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Cliff Shoot Location Final Thoughts

Lesson 12 from: Creating Your Reality with Composite Photography

Renée Robyn

Cliff Shoot Location Final Thoughts

Lesson 12 from: Creating Your Reality with Composite Photography

Renée Robyn

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Lesson Info

12. Cliff Shoot Location Final Thoughts


Class Trailer

Class Introduction


Why You Should Sketch Your Composite


What to Look for in Your Background


Posing Your Model


Communicate with Your Team


Elements of Compositing


Learning from Failure & Criticism


On-Location Safety Tips


How to Nail the Right Perspective for Your Composite Photo


Gauging Light & Exposure On-Location


On-Location Posing


Cliff Shoot Location Final Thoughts


Tips for Culling Images


Culling Images Q&A


Preparing Your Image for Composite


Composite Image Cleanup


Adding Background Image to Composite


The Difference Between Flow & Opacity


Composite Sky Elements


Using Curves to Color Match


Adding Atmospheric Depth to Image


Using Color Efex Pro to Manipulate Color


Using the Liquify Tool


Color Theory & Monitor Calibration


Adding Smoke Layer to Image


Selective Sharpening


Crop Your Image


Goal Setting for Digital Artists


Review of Location Composite


Understand Angle & Height for Your Base Plate Image


Base Plate Focus Point


Base Plate Lighting Tips


How to Use a Stand-In for Base Plate Image


Capture On-Location Base Plate Image


Student Positioning Demo


Base Plate Sketching


On-Location Sky Capture


What to Look for in a Base Plate Model


Building Composite Model Lighting


Composite Model Test Shots for Angle Matching


Composite Model Shoot: The Art of Fabric Throwing


Composite Model Shoot: Working with Hair


Composite Model Shoot: Posing Techniques


Composite Test with Final Shot


Lighting Setup Overview


Culling Model Shoot Images


Adjusting Skintone Colors


Merging Background with Model


How to Mask Hair


Creating a Layer Mask with the Brush Tool


Creating Shadow Layers


Removing Visual Distractions with Stamp Tool


Replacing Sky with Layer Mask


Drawing Hair Strands and Atmospheric Depth


Creating Contrast in Your Composite


Adding Atmospheric Elements


Using Particle Shop


Selective Color Adjustments


Cropping, Sharpening, & Final Touches


Closing Thoughts


Lesson Info

Cliff Shoot Location Final Thoughts

Alright, so we're wrapping up the shoot here it happened really, really quickly which means everybody stays warm. As what happens when you shoot on location, everything happened. So the wind was behaving then wasn't behaving. Then the sun came out, then the sun didn't come out. It was blowing sand everywhere. But we have two really good fabric ninjas that we throwing fabric perfectly. Our model did her job really well, the lighting did what it was supposed to do and it didn't fall over. And yeah, we got a great shot out of it so within a short amount of time we have basically our plate that we can start building on from here. So this is like our loose sketch. This is like step number one for all the work that we're gonna do in the future. So we wanna have a really good foundation to grow from. We have a great pose, we have a nice outfit, everything behaved the way we wanted it to and now we can go in post-production and start building it from there. So that is that. Do you have any que...

