Architectural Photography Workflow in Photoshop


Best Workflow Practices for Architectural Photography


Lesson Info

Architectural Photography Workflow in Photoshop

Our files already, and I'm just going to pick a couple of them, and I'm gonna start walking to the tools that I used to put these shots to get it, so what I'll do it first here is I'll grab our window and I'll grab our base exposure, and I think I'll grab see a couple of our light painted images here, these two should be good, all right? And what I'm going to do is write click and the light room on the light room guy, I go open as layers in photo shop that will take a second to kind of think and get the files all stacked up for us, and a lot of people ask me also why I don't get it in smart layers and photo shop, you get a little more raw latitude, but personally, I think the file sizes air just unmanageable, so I just keep it as in psd and let it do its thing and you on my rocket it's in light room. So here we are in a photo shop, and as you can see all of our files and have stacked up and let's see, we've got our window view. When we've got our base explosion, we've got me lighting, ...

and what I'm going to do now is re arrange them so that in order, that makes sense to me. So first things first I'm gonna put the base layer at the bottom and I'm going to rename it bass player if you don't name your layers, you're going to go in saying it takes an extra thirty seconds at the beginning, but name your layers are specifically as possible that way when you get to a very busy image, we have fifty layers stacked up we confined everything you're looking for because the more complicated it gets, the harder it is to find what you're what you're trying to work on, and I never use auto select his photo shop never can't read my mind so name your layer is very important on this one, I'm gonna call that's the, uh, flash into upper right, eliminating the left side of the frame, mostly the windows there, and then this is going to be my flash from windows towards, and I'll get crazy with my naming conventions like I'll actually name it, you know what a layer is doing or what not to do with the layer? Like do not edit this layer destination? I don't touch it anymore. Um, and then this is obviously are our window view, so we have kind of four parts of this image here we have our window view, we've got the flash that I used to kind of clean up the color inside and the depth and texture and we've got some flash here which is going to take care of the crisp a window that we need and they've got our bass player which is kind of messy but I love the quality of life that we get out of it so we'll just start with that for now and I know that at some point we'll go back later and grab some other files so we can fill in some of the blanks as we go along so ware not one photo shop all right I want to take a minute to explain the basic tools that I use while navigating in photo shop said this is kind of a dry class compared to the next one on dime just going to go through and go down the list of tools here and tell you if I use them how you them if I don't use them or why they're a huge waste of time so first things first the lasso the rectangular the marquis tool uh I use this more often than I'd like to admit because I'm lazy but when I'm doing things like masking windows it allows me to very easily make a selection around the window and there there it is there you have it um the next thing that I use is the polygonal aso again I'm kind of low through mit that I use this but sometimes it's just really quick in dirty, easy to make a quick selection and then adjust something accordingly inside that downing box and photoshopped the next thing, magic one I never use called the tragic want don't touch it crop to ally, always cropping light room not really worth in photo shop, because it's going to be destructive, whereas in like him, you can always seems the crop after the fact eyedropper tool I seldom use sometimes a sampling color, the spot healing brush I will occasionally use for cleaning up like paint spots. Del spots, that sort of thing, but I'm a much bigger fan of the clone tool. I don't like photoshopped thinking for me. I know some beauty photographers who are really into the the spot healing brush tool because there's a better job on the face I don't, we may have engineering that way or something. I'm not sure, but it's not my favorite thing, but in that manu, there is the content aware tool, which is pretty useful to get to that after paintbrush tool, which is strangely enough, probably the tool that I use most often by a long shot, and I'll use it in conjunction with masks, which I will explain at the bottom of the list here, um, clone stamp tool I use that religiously and also some cool tips about how to best utilize that and utilizing the clone stamp windows so you can really take control of cloning sometimes it's really funky things that you've got a clone out. Clients have ridiculous request, so you gotta be able to appease them. History, brush, tool, truth. We have no idea what that is. Racing school. I never use the paint bucket tool I use fairly often, actually not the paint bucket. More ingredient tool for what I'm doing. Layers and masks and I need a very smooth transition between two photos. I'll use the grady in tool. The blur tool sharpened tool, much tool. I don't really touch those dodging burn. I used dodging burn, but I don't use the dodge and burn to ally use curves, and I will go into that in detail in a minute. The pentacle probably my second favorite tool after the brush, which too many people is very daunting and complicated, and my job today is kind of making not sell text tool I never use. And the last thing down at the bottom is the mask, which, again, I used religiously. And