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Shoot: Simple Swaps Part 2

Lesson 8 from: Fine Art Compositing

Brooke Shaden

Shoot: Simple Swaps Part 2

Lesson 8 from: Fine Art Compositing

Brooke Shaden

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Lesson Info

8. Shoot: Simple Swaps Part 2


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

Shoot: Simple Swaps Part 2

first so we're not all jumping up at once let's have you guys come off and we're going to take a family portrait I have a very interesting family okay is anybody here a family photographer no okay two people good well then you tell me how I'm doing ok now you guys can come up okay so we're gonna have you guys huddled together here and you guys can go in the background okay on either side of them we won't spend too much time doing this because I don't know how to pose people okay the rest of you guys can just come up here I don't I don't know what to do and um let's see short people can sit I guess you know one of your short turns out okay well you can sit or you could do like the awesome squad yeah that's really good really good wait wait you're too short forward I know I'm sorry like right there okay that's good so we can sit oh so you know what you're doing okay so now what I need from all of you guys is to stay very still I don't want you to move your head or anything like that you ...

can flail your arms if you feel like it but generally stay put and what I am looking for is for all of you guys to just take a really really nice picture so look in my camera okay wait I can't see all of you it's a big bunch um were you in folk okay okay that once more okay now let's see how good you guys are at this to see if we had any blinkers so let's see no blinkers there we have a half blinker okay half blinker you're a guy I know I'm sorry but the good thing is that in the first one you were not blinking so let's compare those two images you're only half blinking it's fine really okay so in this one we have no blink in this when we have a half blank right here sorry I'm sorry to do that too it's like it's really rude of me but in any case nothing happened in this picture nothing changed the white didn't change people didn't change their heads didn't move it's all the same so that means that now I can really easily just take these eyes over here and just put them right over here because nothing moved so what I tend to do and this is so much easier than wedding photography or things where you're trying to get multiple poses really you know in a small amount of time but if you have a family photo what I tend to do is just change my camera to put it on let's see I don't I don't actually know how to do that to put it on there we go to provide continuous shooting and this is one of the on ly times I will put my camera in continuous shooting and the reason is because somebody always blanks it's usually me and I know that that is not a fun thing to be pointed out many times over in a family portrait so tap typically somebody will be taking a picture of like me and my mom and I'll be like brookie blank brookie blank brooke blanked and I'm like uh stop making beef feel bad about myself like I just did to you so that no instead I would want to go over here and I would want to take my family photo and get it in focus and then say okay are you guys ready I guess that's what people say and then just click like that and let the camera go which I don't like that sound it really makes me anxious when I hear lots of camera clicks so that's what I would dio and so now we have lots of different pictures of these people so no matter who's blinking no matter who's doing what I can choose the best head from each person and I could just walk head out wherever I want as ross in my experience the other day on the internet will show you that later somebody swapped our heads though in a photo is really great fun anyway so that's something that's really really easy to do because of the light not changing the background not changing now in this case we don't really need ah whole blank shot necessarily and the reason is because I'm just swapping little things like I'm not going to change your whole head probably I'm just going to add a new eye arnd or whatever the problem is maybe one blinking eye and one open I just to see if anybody notices in the family photo something like that so now what if one of you guys was missing and you're not here so you're absent today why don't you step aside I know we have missed you so much so that means we're gonna add you in the group photo and you won't be missing all right so so what we need to think about is just like I showed my family photo how are you guys posing first of all you look like you hate each other so let's pose like you like each other like put your arm around each other like you're just you love each other I love it it's so good okay so you guys love each other but what about this I mean what are you doing yeah you're leaving her out perfect so actually is funny is that was that something that I would d'oh I would ask people to pose in different ways to accommodate somebody who's missing so exactly so maybe we we envision you laying on the floor and you're like leaning here so I'm thinking or not thinking about you you don't know thinking like what's gonna be uncomfortable for her to dio I'm just thinking where can she go in this picture now I'm not going to leave a space in between people cause that's weird you know like having people like you okay you just pretend there's somebody beside you it's a little weird but I want to make sure that she fit so I know that she'll fit here unless you're too tall something to think about I know that you'll fit on this end maybe in the back so what I want to do is I want to have somebody posed to accommodate her so let's see why