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Compositing Harley Man

Lesson 23 from: Commercial Photography: From Start to Finish

Joel Grimes

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Lesson Info

23. Compositing Harley Man

Next Lesson: Compositing Athlete


Class Trailer

Day 1


Ten Things That Spell Disaster for a Photographer Part 1


Ten Things That Spell Disaster for a Photographer Part 2


Ten Things You Need to Know about Branding


Shoot: One Side Light Beauty Shot Part 1


Shoot: One Side Light Beauty Shot Part 2


Shoot: One Overhead Light Headshot


Shoot: Edgy Three Light Setup Part 1


Lesson Info

Compositing Harley Man

Now we're ready to go get an image of cliff, so we're gonna go back over here, too our folder and picked our selects and so looking at my background I've got some staircase stuff up here and be careful. I want things growing out ahead but let me think here I kind of want something a little different maybe a little mu dear let's. See here I kind of like this. I don't know what it iss this is a little different than my straight on my straight on. Let's. Try that much, right? Tell a good cliff. What do you think? The helmet. This would look pretty good on guy actually love this jacket. So, um, you know, this one was with it, um, zipped up that zip. I think we want the ban had been in there. Let's. Just try this world quick, though. Let's. Just try and see what happens. I could maybe put you off the side little bit. And then, of course, we could take a harley. Drop it in over here if you really wanted to. But so here I have my select. I go command our takes me straight to camera. Adobe raw...