so I'm going to spend a lot of time today focusing on mass and how you use them and how to demystify them, so without waiting any longer, let's get right in and I'm going to show you the number one most important thing for putting these photos together is the mask tool and all the tools that I just listed and rambled about work with the math tool, the kind of manipulate your layers and get the results that you want out of these four five different photos so what's let's start with the windows and what I'm going to dio is, I'm going to, you know, kind of explain here how we can use a mask to get that window seamlessly into the rest of our exposure. So if you're not familiar with masking it's kind of one of the more complicated processes and photo shop, but think of it as like you know, two pieces of paper and one is a piece of black paper and there's a piece of white paper and the mask is you want to reveal what's below, so you're literally cutting out pieces of that top of the paper to reveal the layer underneath and work of complicated is when you're using all these different tools to create your mask to reveal what's underneath. So what I'm gonna do is just show you all the different tools that go into creating your maths and how they affect everything, so, like I said, the tool up top here is the rectangular and marquis tool and what I'm going to do I'm going to go in and say I want to cut out this window and I want to show you know that blue sky on top of our bass player wanted select the marquis tool which is m and drag it over the window and I'm just going to hit this button down here which is add later mask and I mean as you can see like it left us with the window but it also kind of a crappy job of it around the edges or some black there and so like I said, you know the marquis tool is useful when you have like perfect squares and you can feather it and kind of you know make it mohr pliable but it's like you can see it's very limiting already you can only get a perfect square a perfect circle it's not exactly intuitive and you can't back up and do it so maybe I'm going to say I don't want to use the marquis it's too limiting I want to use the pulling in a lasso tool so I will just select a political lasso tool I think it's the shortcut for that l and if you're on your version of photo shop if you hit l and this little cowboy lasso comes up you can hit shift out or hold down this button here and you can then select the other forms of the last so select the pulling in a lasso and I'm just going to drag it and click it into each corner of the window here and as you can see, I already have a lot more control than I did with the rectangle it'll sl and I go back to the window layer and hit this adlai or math button and that will reveal our window and it looks a lot better than it did a minute ago with the rectangular lasso because we have a lot more control over the shape of it. The problem becomes if I could only make straight lines how do I deal with these kind of wobbly curtains? Or maybe you have a window that has, you know, it's like a circular window or something and what you want to do at that point is think, nok, do I use the brush tool who's the pentacle um and the thing you're going to do is you could use the brush tool, so when we hit b and selected brush and I'm going to use the brackets to change the size here and these shift bracket right to change the hardness shift bracket left to change this make it more soft and so you can use the brush and I'm gonna add a layer math it's not going to do anything there's our white piece of paper there represented and using the brush I know that black will hide and white will reveal. So what? I want to do it, um, I mean, backup, I got ahead of myself. I'm going, tio phil, I'm going to hit this add layer math button here and then using the brush tool. What I can do is get rid of all of the excess in the room and, you know, I could make me brush huge, and I can paint all that I want until I'm left with just the windows, but this is going to take forever, and you're not going to get an accurate kind of cut out. This is like, you know, the most lazy thing you can do in photo shop see, I'm leaving, I'm getting the windows to show up, but it looks kind of gross and it's just not very accurate amusing now, so awful. So what I want to do to get these, like actual windows to come out when he's a pen tool which is rather the brush not very simple it's what the pendel the pencil will do well, actually allowed me to get in and kind of make a very accurate cut out of the window, getting all those nooks and crannies, and I can back up and undo that will unlike the lasso tool was kind of lucky win and now the pen tool is very complicated and some of you might have been asking like, how the heck did you just do that I have never used that thing and it's crazy but what the pentacle is I'm going to show you one of my favorite web sites it's one of the tools I usedto learn the pen tool and when she learned the pencil your potential creatively speaking will be I just unlocked this is called the busier game I don't know how to pronounce it I think it's french or something, but what it teaches you is how to use the pentothal using the exact same shortcuts that you would in photo shop and it's kind of fun is like high scores and everything and it starts very simple and it teaches you you know how to make paths howto make selections how to make complicated shapes here's a house so we can do and it tells you the shortcuts to use tto learn the pento also holding shift I can make a straight line between points and then you give me congratulations you finished and then onto a circle and as you can see like this something you could never do with the political lasso or the marky tool so we're just going to start