don't we have you turn your body in a little bit more and then that way I can shoot her also turned that same way so they're kind of like facing the same direction that way it really looks like you know she was there she was sort of interacting with people will do that for just so I'll take that shot really quick and gosh I have to get so far back good okay you do love each other it's perfect all right so we've got that good shot it looks pretty good what were you doing just that oh that's good good okay so now we know the dynamics of the group shot so all of you guys can sit down thank you and now you're on stage so now what I'm going to do is I'm going to show her this image so I'm going to go ahead and say this is the group shot that we did we really want you to be a part of it but now we have to figure out how to fit you into this picture so if we're going to fit her into the fixture then we need to know where she's going maybe first maybe we'll try here that maybe we'll try behind just to sort of see I don't know how tall you are in comparison and there's no way of knowing at the moment because they're not actually here right now so we'll try one in front one behind and then maybe we'll try right on the other side she could be leaning too just like that and we'll see how it goes because I don't want her to not fit and I don't want her to be the aunt debbie of the family like this I feel really bad about that still so let's go ahead and take a test shot so first you'll be on that side of the image right and so you just yeah that's good however you feel comfortable posing you can actually move right into the center now I know that that angle was sort of she was on the edge so I want you to be more toward the center of the backgrounds good but you're good and then I'll just step over a little bit so then she's more on the side of the frame you know because we're putting her right on the side we have to think about what lens were using is there going to be distortion in this lens or is there not going to be there's probably not on this lens I don't worry too much but what if I did what if they shot this with a twenty four and I decided that and mother might be some stretching on the end I want to make sure that it's right I guess he really shouldn't shoot a family photo with some distortion on the edges if you did so I'm gonna go ahead and shoot this way so I could be a little bit closer and good okay that was good yeah you match that pretty well actually yeah so now I can put her in front or behind I don't need to take multiple shots to figure out if she goes in front or behind she's just there on the seamless so I can always just move her in editing but now let's do this a little bit more complicated so let's go back to that group shots so we can analyze the situation all right so we're going to make you just loving everybody on that side so you can take us up there turn away from the white to make sure the whites consistent now you see how rene is leaning there yeah yeah like that and you're paddling good okay so pretend like you're leaning now if I had somebody to help me here I would probably just have that person stand here so then there was actually something to lean on let's pretend like we're alone just like I was with my aunt debbie and we're just all we have to work with is a side of a barn and it's a sad situation so we're gonna have you fake it and if it doesn't work it doesn't work but if it does then I'll really look like she's there yeah exactly oh that's really good I like that I think it's gonna work I have faith in this okay now unless the only thing that wouldn't work is if we have her hand like going into ronnie's head or something that would be bad so let's do one more just at different angles so maybe yeah just down a little bit lower good good okay good so now we've got another one just down a little bit lower now let's do one with your hands straight so then actually matches yet then just turn your body a little bit more there we go yeah good okay you may now have a seat thank you so that is what I am going for now looks in the chat room were saying that that looked like the season one box set cover for a tv show thie composite er's or something I'm totally gonna work on this tonight we're going to have an album cover something by morning you'll be really good okay so what I want to do now is play a little game with you guys and the game has to do with these our little checklist now I'm going to set up a shop and that shot is going to be wrong in some way so I'm going to ask for a volunteer who would like to volunteer okay robin's gonna volunteer robin we need you to leave s so please exit the room we'll bring you back in eventually you know that's all you get to know so what I'm going to do is if um hans and heather could head back out here tire up okay so what I'm going to do is I'm going to pose you guys in a way that looks bad in some way and then the point is that then robin is going to come back in and she's going tohave tio with my camera figure out everything that I did to take this shot and then fix it so I'm going to pose them let's see what should we dio play with you instead this time you're going to be really awkward in this picture so okay get together good good that's pretty good okay why don't you just like tote your head back and look like really uninterested okay that's great okay so obviously we have more problems than just compositing here but now what I'm going to do is choose my settings not on my camera but how I'm going to shoot this so do I want to shoot it from up here do I want to shoot it down here what's the height that I'm going to shoot this at so maybe I'm going to shoot down here just to throw her off a little bit so I'm going to go ahead and get down here yeah you can look at him like you're like what the heck okay