, this is a fourteen bit capture. But I still do have some recovery, so we're going to recover some of the shadow detail we'll pull back a little bit of highlights to see what, um on him there's nothing that's really blowing out but I would say right about there contrast down a little bit clarity would definitely pull some clarity into him now I pull clarity a little more highlights I need to watch out for so let's work the sliders going both ways here I'm gonna go as far as I can before I started thinking whoa gets too much and you're you're our intuition may be different than mine, so I think that's pretty clean I am going to open this as a smart object because I'm a really smart photo shopper, right? So hit open it's already been checked that it will open automatically is a smart object now I have it over here and there's a little box little teeny icon that tells me I'm in a smart object I'm going to click right click on the little bluish side here and say new smart object via copy how many times I do this thousands of times every image I do I do this till I say every image, every image ideo every image people think well, why would you do this? Because this is my look right? I'm branding myself and so even when I do a black and white image I'd still do this image I go through all this stuff we're gonna double click on here and I'm gonna open it up back in a camera dobie raw and I'm going to convert it to black and white so we go to my h s l slash grayscale click on convert to gray scale now here comes the magic the magic of the technique that I came up with seven sixty eight years ago whenever wass and that was to be able to adjust the skin tones in black and white and still affect a color image so let's make cliff look like he's tough let's give him a really tough look here we're gonna pull it down now you'll notice is gonna darken him a little bit and I could tell you that this effect here applies at fifty percent later right? So because it's two layers so I can usually go a little bit further here and if I think oh my gosh I'm losing a little bit of detail in here and I want to say that I can always dodge that back right so let's go over here I have just picked up my adjustment brush tool and I'm going to paint right around here it's defaulting to my last setting so it's actually dark and unit but don't worry about that I go back over to my uh exposure runway and now I bring back a little detail in his face the morbid depth you have the more control you have a pulling out shadow detail so we got plenty here fourteen bits plenty um and so I just pulled back that little bit let's go a little bit more right there and say okay now I'm going to pick a blending mode so remember what I said yesterday I can go to over our luminosity that applies my effect on the color without applying any black and white so applies the black and white effect on a color image but I want the jule grimes look someone making command j duplicate and turn that top one into soft light now I've got both going at the same time so that's without the luminosity that's with the luminosity so let's take it and go about fifty fifty on each one somewhere around there so it's not really fifty fifty what is it? Whatever my intuition tells me so don't write down that fifty fifty number right I want a moody though I want some mood now if this right along here looks like it's got too much blow out I'm still in wrong I can go back double click go over here to my brush come along here and I'm going to just burn us down course now it's set ah highlight right I mean the opposite so want to burn it down a little bit here and hit ok I could go back one hundred times if I want until I decide to cut the umbilical cord and move on right now I think I'm ready looks good so let's do this if I'm not sure I could do the shift cult option command e which is a snapshot but I still got a lot of ram a lot of memory being used on this over here and I've done so many of this I think I'm done I'm going to save flatten the whole thing I'm ready to move on let's cut him out this is gonna be a simple cut out and this is what most of my images are simple there's not overly done in terms of the amount of cut out so we're gonna come along here and it's a great background but no worries and I'm going to go into the refined edge here in a minute and we're going to be able to find tune it and I'm gonna have a mask let's blow this up they want to make sure that everything looks good on you I'm not locked into this here I always fix this later if I wanted but I could come along here and fix that uh that looks pretty good there's a section missing there but where I really wanna watch is right in here I want to make sure that everything comes in on his hair all these little hairs that are sticking up there you know cliff, you got here I'm jealous but, um I'm gonna leave this blank here I mean unfixed I'm gonna show you how we can fix that later would come over here and come in on that it looks good. Okay, so we're going to say now go to the refined edge and on the hair I'm going to just brush over the top and there was some hair right there and maybe down here on the giza are in a little bit of a frizz on the genes but other than that that's it knew eso output is layer mask okay, now I can grab cliff with the dea hit the v tool the pick up what they call it the um they call it the move tool and I'm gonna bring it over here to my alley and we're dropping men look how small it is look at the difference of mega pixels. So what does that tell me? Well, I can't really raise him up too much because he's there's a limit to how far I can push him. So what I'm gonna do for now and I don't normally do this, but I'm gonna lower the, um resolution on this let's go down to say twenty six see what happens so I get rid of this because that would that reduce that one we're gonna go back let's raise him up well let's take a look sandwich how big is their that's about right okay not bad all right so does he look like he's they're not quite yet not quite so let's go over here and let's start making the magic happen let me look at my mask here so let's go in here and blow it up let's see what my problems are well, we know that we had some problems right in here so I go over my mask goto my brush go to black uh one hundred percent opacity hundred percent flow make sure it's on about