and it's gonna, you know, have a drag everything out and we'll get and the pencil is made so that when you're doing these funky shapes and predicts the next move that you're going to make, and then it also teaches you how you can make, like this heart right here that it's doing it'll it'll help you to learn how to make these wild shapes that you would never be possible with, you know, one of the more limiting photoshopped tools like the the marquee or the wand or whatever. So check that out, but that's how I learned the pentacle and it was a couple years ago, things have obviously changed in sand, so it might be more complicated, but I'll give you some basics of it right now, and what I'm going to do here is I'm just going to use the pen tool. This is just one way of money that we can get these windows cut out. I'm just clicking in each corner, trying to follow the straight lines. And unlike the marquis tool the pencil, you can click multiple times and on, and then you can release your mouth so that you're not kind of forced into making these awkward shapes with lasso. You can click whatever you want and you can also bend it around and get all kinds of crazy with it, but the windows are a good a good place to start at the beginning, so down here we're getting into the couch. And I'm hitting holt so you could make these curves and press alternately unlock it so you can keep going in a straight line afterwards, and then I'm gonna follow the curtain up here just trying to do this quick and dirty. So you guys get the idea looks like I missed a back up to their down, all right? And I'll do one more here and tool selecting the exact shape of all these windows, and like I said, this might look like voodoo or black magic or something, but five minutes with that game will unlock this it'll be seemed so simple and like, why didn't I use that my entire life? So in order to get our selected windows into a math here, what I'm gonna do is sit command center, and that will give us the same dotted lines that we got with the lasso where the marquis and then once we have that these dotted lines here, we can add a math to our window layer, which, again, we just click this button right here, I'd later mask, and what we're left with is that view out the windows, so if I were to go and do this for every window, it might take me ten or fifteen minutes, but I know I'm going to get an accurate cut out of everything there. And so as you can see, I've kind of got of getting probably with it I got some black darkness in here in the way of clean that up is a control z and back up and I'm going to hit uh uh shift whole shift exit so his shift at six or if you're on a laptop the function key to unlock your keys and I'm going to feather that selection to about one pixel feathering does it blurs the edges so it's not so sharp so you can be a little bit sloppy and get away with it and then I was gonna add that to our math one hundred leaky and our window looks a lot better than it did before and now I'm going to use the brush this is for me to show you here this is uh standard black paint brush I'll make it big so you can see and this is it is a paintbrush right and on a normal layer were just drawing black but when we get to a we go back and get rid of this actual layer that I just made go backto our mask I'm going to take that paintbrush gonna make it nice and small I'm going kind of feather it a little bit like I'm using again the brackets left and right you change the size and feathering and I'm gonna get in there nice and tight and use the brush they will find the edge and you can get in there and be as accurate as you want to clean that up and again it all comes down to time and how much the client is paying you and how much you want to spend time getting these completely perfect so I hope you kind of understand this is a very quick demonstration of the brush tool in the pento on the lasso on how you use them to create masks which formed the basis for everything that we're going to do so once we have our mask in place for the windows um you can use the brush toward to clean it up you can use the brush tool to do more windows but I want you to really see understand how you can manipulate masks to kind of get all these cool um ways to reveal the different layers and again this is just revealing that window layer on top of our bass player so I hope this gives you like on idea of the power of matthew used only working with one photo and way back up and look the photos obviously not done and it's still kind of lovely but you can see that we have control over that window view we were able to drop it in there so that is the quick and dirty of math I'm going to show you how to utilize them with adjustment layers next so what I have here is like this looks a little bit dark and I want to bring it up when I dodge it and burn it and the way I do that is I use curves so what I'm going to do is go down to back up I got ahead of myself again down here these are your this is your adjustment layers button and all these different layers here when you click on them they have different effects on the image itself so you can click on you no brightness and contrast and get a new layer that says okay, brightness and contrast with up the brightness or we can up the contrast, but the handy bit about these adjustment layers is that they come with a built in mask, so if I want to brighten this up, I can select a curves adjustment layer and click on it and it'll make me a new car and then you see the mask right down in there a little white square that's a visual representation of our mask and then we can drag this curves layer up to brighten the image we can drag it down to darken it. What I want to do is kind of bringing up a little bit and I'll go until about there but what I don't want the