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Creating a Fine Art Series

Lesson 39 of 70

Editing Samsara Shoot #2 - Cropping and Editing Backgrounds

Brooke Shaden

Creating a Fine Art Series

Brooke Shaden

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Lesson Info

39. Editing Samsara Shoot #2 - Cropping and Editing Backgrounds


  Class Trailer
Now Playing
1 Class Introduction Duration:07:25
3 Your Timeline is Nonlinear Duration:05:37
5 What Factors Dictate Growth Duration:08:24
7 Niche Branding Duration:04:57
11 Idea Fluency Duration:10:33
12 How to Represent an Idea Duration:07:01
13 How to Innovate an Idea Duration:07:07
22 Shooting for a Fine Art Series Duration:05:45
24 Wardrobe and Texture Duration:04:54
25 Posing for the Story Duration:05:32
26 Choosing an Image Duration:01:23
28 Posing for the Story Duration:04:17
29 Creating Backlight Duration:02:37
33 Shooting the Background Images Duration:06:14
54 Oil Painting on Prints Duration:05:41
55 Encaustic Wax on Prints Duration:03:09
56 Failure vs. Sell Out Duration:05:14
58 Branding Yourself Into a Story Duration:05:40
59 The Artistic Narrative Duration:05:26
61 Get People to Buy Your Story Duration:11:36
63 Pricing For Commissions Duration:06:43
65 Class Outro Duration:01:00
66 Live Premiere Duration:16:14
69 Live Premiere: Q&A Duration:16:10
70 Live Premiere: Photo Critique Duration:47:33

Lesson Info

Editing Samsara Shoot #2 - Cropping and Editing Backgrounds

Okay, let's take a look at the second one where we had the plexi glass and Anna was hiding behind it. Pushing through on this is like our barrier. So if we take a look, we can see that we have reflection issues. Yes, that is a known problem which we tried to fix and did. Eventually, there we go, fixed it. And these were the first shot. So I was really testing to see what we have going on. Is this gonna work? Is the pot's gonna work? And I liked it quite a bit, but we hadn't added anything into it. So we hadn't put in any syrup, any water and clay like we added towards the end. Now, I remember this shot because this was where she breathed onto, uh, the glass. And I thought that was so gorgeous. I just love that, even just as a close up, um, to crop into So that's something I'm gonna think about as an accompanying image to the Siri's that I wouldn't necessarily print. But it might be available digitally to view as another version of this. So we tried one hand and in the water. This is wh...

ere we started to see a lot more abstraction happening that I thought was really gorgeous. Thes air, some of my favorite favorite images. I'm really enamored. So let's see where we ended up. That was with the backlight, and that was really that was really wonderful. So I'm gonna choose to images that I feel are really strong. I think this one is a favorite, so I'm going to mark that as a favorite. And perhaps we changed before we change the lighting. I think some of these were really very powerful, quite like that one. So I'm gonna go with that one, okay? And I'm just label labeling them a selected so that I could easily open them from bridge into camera raw. So as that opens, I'm starting to think about how this is going to fit into the Siri's. How does this fit in with lighting is so different? Well, it's still gonna be dark, and it's still gonna be high contrast. So let's see if we can keep that in mind as we go now. These images were very dark and I knew that, and I wanted them to have that sort of semi silhouette Look to them, so I don't want to brighten them up too much. But let's see, we can play with exposure just a little, just paying attention to the skin tone. We could take the shadows up just a little if we want to get rid of some of that contrast. Same goes for this image, but it was different lighting, so I wanna treat them separately. So if we take the exposure up, it's gonna really brighten up the background. And that is not what I'm going for in this image. So I'm gonna leave the exposure alone instead, Worked from the shadows here and the black point, which is gonna brighten up everything that is not the highlight there. Okay, so we'll select both images and open them up and decide which one to move forward with. Because I'm not sure it's always good. If you have an instinct for two different images, try them out. See which one really is going to work better for what you're trying to dio and for me, I want to create abstraction, but not so much that you can't tell what's happening. So it really requires that I zoom in and I take a close look at both of these images for their own purposes. And I actually think that this one works better, even though it's not quite as exciting from a photographic standpoint. With the light behind her, I think that it works better to be able to see a little bit more of the subject. I might change my mind. So I'm not even gonna close it, because who knows what? I'll think blood. Start here. Okay, So I'm gonna choose the crop tool, And this time I'm not going to expand. I'm going to crop. And I'm just gonna really crop in pretty tight on this so that we just have the subject there, gonna slightly adjust so that we have pretty good frame where she's still centered. That's really important to me. Okay, I think that's where I'll put it. And let's zoom in on that, Okay? I love so much that's happening here. I don't love that. I can see myself got to fix that. I don't love the poll. Got to fix that. But those air, some simple fixes that we could do right up front. So I'm just going to duplicate my layer and I'm going to go in with my brush tool just like we did before this time of making it a little smaller, taking the opacity all the way up and all to clicking to define a source point. I'm just gonna paint it away just like that over here. Same thing defining a source point and painting it away over here. Source point painting it away. And eventually, hopefully, this will just kind of blend into the background. And I'm going to do that with my lasso tool. So where do I want to see the subject? Really? Well, probably right through here. Okay. Good and right. Click and feather. Um, let's do 150 pixels this time just that it's a really big feather and then select inverse so everything. But our subject is selected. Going to use curves to make everything in the background darker