seventy five seventy ish hardness reduce it down and now I can come in here and I can clean up anything that I did not get first time around we got a little bit of a gap here see where where we didn't pick up the coat one hundred percent so I hit and just hit my ex key that flips over toe white and now I could just pick that up there's a little bit of chunk missing there and if I want to run a straight line what do I do? Hold the shift key member and bam clean is a whistle so go along here take a look take a look take a look looking pretty darn good looking pretty darn good open big chunk missing right here so what I might do is actually might come outside to make sure I get the whole thing then hit the ex key hit. Hold the shift key down and come along here and just clean that up. See how easy it is gonna middle chunk missing there. See how easy it is? Don't over. Make complicated, let's. See what this built did down here, mr little chunk, maybe there. Let's. See, where did it go? Ah, there it is. There was more. There was a buckle there. Something ok, hit the ex key. Come along here, let's, go. Okay, so, you know, having is anyone ever learned how to do this with channels and all that stuff? What a nightmare. I don't use channels. There's a helmet. Pretty clean up. A little chunk right here. So let's, just clean that up. No one's going to take a magnifying glass to this? Not really. You think they might, but they won't know if it's on a billboard. Maybe you take a little bit extra time, but in reality, you're selling and a mood it's no different than when you're recording. Muse. Think you can get in there and you can take every little crackle every little? Uh, you know, super everything's, clear, right, everything's, like whatever bit debt they use now, right? And have a really boring song. No one's gonna listen to it. You have a really good song. They put up with a little crackle little mistake here and there. Because it's all about the mood. What are you sewing to your audience? Not a perfect cut out, so don't get caught up in trying to achieve a perfect cut out. That's my theory and I'm sticking to it. Joel klink. Oh, it asked about the color range command for extractions, color range, command for extraction. I do use that on occasion it is. It is kind of a cool thing. I just used it on a studio scenario with the harley and I actually took out all the for the spokes and all that stuff. Um but for a person never used, never, never use it for. But there are some times when you can use you can use a color range to pick your selection up. So good question, here's the thing I'm gonna tell you right now there are hundreds, if not thousands of tutorials on masking cut out. I even have one, and I do some really crazy stuff, and I take this to another whole level, but you know what, to be honest with you, I use it about ten percent of the time. When someone got a hair is going everywhere, then I pull out that technique but it takes a little bit more time takes private thirty minutes to do it so in that scenario yes, I pull out that the next level of of I'm asking but eighty percent ninety percent of everything I d'oh don't need it didn't use it on consent not going to use it here but don occasion you do have to have so there are things that you gotta take to the next level and there's from complexities but for most of what I do this I'm showing you right here so we do it my point is this don't get bogged down in the cut out if you do and so many people emailed me and they're just they're really whining about how much time is taking to do cut outs and I say, look, forget to cut out keep moving on don't don't every pixel doesn't be perfect okay, so here we go um let's creates a mood here we gotta cut out pretty good let's take and what was the first thing I did yesterday? Let's put a glow behind cliff here so I do a blank layer shift command and blank layer we're gonna put that come on below and in between cliff in the background we go over here and we take our brush toe white uh opacity um thirty whatever ish and this is where my computer does some weird things not just this computer any computer so before we do that let's just save it okay let's be safe this is where that brush starts to do its thing and then I wanted to keep doing that keep doing that keep doing it pretty soon your your computer freezes and I'd like to talk to adobe about that but there's something going on in there all right so let me make sure that's that's that's saving in the background so that's another thing that that you could do now in photo shop and you can work while saving the nicole so let's go and create the globe so we want a soft brush and I had moved it over to harness we want a big brush big soft brush we're gonna have a little bit of atmosphere ready boom boom just click it a couple times maybe overdo it just a tad okay and then we're gonna add some noise noise, noise and we did yesterday twelve member twelve was a pretty good so let's keep it there and then we can play with the opacity but we're not really worried about it so much yet um we know the sun's coming from the kind of the left top so that kind of matches the light that's on his face right now right it's a pretty good match um what I might do there's not really a street light here so I can't really do a streak doesn't do like a light streak um but it's a little too light for me I want a little more mood to the background so let's put an adjustment layer above the background levels you can use curves I'm not a fan of curves I don't know why but I just don't happen to use curves and I'm gonna drop drop the value down a little bit maybe build the contrast just a tad see how far I can go all right about there sorry question from mary from costa rica do you always do the glow and white or do you sometimes use color to make it even more moody? Great question. In fact, cliff unite talked about that um because I'm color blind. I probably should. I don't notice it as much but let's go back and that's a good question let's do this I'm gonna grab this well what I can do is I can add a photo felt photo filter above that and tag it to it so let's do that and tag it to it so I clipped mask it and then I go and that's gonna warm up my glow that's one way to do it or instead of doing a white pure white brush at a little bit of tent of warmth through and then do it that's