windows to be any brighter so I have this mask already and again I can use our the window mask from five minutes ago and I can command or control click on that window mask and that will reload it so we get the dotted lines again so we can use maths as many times as we want once they're in different layers and you can kind of bottle of them and still them and then I can add it to this curves layer I was going to use the brush and because the selection is contained by those dotted lines I could just get rid of it over the windows and what will happen is if I turn the window layer back on you can see that with the curves we've brightened up the whole room but left the windows alone so we still have our window way or down here kind of um staying untouched while we adjust the exposure of the rest of the room so I can grab this again keep playing with that until I'm happy with it and have it where I want it and I can get very selective about dodging and burning and adding or moving with the mask so curves or something that used fairly often for brightening up the image and I'm going to show you that's one way to do the windows one way to do the math but I hope just from that little demonstration you got a good idea of what a mask is before I get complicated with it which is the next thing we're going to do so back in leg room if you remember I was a couple of questions about just to make sure we've got that covered cayenne and two other people want to know when using the pen tool how are you adding subsequent pen selections onto an existing mask? Okay, so you want to add so you have a mask and you want to add more mohr you wanna add more to the mask? I just saw this really quickly I will back up a bit and I'll get our windows back and I'm going to delete this layer mask and so I used the pentacle really quick and dirty and just go out here and there's one selection right hit command enter making it into a daughter is quibbling, marching and flying hit I later mask there's our window and we want to add to that. So now what I'm assuming the question the the question after wants to learn is that how do I add to this selection with the pen tool and what I'm gonna do is another at another you know keep going just same layer used a pencil again, start another box and complete the circle here and then again command enter and there's a bunch of ways to do this one way is you can take the brush and you can using your white to reveal painted in like that or a quicker way to do it would be command, enter and then you can just hit the delete key. But you want to make sure it's kind of complicated you have to make sure you're foreground colored is set to black so that when you hit delete it. Actually, I honestly don't understand how photoshopped with this, but you hit the delete key when you're foreground colors at the black, it adds to the mask. Personally, I usually just use the brush and I'll make my selection make a big brush that covers everything, my four round colored toe white to reveal and painted in, and then at it that way. And of course, like there's a thousand ways to do anything in photo shop, but that's one way to do it, and if you want to do it with the pulling in the last cell, say I'd do that in one second. Um, what you can do is use the lasso tool and drag your lasso over the windows like that, and then you can hit shift and you get that little plus sign to show up and you can do another selection. But the problem with this is that, again, you're locked into doing these one klick straight lines, and if you mess up, you can't undo it. And then you can grab your brush and you can paint those away and add them to your mask. So does that answer the question? I think it does sounds good to me. Anybody have question here in the room? If not, I've just got one more really quick on this might be something you're covering either later in this segment on maybe tomorrow our next segment, lynn b and one other person wanted to know. Do you ever use the blend if option to bring the outside view? And I don't perfect and the reason I don't do that is because I feel like sometimes photoshopped tries to think for you too much and the blend, if mode it's not really that there's a lot of options in there, you can click and spread out the little no, if you will so that you can change the opacity and everything, but I just feel like when photoshopped price I think for you it can't read your mind, and it will never do it. As I mean the pen tool on the last day when the mask is tedious but will always be, it'll always be accurate. You always know what you're doing without guesswork, so

Class Description

Architectural retouching can be daunting – this class makes it easier to manage all of those layers and adjustments and helps you tackle complex edits.

To get you started, fine art and architectural photographer, Mike Kelley will share his preferred method for image organization, culling, and selection. He’ll go over all of the basic editing tools he uses and explain how they can be used to create an architectural image with well-controlled light, color, and mood. You’ll learn an easy-to-follow system that will keep you organized and make managing enhancements to architectural photos much easier.

Software Used: Adobe Photoshop CC 2014.2.2


Rachelle R. Vetter

It's a course by Mike Kelley, and so of course, it's awesome!

a Creativelive Student

Michael Kelley Is one of the Best teacher for architectural Interiors , not many Working Architectural Photographers are showing how to Video's. Michael has many Video's on interiors and Exteriors Architectural photography . This is a must if you are getting into all aspects . Michael lays out everything you need from beginning to end , A to Z.

a Creativelive Student

Good detail regarding Lightroom and Photoshop. finishing.