Cinematic Lighting for Portraiture

Lesson 40 of 49

Color Grading in Alien Skin Exposure X3

 

Cinematic Lighting for Portraiture

Lesson 40 of 49

Color Grading in Alien Skin Exposure X3

 

Lesson Info

Color Grading in Alien Skin Exposure X3

Now for the actual color-grading of this image, my little secret that I use to color-grade is, I use a program called Alien Skin Exposure a lot. I use it a lot. You can definitely use curves and things like that to achieve the effect you're trying to create, like, okay, I wanna add more contrast. Great, let me grab a curve. Let me make the S-curve and add contrast. And I think this totally works. But I just happen to think that Exposure is quick for what I use. So I'm just gonna come in and go to Alien Skin Exposure. It does struggle sometimes with these huge, huge, files. So you sometimes have to work around it. For the sake of speed, I really, really like it. So I'm just gonna pick one kind that I prefer. The one that I think turned out really nice on this was like a Kodak gold, which is that regular, there we go. It was one of the Kodak golds I like. I think it was this one. It's just that consumer-grade film. I just thought, even though it's usually a very saturated gold film, it l...

ooked really nice here. I thought it had a nice little punch to it. I also will say that I rarely use this at its fullest intensity. So obviously, you can come in here and you can tweak these levels a lot. But a lot of times what I do is I just lower the opacity until I'm happy with it. So let's run this and see if it'll get it. It sometimes doesn't on the first time. Oh, there we go. Or maybe I'm just not that patient. And so this gives, it's a much punchier look but let me take the opacity and dial it back. Another thing that I'll regularly do when I run this, is I actually control it with two layers. So I'll take this one that was just ran because it generates it on a new layer, and I duplicate it. And on the top one, I change the blending mode to color. And on the bottom one, I change the blending mode to luminosity. And if you don't know a lot about blending modes, you really should. There are some good blending modes classes here on Creative Live that you should definitely get into 'cause it really allows you to control things a lot more easily and a lot more effortlessly and with a lot more control. And so what I'm basically saying is, one of these is only gonna affect the color, and one of these is only gonna affect the brightness and contrast. And so I can basically say hey, I really like the way it did contrast, but I don't like what it did to the color. And so I can control them separately. And I find it's a little bit easier for me to do it this way than to do it actually in the program. So that's kind of how I like to do it. So this was luminosity and there's no color that's being changed. It's just tone. So maybe I'll go, I just wanna back it off a little bit. Great, cool. And now I go to color. Oh, man, really saturated. Let's bring this off quite a bit more. So now it's at 30%, maybe. 30-40%, right? So now I got to use the color at 30% and the luminosity at 70%, and it gave me the color grade that I wanted. That's usually how I like to work with a program like that. And I think it gives me a whole lot of control and sets me up for success. So where we started was here. And where it ended was here. Not hugely different, but definitely has a lot more polish. I prefer the color. The whole image just feels a little bit cleaner. The details are a little bit better. And there are obviously more things I would do to this image. I'd dodge and burn it. I would clean up skin, all the normal stuff you would do for a retouch. I just kinda wanted to show you some of the bigger things that really help guide this to get the image to where it is. We'll field some questions on this particular image if you have them. Oh, by the way, when you're dealing with these files, you generally are not gonna be able to save it as a TIF or a PSD. You might as well just default it to something called a large document format. This saves it as a PSB, because once you start breaking that four gig mark, it just doesn't work. It won't save it. And these files get real big, real fast, especially not only are you switching panos, but you start duplicating layers and stuff, I mean, these things can be eight, nine, 10 gigs pretty easily. Just something to keep in mind. Questions? This is a bit of a quick edit. How much more time would you invest if you wanted to actually print this and where would you spend that additional time? So obviously we're teaching, if you're sitting down by yourself with a cup of coffee to work on this thing, how much more time? It would depend upon where it's going. That's definitely an important consideration. So if it is going for a big ad, yeah, maybe I'll spend a couple hours on it. If it's gonna be printed small, maybe not as much. It really depends on the scope of the project and who needs it. But I find that the quicker you are in Photoshop, the better you get, the quicker you are. So maybe I'll spend 30 minutes to an hour on an image, it just depends on how intense it needs to be. Sometimes it's 15 minutes. So it really depends. And sometimes it's four hours.

Class Description

Most photographers get comfortable with the lighting setups they use, and tend to shy away from trying new or different ones. Pushing yourself to incorporate new lighting techniques can help to expand your photographic style. You don’t need to buy more lighting equipment to start thinking about how the light is appropriate for what you’re shooting. Learning to see and light a location or scene and bring it to life in your images takes an in-depth understanding of lighting, direction, and creative vision. Join Chris Knight, well-known photographer, instructor, and author, to learn how to create cinematic lighting that allows you to be more innovative for your clients and yourself.

