thicker that's greatly down here I don't have to go inside every single strand I'm just going to try to keep it close and the other thing to remember which I'm just cutting your head off now is that I am also not worrying at all about making sure that each one is selected but what I am worried about is keeping an equal distance from the hair with my selection tool so what I don't want to do is just do that and then close that selection because now this distance from her head to the outside edge is much greater than the distance from here to the outside edge I want to keep that really consistent so now I'm just holding option or ault to get rid of the selection that I just made and I'm going to go ahead and continue that there we go so now we've made our selection and from here I want to go ahead and click refine edge so now that I clicked refine and we can see what kind of crazy selection we've just made smart radius and take that radius up I just went all the way to two fifty and you can see what that's doing now it's fading the edges it's sort of taking that little in between space and letting it fall away that's not doing the best job ever but you can see there when I uncheck smart radius that's giving us a much smoother edge so when you have smart radius checked it's trying to be really smart but I don't actually find it to be that smart so I'm going to un check it and you can move this slider all around to include less or more so here met almost one hundred pixels here as far as how much the radius is moving from the hair edge out and I think we need a little bit more so there's about one forty there's one seventy five I'm just going to take it up there I weren't like what are we to nineteen there I think that looks pretty good and what I'm looking for is to see like the general edges of the hair still be intact and let the rest fade because they're not going to go away completely in most places they're just going to fade so then it just sort of blends right into the new background will say okay and once we've said okay there the selection that we had made is going to sort of shrink into her head so there you can see it shrunk in this is a problem area this is an area where the hair wasn't blurred where we're going to need to keep that scalp in there so you have a couple ways of doing that you could leave it and then add it back in later to your new background or we could just come in here and say I know that I need to keep this so I'm just going to hold shift on my selection tool and just draw my own selection through there like that so that now we have that still included so let's go ahead and just copy and paste this so copy control see and we're going tio no I don't want you don't save okay we want this one and I'm going to paste to know this has done something very similar to when we did the background eraser tools and let's see I'm going to try to hide one and show the other so this was the background of racer tool and this did a little bit of a better job in terms of being able to see every single strand of hair this did a really good job in separating from the background in between all the little spaces but then this one is our refine edge and we have a little too much cut off in certain places for me however I have very successfully used refine edge before in cutting hair out from the background so I used refine edge when there aren't so many little tiny strands moving all over the place so with my hair I typically I don't have curls going everywhere usually I usually just have a little flick of the hair works really really great for that fur with refine edge it works great if the hair's kind of come together a little bit more if it's just sort of swaying or moving I really like it for that and refine edge could be really good especially like if I'm going to get her body from this picture let's say then refine it could be really great for that too because as long as we can draw a selection that's roughly equal distance here something like that I'm really bad at doing that by the way I usually have to do twenty different selections but as long as we can keep a nice edge going that's roughly equal then when we choose refine edge it's going to try to be really smart about finding where the edge is takes a little second to load once you start moving the radius but you can see what it's doing there and you can also see where you've made a terrible error in judgment which is right there though there I should have gone in a little bit deeper so refined edge might seem like it's a lot of work very unnecessarily but I use it for a lot of my images and I find that it works really really well most of the time okay very good so I'm going to now go ahead and look through these images and so what we've done I'm laughing because I've just noticed the three shots which I think are just oh yeah I didn't know you were doing that in the background roth very good oh these are cute so this is something that we can start to play with now and I want to start to play with this a little bit because what I want to focus on here is actually being able to move somebody to a new background and how is that going to work in terms of perspective and angle and that's the kind of thing that we really haven't talked about yet we've been going through all these little tools different things that we might need you know to be able to do that but we haven't actually talked about that very much at all so let's go ahead and open up our shot here this is not so we're opening her shot I'm just going to adjust it a little bit just take the shadows up a little so that we can see a little bit more detail maybe take that exposure up a little bit we're not going for a beautiful picture we're going for a composite and I'm going to then open up the images of me that I think that we need so okay we decided not this picture when we decided not to use that because of the whitening bad lighting not going to do it so then we moved over here and we decided okay this side of the image needs to have the white background this side needs tohave the dark background and then we've got my hair so for some reason my hair will be moving in a big chunk I've been this picture who knows why the any of this is happening john did an amazing job modeling in this photo I just would like to point out I feel like that's really worth teo tha s great okay so let's go ahead and open all of these images and we're going to have to decide now which ones were going to use for the main shot just like we talked about before there's going to be a main shot and then detail shock s and then of course cutting in blending and all of that now I would say if I get any say in this that I almost have to use this is my head because of this believability factor my hair is falling down on the side here so it can't be moving out unless we just get rid of the herald together but it makes it more ridiculous so we should keep it so here we have the shot of the left hand side and the right hand side in my head let's try to piece my body together I am not yet worried about trying to move everything on