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Experimental Portraits

Lesson 12 of 30

Sue's Alien Skin How To

Sue Bryce, Lara Jade

Experimental Portraits

Sue Bryce, Lara Jade

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Lesson Info

12. Sue's Alien Skin How To

Lesson Info

Sue's Alien Skin How To

I've tried to watch tutorials on ferry shop and I can't do it, I can't get it so clearly I'm not that smart, but I decided that, um, I feel like when I'm doing photo shop, I don't feel very technical. I feel more creative when I'm doing for michelle, so maybe I'm in my creative brain, so I see instead of, um, look, I watched technical things that there, and I watched there, but I don't take that in, and so I started to think to myself, okay, how am I gonna learn this? Because I look at photo shop and I feel really stupid, and so this is for all the people who feel like me and other people who, lynn maybe like clara or other people who are really technical with very sharp, you know, your own factor for status. Secondly, I'm just like, oh, this gotta be an easier way, you know? So I learned to do staff and mostly what I do and what I'm going to teach you with dodging the burning, their illustrating the copying, the pacing is this when I want something in my photograph, I go to my less su...

it also ours, my shortcut and see here how here platt is over this beautiful pink flower, and I go and I find a flower and I got this I copy and paste it because it's a short cut that I've got set up I pick it up and I put it there and I'll put one in a hero put it in the gap o put it here and let's say I want to put it here super simple city after loved and then I go to my erasing till I go to ninety percent and I simply chop back what I want to keep on what I don't and then I make it fit in so after I do that I blend it until it fits in I make sure it hasn't got too many soft edges and once I do that I can then go to my curse adjustment and I make it darker or brighter and I just simply make it if it in I cut and paste everything I can't I paced I free transform I changed my perspective and then I dodge and boone and use light and dark now I can draw with pencils and when you draw what what's light comes forward what dad goes back that is a simple role and listening to shade so I soon learned that no matter what I wanted to do, I just had to um either cut paste and I could go light or darker and it tricks the eye and now you no longer look there I realized that when I'm up large like this and you can see this soft fitted age around this flower so your eye picks that up because it knows it's out of focus so you're isis that I could go to my erasing toe at ninety nine percent and even go to a harder brush if I want to, but I don't even need to, but the harder I make this line, the more real it looks to the eye and then the I no longer looks at it is being something that it sees is being out of the ordinary so it's going back to a hard line as soon as I can trick the eye, you no longer see what I've put into it, and so I realized that it didn't matter I didn't need landmass, but the biggest fault that I have now is when I'm winning this is I would then flat in that layer okay instead of having hundreds of layers open on one image I would flatten so I would do the lazy way I would flat in it and then save the image is and so when I was creating an image, I would have thirty flat images off all the different layers as I was doing them, and if I wanted to go back on anything, I could just reopen the image now counterproductive everybody's gonna say, well, that's stupid why don't you just do it in lame ass but if you get confused in lamma so don't do it it's really annoying I hate waiting in atlanta and learn how to do it and I I would put it off forever and do it and it was I was happily doing that until I started working on jobs where clients would want me to use masks tried to force myself to do it but I still prefer by the old way yeah so screw your lame ass I'm getting save it offers I go and I'm gonna copy and paste and I'm gonna do what I bloody well like because I know that I can photograph an image like this I could do a bit of airbrushing on it I know you're stalling yes I can't from here waste without warping a flower the flowers heavily ticks should end in focus so what I did was I placed another flower into here and then cut it into her waist and they shaded around it I think edited it on my tool on alien skin so show you my favorite aliens can filters which give me these looks now this is the most basic vision of photo shop that we can do for this sort of photography and as we get more and more advanced we can go crazy over the next two days because we're going to have tree roots coming out of people's chests and I found a tree that was strangled by other routes and so I'm going to photograph that guy tomorrow with his shirt off and then I'm going to read those tree root around his torso in throat and so it looks like hey it's growing into him so um it just makes me a woman all right if we go back to the key night I'm sorry we're jumping the reason that I wanted lyon and I have our own computers is your own further shop is like a fingerprint my favorite actions are on my right the way I sit up and you know quite frankly I like my rainbow coating it makes me a happy person and you know I say this and every workshop and if you haven't watched it and there will be some ah ha moments around the world right now how do you get the rainbow colors on your actions so well let me tell you all you do is got to the top right corner oh no I'll go back to photoshopping a minute sorry mike I'll show you the rainbow in just one second don't let me forget rainbow color on the actions because for the people that don't know everyone wants to know how we use alien skin software I met lara eighteen months ago we were sitting up editing together and she was like do youse alien skin and a big wad alien skin and she goes oh it's this editing software there is a lot of editing software in out industries and somewhat for you and sometimes for the amount of illustrative work that I like to do, I think any skin is by far the best. I've got many options so many I got online that night and I bought alien skin for exposure for I