Skip to main content

Cinematic Lighting for Portraiture

Lesson 44 of 49

Post-Processing: The Haircut

Chris Knight

Cinematic Lighting for Portraiture

Chris Knight

Starting under


Get access to this class +2000 more taught by the world's top experts

  • 24/7 access via desktop, mobile, or TV
  • New classes added every month
  • Download lessons for offline viewing
  • Exclusive content for subscribers

Lesson Info

44. Post-Processing: The Haircut


Class Trailer
1 Class Introduction 04:29 2 What is Cinematic Lighting? 06:42 3 Motivated & Practical Lighting 07:41 4 5 Cinematic Lighting Tips 04:53 5 Low-Key & Upstage Lighting 06:26 6 Control Your Fill Lighting 05:18 7 Show Depth In Your Image 13:24 8 Pre-Production for Cinematic Lighting 22:42
9 Grip Tools: Clamps 08:41 10 Grip Tools: Apple Boxes, C-Stands & Grip Heads 10:53 11 Grip Tools: Pins & Portable Gear 04:50 12 Grip Tools: Scrims, Silks, Flags & Tape 13:52 13 Grip Tools: Wind and Haze Machines 04:07 14 Grip Tools: Unusual Tools 04:47 15 Grip Tools: Filters 11:05 16 Grip Tools: Q&A 15:04 17 Theater Shoot: Concept 08:03 18 Theater Shoot: Pre-Production Considerations 08:48 19 Theater Shoot: Lighting Gear 04:27 20 Theater Shoot: Motivated Lighting Considerations 26:47 21 Theater Shoot: Lighting Walkthrough 20:45 22 Theater Shoot: Capturing The 1st Shot 27:37 23 Theater Shoot: Hero Shot 21:47 24 Theater Shoot: Capturing In The Seats 21:48 25 Airstrip Shoot: Concept 05:49 26 Airstrip Shoot: Pre-Production Considerations 19:31 27 The Haircut: Location Specifics and Motivated Lighting 13:17 28 Working With Scrims On Location 06:34 29 The Haircut: Getting the Shot 24:28 30 The Haircut: Shooting Plates 08:21 31 Staggered Planes: Location Specifics and Motivated Lighting 08:10 32 Staggered Planes: Getting The Shot 08:23 33 Capturing Plates With Talent In Background 16:26 34 Airstrip: Environmental Portraits 07:01 35 Airstrip: Location Shooting Q&A 22:05 36 Using Plates to Create a Pano in Lightroom® 16:08 37 Transform Tool 04:50 38 Post-Processing 1st Theater Shot 09:48 39 Retouching Details in Photoshop® 13:09 40 Color Grading in Alien Skin Exposure X3 06:27 41 Post-Processing Theater Hero Shot in Photoshop® 08:11 42 Creating a Spotlight in Photoshop® 05:31 43 Adjusting Color for Cinematic Lighting 12:28 44 Post-Processing: The Haircut 12:08 45 Coloring the Sky and Removing Modern Building 05:10 46 Creating a Pano Using Plates in Photoshop® 17:12 47 Developing Cinematic Portraits in Lightroom® 07:29 48 Retouching Cinematic Portraits in Photoshop® 08:57 49 Color Grading Cinematic Portraits in Alien Skin 13:20

Lesson Info

Post-Processing: The Haircut

Let's take a look at the first shot we did at the airfield to begin with. And so if you remember, this was one of the images, basically that I ended up liking. The reason I went with this one in particular was I happened to like the hair movement a bit. I thought it was really interesting in this particular frame and so this is the one that I ended up going with. Now this particular space didn't require a whole lot of other plates to be made. And so what I've got in conjunction with this frame is the left side, this is the middle, and this is the right side. And when these combine together, this is cooking show style, it looks like this, okay. Now the only difference between what you were seeing in the other images and this one is I added a little bit of blue to the sky, but I'm gonna show you how I did that in this one. Because as you remember, we had to make the plate of everything, we locked focus, we took several of these images together, and that's this right here. Here's it's, it...