top of the image and then piece it together because I'll get really confused if I do that so instead let's use thing this one yet let's use maybe no okay when she's mind this one yeah I changed my mind this one no this one ok we're going to go with this I'm serious this is final final choice okay so we're going to go with this is the shot that we're going to start building from and I decided to use this one but I can see my feet pretty well and I actually looked like I'm squatting I should have just used a chair but life is so much more fun when you make it difficult for yourself so we're going to go with that and so what I need to do now is I'm going to just go ahead and build the other side the other side of the dress let's do that we're going to grab it with the lasso tool and it's always good to get more than you think you need so which I just did not dio so I'm going to actually expand this election to come through here just in case I'm going to copy it and I'm going to paste it alright so v for the move tool I'm just going to move this around now I wasn't really moving I don't think the camera was really moving very much so I'm going to generally put this in place lower the capacity to see where it goes it's pretty good and then take that opacity back up and now I'm going to create a layer mask so I don't really need to get rid of the edges here because we're going to do that when we blended I'm just worried about my body blending together so I'm not worrying about the outside edges at all I'm going to go ahead with that brush tool make sure the capacities up make sure that my hardness is down and I'm just going to a race so that it blends right through the dress portion of this image now here's where we're having a little bit of a problem the dress from the right hand side is actually a little bit too long over here it almost blends but let's pretend like it doesn't so let's say that this is just not matching up this is where we would go in for the warp tool at it transform warp and I can start to move that image up here where it should be and say ok you always want to make sure that that didn't do anything bad to any other parts of the image and it looks okay I'm just started drawing on nothingness okay so let's continue to lay your mask here and this is exactly what I'm talking about when I say doesn't it really sucked I have to cut hands out I think it does so here we have to make a decision do we want this fabric to cover up the hand or not no I know you're going to say that okay so let's get rid of it we're going to erase the dress right around it now what I like to do is I like to erase more than I need teo and then bring it back around the hand because I don't want to guess at where I have to erase if I can't even see what I'm a racing against so I've just erased it make the brush lie smaller take that hardness up not too far because I'm pretty blurry here and now once I switched a white we concert to bring that dress back right around that hand and this is something that I would just lay your mask this is something that I would d'oh very poorly obviously let's see this is something that I would d'oh on a regular basis for any sort of simple cutting like this which I'm making look very not simple but it's not too bad to cut around something small because you know what's gonna end really soon you know that feeling like oh it's just a hand I can do it so that's that's my mentality and doing this so I'm just gonna cut cut cut right up to the hand I trust that you'll forgive me if it's not utterly perfect but that would be the process there so I'd want to zoom in a little bit more I would I'm sure fixed this up quite a bit maybe I would even fudge that and say hey that wasn't even my finger huh you'll never know ok and then I would get in the little cracks here and a lot of that is going to be toddling back and forth to re create the shape of the hand and ta going the size hardness stuff like that so can we just agree that from far away it looks all right good all right so now I'm going to fill in the rest I would take a lot more time to do that obviously wouldn't leave it and I'm just going to fill this in and then my next big problem is going to be that there is no shadow happening in this area and there needs to be a shadow if there is no shadow then we have a very unbelievable image and that is the opposite of what we're trying to do here so I need to go ahead and make my shadow just like we did before with that lasso tool I'm just going to draw inn where I think it needs to go based on the light which I actually think I was kind of off they're gonna move it in a little bit beat two there and now I'm going to right click and refine edge just so that I can feather that just a little bit not too much omit like twelve fifteen pixels that should be okay we'll do fifteen and now I can create my adjustment layer so right we're sorry adjustment layer click and then curves and now when I make this darker you can see that we have this problem again of it affecting the hand and now my hand looks really crazy so two things I'm going to do one isn't going to make it darker from the highlights so that we have a more believable shadow because what we're affecting is a highlight which is the dress in the background and then I'm going to pin it so that it only effects that that layer of the dress which we have on a separate layer okay so we have a shadow and I believe maybe if this is wrong but yes you can then move the shadow if you need teo that's always really nice because if you feel like you've got the feathering right and everything and you just need to nudge it it's really nice to be able to do that so we can move that as much as we want so we have a little shadow happening on the hand and now we need the hair so at this point I'm gonna worry about that hair later because the hairs frustrating me at the moment we're just going to select me with this black and white we're going to select all of that and I am going to move it to russia's lap copy I didn't think that would be happening today did you yeah I don't remember saying that okay here we go so this is the test did we get the angle right did we get the distance right is all of that going to come together so okay that I did not copy the whole thing so pretend that didn't happen let's go back to our shot and I'm going to go ahead and combine these these layers now so let's just say whoa that's the best you've ever seen in your life and it looks perfect and we're going teo just for the sake of doing this quickly duplicate and now merge our layers not merge visible but merge players so now I can make a big selection to be sure that we get all of that included I realize that my foot's cut off but we don't have all the time in the world here so I'm going to copy know where were you there you are and paste okay so I am very big as we can tell my whole body is like my leg is the size of ross I think so let's go ahead and shrink me down and one good way of doing this is to pay attention to head size and to see who has a bigger head hey ross can you come over here