Chris will explain:

  • How to think like a filmmaker but apply those ideas to a single image
  • Motivated lighting and how to incorporate the techniques into your creative vision
  • Framing and layering for your images
  • How to use direction and guidance to achieve a cinematic look
  • How to enhance the cinematic lighting you achieved in-camera through post production processes

In this class, Chris takes you through his creative process during two cinematic style shoots at two different locations to share with you his behind-the-scenes thoughts, motivations, and scenarios. Chris also takes you through an in-studio shoot to explain the importance of prop placement, intentional set design, and light. You’ll learn the confidence to develop and incorporate new thought processes and get out of your everyday routines when lighting your subjects.

Lessons

  1. Class Introduction
  2. What is Cinematic Lighting?
  3. Motivated & Practical Lighting
  4. 5 Cinematic Lighting Tips
  5. Low-Key & Upstage Lighting
  6. Control Your Fill Lighting
  7. Show Depth In Your Image
  8. Pre-Production for Cinematic Lighting
  9. Grip Tools: Clamps
  10. Grip Tools: Apple Boxes, C-Stands & Grip Heads
  11. Grip Tools: Pins & Portable Gear
  12. Grip Tools: Scrims, Silks, Flags & Tape
  13. Grip Tools: Wind and Haze Machines
  14. Grip Tools: Unusual Tools
  15. Grip Tools: Filters
  16. Grip Tools: Q&A
  17. Theater Shoot: Concept
  18. Theater Shoot: Pre-Production Considerations
  19. Theater Shoot: Lighting Gear
  20. Theater Shoot: Motivated Lighting Considerations
  21. Theater Shoot: Lighting Walkthrough
  22. Theater Shoot: Capturing The 1st Shot
  23. Theater Shoot: Hero Shot
  24. Theater Shoot: Capturing In The Seats
  25. Airstrip Shoot: Concept
  26. Airstrip Shoot: Pre-Production Considerations
  27. The Haircut: Location Specifics and Motivated Lighting
  28. Working With Scrims On Location
  29. The Haircut: Getting the Shot
  30. The Haircut: Shooting Plates
  31. Staggered Planes: Location Specifics and Motivated Lighting
  32. Staggered Planes: Getting The Shot
  33. Capturing Plates With Talent In Background
  34. Airstrip: Environmental Portraits
  35. Airstrip: Location Shooting Q&A
  36. Using Plates to Create a Pano in Lightroom®
  37. Transform Tool
  38. Post-Processing 1st Theater Shot
  39. Retouching Details in Photoshop®
  40. Color Grading in Alien Skin Exposure X3
  41. Post-Processing Theater Hero Shot in Photoshop®
  42. Creating a Spotlight in Photoshop®
  43. Adjusting Color for Cinematic Lighting
  44. Post-Processing: The Haircut
  45. Coloring the Sky and Removing Modern Building
  46. Creating a Pano Using Plates in Photoshop®
  47. Developing Cinematic Portraits in Lightroom®
  48. Retouching Cinematic Portraits in Photoshop®
  49. Color Grading Cinematic Portraits in Alien Skin

Reviews

Bruce Walker
 

This course is simply terrific, and I highly recommend it. Firstly it arrived at the perfect time for me as I am soon to do a studio shoot very much in keeping with a cinematic or theatrical aesthetic. Secondly it's taught by Chris Knight who I swear is like a long-lost twin brother. :-) There are so many parallels in the way he thinks and works to my own style. So I avidly watched this as soon as it was available for anytime streaming. This is the first time I have made extensive use of the CL iPhone app, btw, and I love how it pretty much enabled me to seamlessly switch back and forth from desktop viewing to my iPad that I carry around the house during the day. I was able to make coffee and still carry on taking in the course, uninterrupted. The content is fantastic, delivered succinctly yet entertainingly. Some material and ideas are already in my repertoire and were reinforced and validated by Chris' demonstrations. But he also introduced a lot of ideas and methods new to me and very welcome. I was particularly glad to see how practical it is to stitch a series of tripod shots into a wide pano. I have been afraid to try that but I will now be using that in my next shoot, for sure. As alway, his post production practices revealed all kinds of tips about Lightroom and Photoshop I didn't know. Negatives. The volume level mastering is iffy. It started out at a decent level then midway through one of the early lessons dropped so much I had to turn up my sound system to compensate. And as I write this one lesson (34) is missing and in its place was a duplicate of the next lesson (35). I expect CL will have that fixed shortly though (I sent support a note).

Jeph DeLorme
 

One of the best classes I have viewed at Creative Live. Definitely worth the investment of time and money. The pace of the class allows you to learn extra tips and tricks throughout the process. Great instructor, highly recommend this class to anyone looking to step up their creative game.

Estefânia Silva
 

I'm not a fan of every single instructor on CL. Some of them can't teach a class without trying to project their own egos. Chris is an amazing exception to that. I really end up learning with him even if my personal aesthetic preferences are different from his. This class really focus on basics such as lighting, basic gear, production and practical execution. This is about more than cinematic/low-key lighting. I really recommend.