one way to do it and I would say that like in this case with vincent I had to warm up the glo because it looked cute white behind there so that's a very good question some of the images I looked back and I should have done that I didn't do that because I'm color blind I probably don't pick it up as much as someone else so yes, you can add a filter on top of that toe warm up the globe to match that overall or I'm going to add a filter over the whole thing on top and then that kind of worms the whole thing up to so but that's a great question so at least we solved that for now I think that works um let's add a levels to cliff so I goto adjustment layers levels I'm going to clip my tag it to it so clipping path and now when I just my levels on lee cliff will be adjusted so let's build the contrast a little bit to match the overall scene that looks pretty good if that jacket starts to blow too much I have a mask so I go over here to my brush black let's go fifty fifty let's go in here and we can just whom paint along the coat highlight here and get rid of a little bit of that highlight they just came in a little too much when I did built the contrast but everything else looks pretty good now cliff looks like he's probably a little bit on a cooler temperature then the background I don't know but I'm gonna add a warm filter clipping, clip it to him and then maybe pull it back a little bit and I think that should match the value the background in terms of color temperature now this is where I get into trouble because I'm color blind so how do I saw that I saturate everything so I'll put a d saturate over the top over the whole thing I pull back the master to twelve or thirteen some around their reds about ten somewhere around there yellows same and now I get away with not having to worry about perfect color balancing it solves a little bit of that let's adam had been yet I want a vignette over the background so let's go above my filter here goto levels go to my ingredient and about my circular radiant dead center pulled to the right and that gives actually a scope command z let's try it again here not quite as big there we go now I can may be pulled down the scene so you can't sexually in the middle little bit okay and that's a lot lighter there by the way folks on that on here um and that's. Okay, what we could do is allah doing overall adjustment up here but let's, just keep it working. So let's, do that let's, go up here and let's go up to the top. That's not gonna do that, let's. Just go the top now at it levels and let's just for your monitor there, let's darken it a little bit. That looked better. That's looking pretty good. It's really dark on here? Well, you know what I could do to? I'm all the way fall on my screen. Um, okay, now, what else have to do? Let me look, look at me. Look at my scene here. I've got a little bit of a chunk of window growing out of top of his head there. That kind of bothers me. I not sure. So let's take and I'm gonna move him around the command t allows me to move around, and I'm going to find a spot that really works. So I would say that's not too bad, right? If I go back to here, I could actually clone a chunk of this cover up that window. So when I put him in there, that little chunk is going to show up that makes sense, I do that a lot. Because I don't like things just parts of growing out of people's heads but I think in terms of mike uh my overall vision that could work right because I got a little bit of window there um again if I drop a harley and over here which it had had we done this I could have shot the harley on the street hd art it then do the portrait of him and then I don't have to do it no knock out because I'm not gonna harley out is not an easy thing lot of work but in terms of my composition if I put him over here I didn't move the glow with him so that's not working but a lot of stuff to deal with over there so I think probably right about there is not a bad there's a little bit of something right there but that's not a bad position and even I'm like my overall I don't like this this tilted light pole or something that's you know it's crooked in the eye on the building that it's not but I know that's just part of my asia shoot architectural years ago so I get kind of I don't know picking on that kind of stuff um overall mood let's see we haven't done we haven't done the let's just try something I'm going because I want to create drama let's go over to my photo filter and let's if I go warmer so it's like really sunset e it's not too bad that's why did here or I go to the cool side that doesn't really look very real either now I could do I do a lot of nights stuff and I'll have a blue cooling filter but in terms of on this image neither one of those work actually think on then sent here I used yellow where's yellow there it is as a filter and you can also use a blini mode what happens when I apply soft light bills, contrast and mood so let's take out my levels we did already but look look how that and here it actually kind of cool but I'm saying there's all these options but right now let's just say forget that because what I want to do is I want to run um I want to run the nick total contrast angel over all right interrupt again what you have that photo so small on your screen is that because you're wearing those glasses? Is it small on your laptop is well, you know it's kind of funny is that how you usually add it that's how we end it with it so far away? Yes and then you'd izumi zoom in you know why? Because I'm looking at the overall mood of the image it looks much you can do a lot more when it's small then when it's big and so you know what that's a good question so that probably better for like a presentation here but when I edit you bet it's a lot I'll zoom in on things and I work on something uh that's good to know that you're looking for the mood is that what is important yes would you mind just keeping it zoomed in a little bit more so let's do this you know we didn't do we didn't clean up the edge of this member so let's go over here I did this yesterday kind of I'm clicking on the mask on cliff I get my lasso tool I'm gonna pick it up underneath well could be the hat at this point let's just go right underneath here zoom all way around zoom right where the hair starts oh no no we have we have we have eyebrows there so we want we want