Class Description


  • Beat “creator's block” by practicing exercises to help you overcome it
  • Conceptualize a series that nails story, emotion, and connection
  • Execute a low-budget, high-impact photoshoot for your series
  • Edit your images for series cohesion and seamless compositing
  • Brand yourself and your art into a story that others can connect with


Creating a fine art body of work can be daunting when you consider that a great series has innovative ideas, cohesive editing, and an undeniable connection to an audience. During this class, Brooke will walk through the entire process of creating a fine art series, from conceptualization, shooting, and editing to branding and pricing. The success of a body of work comes from the artist’s ability to go beyond the connection to an audience; it must land in the heart of the viewer and then instill a call to action within them. Brooke will lead you through not only how to make your work relatable, but how to take that extra step to become unforgettable, and ultimately, sellable.


  • Intermediate creators who want to focus on personal work and find a deeper level of creating.
  • Creators who not only want to tighten the cohesion of their work but ensure that the full depth of meaning is communicated.
  • Artists who want to learn simple yet effective ways of creating a body of personal work.


Adobe Photoshop 2020 (v21.2.4) and Adobe Bridge CC 2020 (v10.1.1)


Brooke explores the darkness and light in people, and her work looks at that juxtaposition. As a self-portrait artist, she photographs herself and becomes the characters of dreams inspired by a childhood of intense imagination and fear. Being the creator and the actor, Brooke controls her darkness and confronts those fears.

After studying films for years in college, she realized her love of storytelling was universal. She started photography then in 2008, excited to create in solitude and take on character roles herself. Brooke works from a place of theme, often gravitating toward death and rebirth or beauty and decay.

Ultimately, her process is more discovery than creation. She follows her curiosity into the unknown to see who her characters might become. Brooke believes the greatest gift an artist has is the ability to channel fears, hopes, and experience into a representation of one's potential.

While her images come from a personal place of exploration, the goal in creating is not only to satisfy herself; her greatest wish is to show others a part of themselves. Art is a mirror for the creator and the observer.

Brooke's passion is storytelling, and her life is engulfed in it. From creating self-portraits and writing to international adventures and motivational speeches, she wants to live a thousand lives in one. She keeps her curiosity burning to live a truly interesting story.

*This course contains artistic nudity.


a Creativelive Student

Brooke never fails to deliver. I found this course superb from start to finish. From exercising your creative 'muscle', demystifying taking self portraits, and showing that they don't have to be perfect before you begin editing, to walking you through her editing process and how to price your work. Brooke's enthusiastic personality and excitement about the work shines through it all. Definitely recommended!

Søren Nielsen

Thank for fantastic motivating an very inspiring. The story telling and selling module was very helpful - thanks from Denmark

Rebecca Potter

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Brooke for this amazing class. Inspired and so full of practical knowledge, this is the best class I've ever watched. You have given me the confidence to pursue what I've always been afraid to do. Watch this space!