yeah come for your head next to mine is his head bigger than mine oh yeah and they're like yeah isat a lot bigger okay so thank you welcome that's a really great thing to be able to dio here compositing all right so I'm gonna go ahead and shrink myself I'm going teo edit free transform and now when I free transform my body I'm going to hold shift on the corner here and then click and drag now let's see now I am going to be in front of him slightly so I think we'll make our heads the same size that makes sense and say okay now what we need to do is figure out where am I going to go exactly so I'm gonna lower the opacity on the layer and now I can see his lap and I can see pretty much need to sit like right and there I think I can nudge this around with the arrow keys this got weird but I swear it's practical so I'm going to nudge that used a little bit there we'll make sure that his head is like coming right over my shoulder in this area take that opacity up ok so now we can try a couple of different things just like we did the problem here is that my dress is white and the background is white which good bad we'll see might be a little bit hard for that background eraser tool so let's try it out we'll click that background eraser tools make it much smaller and let's see how that does as you can see it's going to erase my whole arm okay no background eraser tour but the good thing is that it is pure white so if there is any separation it's likely that you can try to use the magic wand tool and using the magic wantto in this case is going to try to select all the white and then we're just going to have to do the tolerance adjusting the tolerance to say we only want you to do the white nothing else so we take that tolerance down it's going to start to select more or less take it up more or less so we have all of these different selections and I find this tool to be really confusing to figure out how much it's actually selecting because it's so strange and all the docks that it's choosing so sometimes I just copy and paste the selection so that I can actually see what's being selected so once I've done that I can see that the more I pull that tolerance up it's actually selecting a lot more than I wanted teo I don't want that to happen so we're getting rid of that layer and I'm gonna take the tolerance and down let's see what will goto what like sixty thumb and see how that works and now when I copy and paste that you can see that it's leaving out somethings I guess my face isn't pure white nor is my hand but it's still capturing this dress so I know why you put russ that's good okay so I'm going to get rid of that oh man okay I would love creative life alright so instead I'm just going to erase this is because we're working with mostly fabric and as I said before it is so simple to just a race against fabric that I don't need to worry about trying to use refine edge or the background to race or tool or anything like that I could do this pretty quickly with my brush making sure the hardness is set about the right spot and then ta going that size to get in between little areas and that's why I like to use the square brackets on the keyboards like in so quickly just maneuver between size once I do that so let's go through here and we're going to this really fast but of course getting in between the little nooks and crannies is always a very good idea the hand is my nemesis okay so we're going to do this so fast because I think it's really worth seeing this picture finished so let's go ahead and just zoom around here okay so now with this area again this is larry going toe lower that hardness to try to match the blur of the dress around this area but then it gets a little bit harder as we go up and up okay so the hand I am not going to do a really good job of but I'm just going to get very very tight in there okay so we've got the hand we've got the dress and I'm going to zoom out and I'm going to do this with a really big brush because this part is not nearly as important as the detail parts so I'm going to make my brush bigger and therefore I'm going to take my hardness up because that's something that needs to be adjusted in conjunction take that up a race race race wherever we don't wantto feet feet already cut my foot off so that's a lost cause isn't it now but we're in the black here and because we're on the black what I am noticing here is that there's a lot of contrast so this might be the kind of spot where I might want to try the background eraser tool or I might just be able to use the magic wand so if I try the background eraser tool it's getting there that's going to do a really lovely job for us thank you background a racer tool uh it's not feel good okay so we don't have that problem now we can't even try and here I don't know if it's gonna work or not not too bad we'll just that's good I'm adding new hair on so I'm not going to worry too much about this wall back here and if that's gonna be a problem and let's see we can always take the tolerance up a cz well to try to cut in a little bit more and making the brush smaller of course um it's something good for getting around little detail parts there we go all right so that is mostly erased and now we just need to go back in on that later mask just to get rid of the rest just around the outside of just there okay and now we need the hair oh also the triangle now if I am getting into a really tight spot where I don't really want to have to use my circular brush to go around and get in between these sharp edges then that's usually when I'll trace it with a lasso tool just a section it off sometimes I use the regular lasso tool sometimes the police gonna lasso tool and the reason why it is the police in a lasso tool so I can make very specific points and go really slow with doing this some people would use the pen tool which would also be a really great option and sometimes if we're doing this really quickly or it's a really simple you know simple selection uh then I would use this tool of the regular last so that I could just draw and move around the image you continue to draw and the way that I'm moving around the images to sort of stop my selection hold the space bar and then move and then let go of the space bar and then continued to draw and the reason why I said it like that in terms of stopping and drawing is because if you just try to do it all at once and you might be moving your curse or too much before your your computers had time to transition into the hand and you don't want to just accidentally draw a line somewhere so let's continue to draw around here pretend like we didn't do that and get in here now I'm doing this because now I can just trace right along this edge so it's just going to section it all for me and I don't have to worry about cutting in and getting into these little corners and stuff like that like great here that's really not the kind of place that I want to worry about getting a round brush now as you can see him cutting in a little bit into the dress and that's something that of course you can try not to dio but for the sake of time