so I've got my shot I shot it from down here I had my angle tilted up so what I'm doing here is going through this checklist you guys can relax so focus that's an obvious one because we're shooting portrait so that's not like you know it's not going to change too much typically but then we have angle angle is the tilt of your camera so the tilt of my camera was tilted up if she doesn't tilt up and she's not going to be able to composite this then we have the weapons she's not going to change my lens because I'm not gonna let her so that's okay but then we have background and so she's gonna have to look at the background of this image based on my angle like when was that that top like getting close to their head based on the angle that she gets when I when I sort of get down here I can see the top of the seamless that sort of like intersecting with their heads based on my angle so hopefully she notices that color we're gonna pay attention that that's not really changing exposure I think I'm gonna mess with my camera settings and see what happens height that's the other really important one because I got down on the ground did I use a tripod not so necessary because she's hopefully going to recreate what we just did but I'm going to have you guys switch places now and just stand there like really unassuming like that's how you repose the whole time okay now let's mess up my settings and get robin right back in here okay I know oh she's gonna hate me just gonna hate me so much could you hear us crying oh okay so what I want you to do now is this is the image that I want you to correct so what's wrong with this picture uh yeah his head it looks really crazy so I want you to fix this but you have to fix this by selecting our checklist points so where I focused what my exposure was what height I was shooting at what tilt my caro was that and so on so there you go I didn't mess up my settings so you might want to play without a little bit for you ok ok well you guys switched I thought we could really trigger with um okay you're short but I'm sure that's what she said but your assessment of this situation uh okay so take a test shot oh yeah the manual I do sorry about that it's really difficult I'm told you're too tall okay so this image is yep you're too tall oh you've really missed something did so you might wanna change that exposure okay so what I did wass I just what did I do the back wheel yeah that one you go however you change your settings do it that way okay so I know what they're in torture like you wait how'd I get back to the us your stereo oh to my picture you can bring up my picture again so I'm going to give you a hint you're not low enough no there's too much yep there we go so you see how much taller they look in the picture so I recommend getting dirty on lord now pay attention to the tilt of the camera too so because I was down so low I had to look up at them with the camera and this is the kind of thing that I do when I'm shooting people that I'm not used to shooting I go through I look at what was wrong and I'm like how our bride looks so beautiful in that picture but what is he doing so after now go and fix this and so that's when I would try to recreate my settings based on what I remember and what I can analyze from the image so I would go ahead and say ok I've got to get down on the ground to remember that I was shooting really low and remember I was looking up at them I remember what the lighting was like where they worse roughly now I'm going to fix his head so let's fix his head so can I have you looked down on her and that made what you would you fix his hand like me yeah but you can't touch her way we go this is much nicer good now do one where you're like we cross eyed or something you know whatever you want teo yeah so now he's fixed but she's this just isn't as good of a portrait of her so we're taking this picture and we're like oh man you know he's so good now but she is so bad so now I can edit the two together so that's great very good so now we've got these two images the one where she's working crazy and the one where he's looking crazy what are we going to do we're going to composite them together and we're able to do that really easily because now we've pretty generally matched the height of the camera we've matched the angle the tilt of it we've matched the lighting we've matched their positions everything's back in place the backgrounds the same so that is exactly how I would go about doing portraiture like this and this is how I have gone about doing portraiture for weddings and stuff like that ive on ly shot friend's wedding so again I'm very very lucky in that regard but if if I'm going into a meeting with a client and this is any client so we happen to be doing stuff with a bride and groom you guys could let go of each other if you want we happen to be doing something with the bride and groom but let's say that this was just one of my portrait slake somebody has commissioned me to go take their picture I want to be really upfront with them about how we're going to shoot just like I was saying with somebody balancing on the tree branch it's like sometimes you just have to go re create that image and you have to recreate the scene to be able to fix it later we can't pay attention to all of this all at once so that is oh thank you you know that crouch and hold my camera so that is how we do simple swaps and simple swaps khun b anything so it could be that the hair is moving the veil is moving the dresses moving maybe there's not supposed to move on you but if you had a coat or something with like a tail coat or something and then that could move so we have all these different things that we could do to enhance the picture and that is why I would want to start practicing simple swamps and the point of it is that you might not be thinking