have used it five times a day for the last eighteen months I run alien skin remember last year and to doing a creatively bookshop and they gave you a discount they've given another one today they're absolutely amazing and I was just so blown away by what they do and now I use it for if and what's great is it replicates old film, any orders, everything everything you can think of noise, grain, everything we love artists and conceptual photographers and fashion photography is and it's so easy and consistent like if I open a fashion image and I need that consistency over all my images, it gives me that immediately and I don't want you getting back right convention entire shoot yeah, so when I do a portrait shoot, I'll pick one filter and I teamed to bet you know, multiple images so I took this image I cropped it and then I filled in all the spaces I tried to be a little bit clever with this and not put any clone stamps in there if you can find a clone stamp fine yeah let's play find a clone stamp bitch can't e very joking because some bloody person will find when you want so no you don't do that so I made this image so interestingly enough how did I make this image? Um I've seen this image done a million times in lavender fields I've always dreamed that I could go to a farm and photograph somebody in lebanon fields but you know, the truth is is I was walking past a place one day and it said closing down sale wholesale flowers I walk in and they're all city person off now the silk and rubber flowers they're the best flowers you can buy so ut a bouquet around this big would be three hundred dollars um and you can buy these they look real, they feel really the handmade and I've always admired them so this guy was us looking at all the flowers and the bouquets were getting lower and lower and I turn and there is literally a tray laugh off old throw out all just been mismatch and I looked at the trailer and I say how much for this and he was like, which one? And I said no like this how much for the trailer? And he was like that a lot of flowers and I was like, I know but like what would you sell them to pay any guys uh for three hundred dollars and I just thought how many shoots when I get out of it? It's text dr boll er for my studio I got nine massive three hundred dollar bunch is out of it and I went not it actually filled up nine clean sex rubbish sex and it was just a complete floki find and I love every part of him I used them as you know, in all my shoot they component of what I showed and so I lay it down and I photographed her in it. So now this image exists is a large portrait and my steer how many times do you think somebody said I want a photograph like that? I wouldn't want that yes. So girls and it's a wonderful wonderful thing that I can replicate and now I have those flowers I can lay them all down I can make it look gorgeous. So all my keynote this is what it looked like after I cropped it and I started to spray in those little black gaps I think you're wasting a little bit more and then I went there was my little spray hands right there. So if you want to see where my little clone gets are that's it before and after then I opened it and alien skin and the first thing I want to do an alien skin is take it away from what the I normally recognizes okay so into the cinnamon into the tobacco stains into the cold's instantly takes you into that creative life you take away green slight muse well, you type it take greens into kind of mother are in general it's less realistic so have you noticed no one image up there is a real skin time. Okay, that's part of the creative arts is that you take it away from the ice skin time now I know I might be being basic today there's a lot of people that air starting out there really basic and the more we can go from the basics right through to the advance the baby you're gonna be there's nothing worse than being highbrow and missing out on letting something so incredible like one percent green on redeye's spray so incredible changing world right? These are my favorite go to ilene feel clean my ground highlight I get asked this all the time so I was like what? And I share it it's that simple it's on the cane out this is my go to it's in color films polaroids six six nine greeny brown iraq creamy brown pilot the whole point of creamy brown highlights is it takes a d separated time put the punch into the skin tone a good contrast into the docks and it's really sixteen you khun dobek theo pay city or the overall intensity in color so, it's, one of my faves my seeking favour, I go to absolutely go to can't see it idea just one moment place keep it up. I love the slightly soft in yellow plus t because that really de saturated it's not strong in the times this so this is what I'm not. So if you have a look on the screen, you're in color films. Polaroid six hundred yellowed now yellowed is that cinnamon filter that is this. It bumps it up to the strong yellow. You can dial it back. Absolutely love it all right from here, my next one. This one is color photo fading with the text your priest ate off. Now some off the presets come with textures, borders, aging dots. You can do two things on alien skin, which is really awesome. You can take the protect center slider, get back on the age tab which protects the center of them, which is usually the face, which means you take the texture away from the face simply by sliding the barrel on. Or you can drop the opacity of the aging or you contain the aging off. So I actually like this filter, which is a color photo. Fading within looking at textures over the top and your light leaks as well so often especially because people use those all the time you want to have like an original light leak so that's where your textures come into play with that to absolutely so it also has borders teachers are paper paper textures which you can protect the center so those are all on alien skin or turn them off and use your own teachers and then they unique to you okay, so just go for the color film style and then use your teachers over the top we're gonna do that tomorrow because larry's got here and tied shoots from today to reach up for you and teach just to say you're gonna get to see the mood and how she does that. So that was my go to my other goto