I'm doing it and I'm going to show you how little it matters when it comes to plain fabric so I could go through and hold option or ault and make that minus I'd come up and get rid of some of that selection like this and just make it a lot nicer but instead I'm not going to worry about it for this what does need to happen is I do need to feather this so I'm going to choose refine edge and now I can see that feather and I don't want it much at all just a couple pixels really well dio two and a half pixels how can you do a half pixel that's very confusing to me so now we're going to a race with the brush on black one hundred per cent we could just get right in there see that was kind of too much of a feather I feel it's a little bit fuzzy but not too bad all right so I would have done that with a little bit less feathering but nonetheless I didn't have to get in without round brush into a little corner so I like that so now let's find the hair we're going for the hair I see the hair okay we're going toe lasso this just like that copy it and where are we working over here not that one this one no not that one this one there we go and now I'm going to paste it okay somehow my head's out of focus this looks crazy I just have to say so you guys are getting the full effect of this I don't know if you are but it's really good so all right so let's take a look match the head up with the free transform tool control or command tea shrink the head down and match let up so I can take the opacity down while I'm doing this just so that I can really match it up and see what's happening here I can see that I'm kind of matching up the neck hole actually to see that that's the same width okay that's good because I don't know if we're going to add the whole entire head on or just hair I mean there are so many options here so I think we're going teo I think we're just gonna add the hair right now let's go with that so opacity all the way up and now we can try the background or race or tool in this because of the good contrast between my hair and the background and that's exactly why I dyed my hair right before coming just for that reason okay so let's go ahead and race and mean as you can see there really is nothing to erase given that it's already on the black background but it worked really nicely so let's just give that tool a round of applause and I'm going to create a layer mask to get it off of my face okay all right there we go so now let's move the hair into position the position being who knows where because this whole thing has just gone south I think but we're going teo make that hair blend I promise tomorrow the picture will be much more flattering and enjoyable to look at okay so we've got the hair blended in there oh nothing I'm just saying that this might be the most ridiculous picture ever created on creative do love they're people who are commenting that they just love how seriously you're taking it now yeah really hard todo is a serious matter I have to say oh my goodness I don't even know what's happening now okay so I'm just erasing the rest of what we don't need here because yes this is a very serious matter all right so what's missing now from this picture so shadows I think so we need to fill in the shadows in the background what we have is well aside from not all of it being erased what we have is russ who was let evenly from the front and that's not what we want we need to make sure that there are shadows in the background there because I would be blocking the light from him man he's just looking at just the right spot do you see that so all right I'm going to draw in that shadow that's one option but the other option is that let me just combine these hair layers real quick I'm gonna duplicate them and then I am going to merge them um and I'm just doing that so then they're just preserve down there because it's a very important at it and I want to make sure that I can go back if I need teo but now we can move myself around here so I don't really need to worry about being in exactly the right spot yet they still have that option to move but the amazing thing about creating shadows in this instant it's is that I actually now have the ability to take my body which has already cut out duplicate it and then use that as a shadow so I want to draw the shape I have the shape already so let's do that we're going to duplicate this layer okay and now we're going teo make it completely dark so I am going just into image adjustments exposure just for quick quick use here we're just gonna do it as fast as we can exposure all the way down okay so then we have a dark figure very mysterious and we're now going to blur that figure so filter blur gaussian blur I like to use gaussian blur just because to me that gives a really natural blurring of edges and so I'm gonna blur blur I don't know go to about there and you'll be able to see that better when I move it off a little bit so let's do that again with blurred just we can see what it's doing a little bit better filter blur gaussian blur and when I'm creating shadows like this it's the most convenient thing because I can continue to blur the shadow if I need two of its not blurred enough I can lower the capacity I can move things around it it's just the shape is going to be correct for the most part so that's a really great way of creating shadows if something's already cut out so now we need to take this layer this a sort of shadowy layer and move it below the layer of me of our subject and the good thing is that now this is kind of a cool peter pan picture now but what we need to do is move that shadow just to be just behind here and then we need to lower that shadow of the impasse ity because we wouldn't have that much of a shadow on him just a little bit of a shadow you know you can see what that's doing it's creating that's natural shadow right behind my head I can continue to move that if I need teo and now I can create a layer mask on that shadow that I can get rid of it on the wall where we don't need it quite as much I maybe we'll keep it a little bit on the wall so we'll take that opacity down quite a bit but you go over it a couple times because there would be a shadow on the wall I might think depends on how close and this is actually kind of like what we were talking about before with how do you create shadows and make them believable so if my arm here is closer to the wall than my dresses over here which I would assume it's true maybe not I'm going to make my size bigger and then just go over this area a little bit more than I would maybe right in here definitely get rid of it over here and underneath oh dear there we go on just get rid of it coming down here so I recognize that this was really ridiculous but this is still nonetheless the same process that I go through to cut anything out of a background I would fix it up I wouldn't have my head halfway deleted I wouldn't have white in between my fingers and stuff like that but this is the way that I create shadows this is the way that I use different tools to cut things out and that's how I deal with a lot of that