's this whole frame, here to here. These are combined and they end up looking like this. So this and this, and all I did was I took the process from one to the other and I left it pretty natural, I didn't do much to the color or the tone in this. I mean as you can see, this is zeroed out, it didn't get much to it. That's it without the perspective correct, and here it is with the perspective correct. And this happens when that panorama is merged together. Now what I wanted to show you with this is how to add some blue to the sky. And the reason why I'm adding it in, because in the hand-colorized images, they usually look a little bit unrealistically blue, and I kinda wanted to do that with these images, that's what I wanted to make it feel like. So what I'm gonna do is grab my linear gradient tool. I'm gonna go ahead and double click on Effect to reset it, and I'm gonna add a bit of blue. I'm gonna figure out what this number is in a second, but I'm just gonna drag it, drag it down. Something that kinda looks like this. It's not, that's a little bit lighter, so maybe we'll kinda go to something that looks a little bit like this maybe. I think that's relatively close. Now unfortunately, it's on the whole thing. So what do you do? Come down here to range mask, and you can do it either by color or luminance. I'm just gonna go ahead and grab luminance. And because this is all in the really bright section and this is not, I get to remove it from the dark section, just by grabbing the bottom end of that slider. To make this even easier to see, if you hold down the Alt or Option key, you can kinda see where it is black it is not getting the effect. Smoothness is like the feather. And so if you look at this now, it adds a little bit of blue to kinda the reflections, but for the most part, it does a pretty good job of layering that color on top. And so if I wanna really increase the color, actually think it does a really nice job of cutting that out pretty easily. All right, now this gives me my basic process for both of these two plates. So I've got this one, and I've got this one. But you can also probably see that they're not exactly lined up, and that kind of may present a little bit of a problem. So here's what I'm going to do. I'm gonna select both of them, and I'm gonna right click, and I'm gonna go to Edit In and I'm gonna have them open as layers in Photoshop. And what this is gonna do, is it's gonna basically just bring them both into the same file, and put them on top of each other. All this does is save me one step of opening them both separately and copy and pasting one into the other, it's a little bit faster and it's really nice. So we're gonna give this like 15 to 20 minutes to open up. I mean you'll have to forgive the fact that I think these are something like on the long side, something crazy. I've never used the PSB document format. I usually like to open it up in Photoshop and then I go back to Lightroom to maybe tweak it a little bit more, and I notice you didn't get that option when you closed and saved as, you know where I'm going with the question, right? That is the big negative to PSBs, is Lightroom doesn't read them. If I happen to need to access it and I still want to use Lightroom as a library, if I'm using it as a way to open up the file, what you do is you right click on the nearby file and you just say Open in Finder, or you open any of them in Finder, and it pops up the window and then you can sort the folder by size and it's always the biggest one. That's the one downside. I wish Lightroom could read PSBs, it just can't. So yeah, that's a totally valid observation. If you are not using as many layers, you can still get away with the tip for the PSB, but man it does not take long to hit huge. I mean this file right now is 1.03 gigs, and all it has in it is two layers. Okay, so as you can see right, slightly different. That's not great, so here's what you do. Select both the layers, shift click, select them both. And then we go to Edit, Auto-Align Layers. And I usually just hit Auto and I hit OK. Sometimes you'll wanna make changes to this, changing the way in which it merges it together, and it's not always exactly, exactly right. But it'll do a surprisingly good job when you are close. And I'll take a question while this does the job. When you stitched the first one together with the person, the barber and the pilot in there, versus the one with just the plane, is it possible that the plane is actually a different size in each one of those pictures after they stitch? It's possible. You regularly will encounter small issues with the stitching and it not necessarily lining up 100%. This one probably will have that, let's see. Yeah see, see the middle? Is that what you're talking about? Yes. Yeah, it's a little bit different, but it's close enough. I also happen to have forgotten to take a little bit of the blue off his face, so forgive me a little bit there. But you can see that it did a pretty good job of lining stuff up, right. At least good enough that I can now add a mask, zoom in. Let's put my opacity up a little bit. I'm gonna come over here and give myself a little bit of a harder edge so that I can clean this out. I also have a little bit of an issue with the sky color not quite being the same, which is something that I want to fix a little bit later, that I didn't copy and paste it, I was just showing you how to make it. When you copy and paste it, it's a little bit better, and obviously because it's gonna be the same color. Let me go back to my brush. Zoom back in here. If you kinda press down and you shift click, it'll draw in a straight line, like that. So like I'm gonna come across this, come through here. I'm just, I'm doing a pretty fast and loose version of this. Something like that. Here's the before, after. Now the other cool thing about this, oops, the other cool thing about this is you can take, for example, I actually think it's pretty okay here, but if you wanna take like a real soft brush. Remember that whole thing about blending the shadow away? Maybe we'll temper that back just a little bit, with a lower opacity, oops, not what I wanted to do. That blends that really beautifully, right? Then I'm gonna command click, well I can do that or I can mask it based on whatever I want. Let's see, I'm gonna go to, let's go to a 16 nine, reframe this, I'm gonna probably get rid of that thing in the foreground. Maybe something that looks like that, that looks pretty good. Obviously I have a few small gaps. I think in particular, lets, so I've got some stuff along the bottom. You can obviously come through, you can stretch this, you can fill stuff in, you can crop it out. I'm not gonna spend a whole lot of time showing you how to rebuild the edges of a background, but I think we can all figure out what that looks like.

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.


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.

a Creativelive Student

excellent class in all regards. outstanding instructor with experience in complicated cinematic shoots but who also is willing to thoroughly cover the basic nuts and bolts. i wish all creative live classes were of this quality.