is overcast in color film I really like it because it just pops it up into their d such rage of time it's just one of my simple faves and my black and white films I'm really really into the thirty two hundred so when I used to shoot film I used to shoot on the medium format has a place there we went thirty five mil in the big thing mid nineties early nineties later nineties were shooting winning steady five mil on the thirty two hundred okay so it was used usually it wass wilfred thirty two hundred and it's on their kodak team x thirty two hundred. Incredible contrast. I love you. It was amazing. We shall. All of our wedding's inside churches with no flashes fifty, two hundred grainy black and white it replicates it identical to their but I always take the grain down because grains no longer good thing now that we don't shoot phil. Okay, so that's, my favorite go to black and white love the egg first I love the egg for scholar two hundred I like the ilford you're gonna love them or that every black and white film I have ever processed in my life photography and you know what? I'll find a film? I'll find a style, I'll pick a film and then I'll just be like, oh, this reminds me of nineteen, ninety seven so say wednesday I also have I created five actions for you guys that if free within the course too, if you buy the course on dh there basically one is black and white and the other is the kind of kind of tones. So that's, kind of like my version of alien skin, and I created those for kind of like a similar kind of light situation, and I was doing today, so you get five of those, yeah, yeah, definitely some I guess it's, just for those folks who don't have alien skin. I mean, is this stuff that you can do in a photo shop? Alien skin just makes it a lot easier. Yeah, it does. And I mean, some of the things that alien skin does, it just kind of brings a lot of techniques together in one filter and it's so easy to change, like you can go into each filter and change it up so I don't just put the filter on impress, okay? I go into the curves for that filter page. I go in and take the grain off there's so many ways of altering each one that it's just grain and actually that's that's. Um, perfect question I want to ask here is we're kind of getting close to the end. Ashley donna's photography from colorado how do you keep yourself from spending too much time trying a million combos of textures and overlays? Do you go into a project an image with a specific idea of what the end result will be? Or do you just lay and eventually say, okay, guess I'm done you know what I played for about two days I went through and I was just like, oh, this is overwhelming, then I picked my favorite nine and I use the same nine five yeah, and you'll start to the more you use them the more you find out which you love to use and then you'll have your signature like ten that you keep going back teo so what you're going to see me do tomorrow, which is very common for maia's I will apply a filter in alien skin and then I will open it and finish up, erase it back, let in it and going applying second layer and alicia and any skin I will apply multiple like alien skin layers just the same way I do multiple overlays and all over seven you just get these options which you're incredible, so what I'll do is I'll put an image into black and white and then open it an alien skin and put a color filter over an alien skin which will tone and stay in the black and white straight away nobody works out how you can do it and it's incredible and it's really easy so um definitely I go to for us but again if you don't have it and you don't want it, get the trial vision first see if it's kind of work for you if you're interested me to it definite trial version is awesome you can download I think you control it for three days and they've given you a discount code if you want to buy it if you don't have it already and photography by m j d and several others in the chat room what package version do you get like exposure five for what what do you get I like exposure because of the film sitting that's when I use all the time it's my go to and we will obviously be using this more as we go throughout the next couple days because there's something I haven't shown you yet but I feel like this is going to be really vital tomorrow when I shake the guy is and I shoot the ivy is about the dodging and burning in the drawing it's so intriguing toe watch I'm going to show you how you can remove an entire section of a tree and have it growing out of somebody very very quickly and I just want to show you if we can go to my screen um michael that's okay um one of the really cool things about that was how I worked out how to do this um when I started to retouch to teach my nephew about c g I I found the tree roots I started to photograph all these elements and I found these tree roads and I realized that they looked like lungs so I put everything into see pia and then I put the train is a pia because when you first start kind of good to have one time I less sued copy paste and put it onto my image and all of a sudden this little cut out piece of lung is sitting right where her lung is and then I get my racing tool on ten percent and I just start to further the age and all of a sudden I'm figuring it in the right places it starts to grow on her body and this freaked me out so much that I started to show my friends and I was like, look what I'm working on right now and everybody was like that's really creepy and I was like, I know and it's so awesome then I would find broken bits of footpath and I would you know, put it where her hairline wass and that was the concrete starting to peel away and once I dropped in to see pierre, it just looked like skin and then I started to blend it together and then I started to make all of these images I started to make a ll these images just from tree roots I couldn't start photographing them because they were so organic and absolutely incredible and I just went absolutely nuts with them so I can't wait to show you that, but this was probably my all time favorite I came that I haven't got it so don't write I'm gonna show you that my but you're really just illustrating lightened dark dodging boon I really just want to take you into that advanced