Class Materials

bonus material with purchase

Logic Checklist
Must Have Shots
Favorite Photoshop Tools
Lighting Effects
Practice Files - Cutting out Hair from Background
Practice Files - Building a Dress
Practice Files - Swapping Hand
Practice Files - Levitation
Adorama Gear Guide

Ratings and Reviews

Logan Fox

I'm so thrilled to have come across this course and to have been introduced to Brooke Shaden. As a bit of background I do photography as a hobby, and always had an appetite to composite my work. It's only after watching this course that I can finally put a name to a craft that I love, that being 'fine art photography'. Through my own personal journey I've read various books, followed online tutorials both paid and free. When I came across this course I did hesitate. I wondered 'is it going to teach me anything new'... 'would the standard of the course be up to scratch'. Well, I can honestly say with hand on heart that this is by far is one of the best courses I've come across to date. As a solo photographer myself I've found it difficult at times to be both photographer and subject at the same time. From the outset what became clear was that Brooke is just like me in this respect which made the course so 'relevant' to what I do. Brooke shows throughout the course what can be achieved with a little planning and some creative approaches to situations that can be difficult to pull off when on your own. She is such a joy to watch and listen to, I loved her sense of humor and great how the audience were involved in some of the shoots. All I can say is, if you're in to photography and interested in compositing your work, you should give this a go, you wont regret it!


I'd like to show my gratitude and gratefulness to Ms Shaden and other wonderful people at CreativeLIVE for sharing your vast knowledge without making a fuss. Not everybody has a super computer and a top-notch camera, not everyone has a studio to work in and not everyone needs to know everything as perfectly as some instructors and professionals do. I, for one, have gained so much insight and have been intrigued by Ms Shaden's present and past lessons, she makes the most difficult and surreal subjects unfold so easily and effortlessly. Ms Shaden has made me believe no matter where I be and no matter what i have, as long as i have a good story to tell, and the right vision, I should be able to handle it with a working camera and any version of Photoshop. Unlike many other instructors who kill us every 5 minutes to buy their flashes or gear and support this or that company and agency, Ms Shaden has spent the whole time teaching and teaching and teaching and I am sorry I cannot be there to thank you in person, but you, Ms Shaden, are awesome and nobody can unawesome you :)


Brooke has a wonderful way of not only making it all look so easy, but actually be easy. In a plain and down to earth manner, she can make both beginner and advanced pro comfortable with the material covered in this class. From a simple starting point to a polished post-production finished work of art, she takes us on a relaxed and joyous journey. I am a former professional commercial photographer returning to the art after a 30 year absence. When I left, there was no such thing as digital photography. Now, to be able to embrace such concepts and techniques as taught by Brooke, without any difficulty to me, says that this course provides great value and time well spent. Well done Brooke! Well done Creative Live!

Student Work