at least let's start over start over pick it up lips sorry sorry, sorry pick it up here we're going to come to right here out exit out exit back in now what we're gonna do is we're going to shrink the mask everywhere where I have a selected so filter blur gods in blur at a two radius okay command l gives me my levels we go in here let's take a look we're going to zoom in let's zoom in on his coat here watch what happens bang it shrinks it smoothed it out depending how much how much um you slide the levels and how much blur gives you uh shrinking so now I say ok, so his hair his hair was not adjusted but everything else wass and if there's a little mark that comes in and out let's take a look if there's a little mark that comes in and out I don't really see it yeah maybe so I go back let's get the black brush one hundred percent here come on and I can vote let's make sure we're on that mask we're black no I'm saying I see what's going on white and clean it up there's not really a bum but sometimes a little bump you know because you're shrunk the mask let's look over here um I don't know we see it and also I think oh, you know what? I'm on really soft brush here too that's not good we wantto straight up brush that's kind of a funky little bump I don't know what that is part of the let's take it out see either powers really do things it I could take part of cliffs ear off here's the tyson bite anyways there's all sorts of options here but that's good, pretty good um okay, so let's take a look at it overall feel of the image right on that screen's a little light but I think I'm ready for a little nick crunch okay, so I do shift fault command d doesn't like it so I'm gonna go and just create a layer blank layer do it again. Shift fault command e now it gives me a snapshot I have know what idea why won't let me do a snapshot until I make a blank layer but anyways I've discovered that a round about way so let's go up to our nick collection color affects pro and we're going to add it's thie see which one it is I always forget it's the drum roll detail extractor and I have a defaulted to what I pretty much do every single image which is twenty six percent detail forty percent contrast saturation is zero and shadows I don't really fiddle with that I don't know what that does and this is on large hold on a second you got a fine large well e I guess it's always been on large I just saw that their case we say okay that's gonna give you my little grunt remember what it does it kind of flattens the overall image and gives me the look I kind of look that makes it look real so this is necessarily in your face portrait but it is kind of a cool thing again if he had his harley in the background that'd be killer this is the killer look right here. Okay, so there's the grunge look let's get rid of the get rid of the, um the palate oh, this little piece of paper back there some stuff on the street I have to clean all that up oh, you know what? Because because my monitor looks great here let's add that levels and then dark and a little bit for you guys so I would say up so let's go get out of here doesn't want to get out of here now. Tab I think it looks pretty cool not maybe the best background but is really we didn't have a lot of options here, but I could like it said, seeing the harley sitting in the background to me that could be a good shot and here's the other option I have and I do this a lot just to check things I will make a black and white layer number one I want to see it in black and white I don't know why this does this anymore it doesn't want to use the tab when you're but let's go low let's go to black I love looking at in black and white and black white tells me where my tones are and everything and then I could say look it's too light so it's gonna levels it's dark in a little bit make sense question now on my screen is really dark. So that's, why? I'm kind of overdoing it here, but, um, can I ask you questions? All yeah, from lady laura. Are you looking at the shadow direction when you're dropping me then or do you worry about the shadow direction? The lighting on the building, which is the leading on his sleep? Absolutely. Remember we said that the light's kind of coming over the top he's. Michelle, we know he's in the shade, but the bulk of the source is coming that way. So the greatest highlight on him right now is pretty much on the left hand side. But there is a highlight, a new site, but the building itself is actually bouncing light back into the scene. So this is very believable, very sellable. And remember we said that if I had maybe tone down the right hand light a little bit, that might even be more of a sell itself, I could just see myself overlooking that completely the shadows. What about me? And I pushed the light in the direction. If it likes going from left to right, you gotta have your generally you want your left to write on the subject to sell the fake?

Ratings and Reviews


Joel Grimes reflects the true meaning of a passionate modern artist. Seamlessly blending his old school film techniques in todays ever-changing digital world with such amazing realistic results. Not only in his own body of work, but achieving the same outcome while teaching LIVE, even when things don’t always run smoothly, much like the real world. Thank you Joel for sharing your hard work and talents, your struggles, most importantly, your honest open teaching style with such detail in every segment. Much appreciate CREATIVE LIVE for keeping it real with good talent, on and off screen showcasing common humanity in us all. Indeed, a revolutionary company. Manny DaCunha.

a Creativelive Student

As an editorial and photographic professional it's refreshing to find new cerebral information that goes beyond simple instruction. It was motivating to see Joel, a highly respected professional who is successful in "real-life", display his thought process, points to be successful, and insights into his art. When you have been in the industry, working full time, you need those moments to relax, visualize and re-energize so you can look at projects with a renewed vision and passion. Joel and his Commercial Photography course did that and more for me. If my schedule allowed, I would certainly join Joel at one of his workshops. Only thing better than this CreativeLive would be attending live. Thank you Joel.

Student Work