Class Description

Bring your most imaginative ideas to life with Lara Jade and Sue Bryce's dynamic workshop on illustrative portraiture. This course will stimulate your creative senses and show you how to produce magnificent conceptual fine art portraits.

Lara Jade started her own lucrative career as an international fashion photographer by doing experimental self portraits, fine art and book covers. Sue Bryce is a multi award-winning Illustrative portrait photographer who specializes in creating beautiful images that look straight out of a fashion editorial. 

Lara and Sue will break down every step of their process — everything from scouting for creative props and settings to styling and shooting your portrait. Finally, this dream team will bring all the elements together in Photoshop and show you how to polish your raw photos into pieces of art that reflect your own unique imagination.

Class Materials

bonus material with purchase

Sues Textures


Lara Jade Textures

Lara Jade Textures for PC

QA Erin OKeefe Stylist

QA Felix Kunze Assisting and Lighting

Sue Bryce and Lara Jade Lighting Guide

Ratings and Reviews

Student Work

Related Classes



This was my first Creative Live course and I thoroughly LOVED it! While contemplating purchasing the course, I was a bit weary because some of the reviewers commented on how they wished they could have seen Sue Bryce give more in depth information about one of her projects, but there is SO MUCH information that is packed into this class. I LOVE Lara Jade and her work is amazing. The enthusiasm that both instructors bring to the class, their eagerness to share their workflow and wonderful retouching methods are worth every penny and then some. Going into the class, I already was familiar with Lara's beautiful fashion photography and really wanted to know her trade secrets so for me this was everything I needed. For me, the bonus feature was getting an insight into Sue's wonderful mind and how she conceptualizes, photographs and retouches her amazing portraits! Wow, I learned so much and I HIGHLY recommend these ladies and this course. Creative Live just one more thing... please, more LARA JADE courses!!

Kristen Clapham Photography

SO glad I bought this one...!!! Check out Day 2 - "the gospel according to Sue Bryce" - it's absolutely awesome - if you feel like you've been in a creative rut then you've gotta own this and watch it repeatedly!!! Thanks Sue, thanks Lara, thanks Creative Live team... another GREAT workshop!!


fantastic to see Lara in this; she's so natural and inspirational, and so generous with her resources. I would love to see her do another course, maybe with Felix too as I love his lighting and creativity. More, please!