that you really need this on an everyday basis and maybe you don't but it can never ever hurt to know the basis of how to start compositing and at the end of today we're going to be doing this practically howto actually spot that hand out how to use that blank shots and how to make this all come together really naturally so I know that we're kind of limited on time now do you wanna do some questions rests fantastic first well we did have chi and say that I think we need rene did jump in every picture that we take fireworks up possibly all the other pictures we take ever on creative live I think we should do that at least the next three days but I just want to remind everybody yet home again kind of the schedule for today so during this segment we've been shooting during next segment we'll do some more set shooting after lunch and then in a segment for this afternoon we're actually going to jump into photo shop and fix a lot of these type of techniques are fixed a lot of these type of issues in in photo shop so I've seen a lot of questions come in about how you actually do it what the tech unique is which tools you use etcetera so that's when we're going to cover a lot of that so right now we're going to focus a lot more about the actual shooting issues so one from april s eyes wondering is brooke not too concerned about the distance between her and her subjects will you adjust the size of people on objects to match as you composite for example when we had one person alone and you got in a little bit closer to them so it didn't actually fit the subject's eyes right right exactly I would definitely do that the only thing that I would not do is make somebody too small in the picture and then try to make them bigger leader but I mean I'm generally like I wasn't I guess there was a pretty good distance in between but yeah I would just shrink her down make her fit you know and sort of proper right in there and this is when a measuring tape would be great you know if you wanted to measure how far you were exactly especially if you know that somebody is missing from a group shot then that's an awesome thing to do because then you know exactly what their proportions are in relation to everyone else so that's really really good but otherwise abby just shrink somebody down a little bit you know assuming that you know their height generally but it's a really really good idea to take the tape measure I need a tape measure when you were shooting stock images of locations do you um stick teo a specific aperture to kind of get things that match later on or do you kind of just shoot yeah and then go be out definitely and a lot of this is just coincidence because I always shoot between two eight five six so it's never off enough to make much of a difference but you know if I'm shooting like let's say a shoot a field and I'm shooting that field f eleven what say and there's a lot of stuff and focus like you have a big focus range there then I wouldn't want to shoot a subject it to and then have like you know them posing like this in this hands out of focus and this one's in focus because then they wouldn't fit in that space for everything is in focus so I tried to keep that consistent but I also try to remember that in a lot of situations you can fix that so if I needed to I could just blur the field in the foreground and background where it wasn't blurred before in photo shop to make the blur fit wherever the subject so you know if the subjects here the whole fields and focus and this hand is out of focus it doesn't it's gonna look awful so I would just go ahead and blur the field right behind me and right in front of me just there in that way it's unjust this is unfocused then it makes sense that my body's in focus right where it is and out where it isn't so that's how it fix it but generally I just shoot at a pretty closed aperture another question and this let me know if you're gonna talk about this later on the class but this person and four other people says I'm you wanna from romania and have questioned how can you fix the exposure if you take the second photo on another day how can you put the subject in the principal photo without looking photoshopped is that something we're gonna cover more a little bit yeah not not super in depth so so let's talk about that a little bit now the problem with white is that you never know what it's going to be like so I try to keep pretty controlled light when I shoot now if I'm shooting let's say okay so let's say we're doing the group shot I would never take a group shot in lighting that isn't me you know I would always make sure that it has my style that it's nice lighting and then usually you can mimic that lighting later on so it might be the kind of thing where you have to wait until you have a really nice sunset but maybe it's not so drastic so maybe I'm shooting my family here and there's this beautiful sunset behind them and they're all backward then I would go ahead and I would take my subject the one who was missing and I would really really simply not look for the perfect sunset necessarily but I would just say ok the sun's going down that way I'll take your picture facing this way that way the lights behind you it just has to be a general rim light you know it doesn't have to be like her hair's on fire or something but which it is actually funny enough but but you know just so long as the lighting is pretty consistent then you could make some simple tweaks leader on and that's what we're going to be doing in a photo shop tomorrow morning is talking a lot about how to make those lighting changes than somebody does fit into a group shot orson this doesn't match and so yeah I pay attention generally just don't kill myself over it

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!

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