stions on closing thoughts before we go forward? Yes? Where did you have your strobe exactly? Okay yeah actually for some reason we, I knew we missed something in filming (laughs). I can pull that up. Okay, actually I'll just demo it. Do you mind standing up for me a second? I'm gonna move a little bit. Okay, so let's have you standing right here, so and then back up a little bit, cool. So, let's pretend that right behind you that's where the post was, right? So there's enough room for the model to walk backwards without tripping on it, right? So there's safety room there. And so then basically we had the strobe right over here, angled down, and it was bare-bulbed. So it was quite far back, so that, that light that's coming out of a small source is going to expand. And so that's how we wound up getting that nice little bit of light on her face and so I'll show that in more detail. But is that kind of what you were looking for, yep? Exactly, so, I do better with demoing, words are hard (laughs). Yes? I remember from a previous workshop you shot, we shot some smoke during the studio stuff. Do you ever shoot atmospheric stuff on location or do you do that mostly in studio? Like what kind of choices do you make with that or is it all just stock that you've had, type stuff? So generally what I like to do is I like making myself stock days. Where I'll spend a day in my garage with a smoke machine, bleeding my eyes out with smoke, and making my neighbors think the garage is burning down or I'm smoking a lot of stuff that I shouldn't be smoking. So that's generally like what I'll do is I'll be like okay, and it's actually exciting 'cause it's like okay we're gonna get some sparks today. So like get the grinder, and like you know grind on metal and like get it bouncing off stuff and it's super fun right? But I have the tools available to be able to do that and to do it safely. So, that's what I like to do, but at the same time if I'm out and I see something, I'm like, I'm on that thing like white on rice, I'm totally all over it (laughs). So it's just being aware, being curious and then it's, you know, setting the time aside to do that. And then of course if you don't have the access with those equipment so on and so forth, there's people who sell it, so. Yes? And I'll make in addition to that, how about wind machines to blow the hair around and the dresses? Yeah, absolutely. Fans are awesome, I actually have, a bar I used to go to closed down and they had all these industrial fans that they had hanging up at the ceiling, and I totally bought one. And people sit there and go oh my god it's so expensive but you can get that stuff from Craigslist you can get that from Kijiji, Amazon, there's so many places to get fans that are industrial grade for relatively cheap. I mean you can watch for estate sales. Sometimes there's things like that. So it's kind of, a lot of us have that one friend, I don't know if you have that one friend, if you don't have that one friend you probably are that one friend who's like always on looking for the deals, looking for the sales. You just tell them, be like hey just so you know like wondering in the next six months or so if you happen to see, you know, this kind of a fan or like a leaf blower or something. I tend to stay away from leaf blowers a little bit. I know lots of people use them to great success. I worry with leaf blowers basically because the amount of force that comes out of them I worry about something getting caught and then hitting them in the eye. And that actually comes from working in the industrial field, a career that I had in a past previous life that I killed Renee, that version of Renee, worked in a commercial industrial plant. And it's like the first thing everyone's like don't get stuff in the eyes and that's been drilled in my brain that you don't want to get anything in the eye so I tend to be a little careful of something that has that much force and that much power coming out of it. I've seen some people using an air compressor which is dangerous. Please be careful if you're using an air compressor because what can happen, doesn't saying it's going to happen, but what can happen, is you can get air bubbles in the skin. And when air bubbles go into the skin they go into bloodstream, they can go into the heart and the person can die, so please be careful if you're using an air compressor. I watched one shoot once and I was like okay I have to, I can't sit by and watch this. So, be aware what the limitations are. You know if you're just blowing dress around totally use a leaf blower but around the face, unless I'm in a very clean, sterile environment I try to be a little bit more careful. The other side of it is if somebody's, let's say your subject matter has contact lenses or false eyelashes, the eyes are way more irritable. So I tend to use the fan or whatever purpose of wind that we're using in slow spurts so that their eyes have time to reset. 'Cause a lot of times, I mean, I wear contact lenses so there's some photos from when I was modeling where I'd be like this, like crossing my eyes, to like get my contact lens to go back where it was because my eyes dried. And then they have this photo of me that I'm sure is on the internet somewhere (laughs) like trying to just reset my eyes, right? So it's keeping your subject matter comfortable. If your subject matter's not comfortable your whole thing no matter how great everything else is, you're probably going to be able to see it if you're paying attention. So, turn it on, turn it off, and stay away from air compressors. Question from the internet. Folks would love to know a little bit about how you choose the outfits and how you chose this particular one for this shoot. Awesome, yeah, so how I choose outfits. In this case, I'd never met this model before except for the day that we shot. I had no idea what she looked like except for a headshot of her looking very smiley, very pretty, and I was like, cool. I didn't even know how long her hair was. So, her casting information had it there but I'm visual. I'm like okay, five foot eight, your roughly like a little bit taller than me so this dress size should fit you. So, the model saying that she's a size two, I don't know where that's distributed, right? I know the circumference of her hips but I don't know if she's a slender body type or if she's like a curvy body-type and just petitely-shaped, right? So, in other case, I picked an outfit that was very simple and would fit most body types in a flattering way. So she happened to be a little bit more round in her body shape as opposed to more slender it would still look nice. I also don't know her posing experience. So in this case I picked an outfit that I A would be easy to cut out, so because we were shooting outdoors, a dark outfit, dark hair, light background, should be easy to cut out, but also if I don't know her posing experience I don't know how body aware she is, right? So in this case here, just by having her move her toes and stuff like that I can tell she has no dance background. So that means that, that's how a lot of clients are to photograph, you know, they don't necessarily know how to move their body in a way that's flattering to the camera. So, in this case, it's a way to hide a lot of the things, a lot of the challenges that could make this shoot go a lot longer. So, once again, what are our limitations? Cold and time. So, getting ways that we can get poses and get what we need as quick as possible. So, I thought the fabric would be pretty, it would blow everywhere and the shirt would be flattering on her and it would be a nice tall neckline. So, I wasn't looking for something that's like really sexy because I'm not interested in the curviness of her body. I'm interested in making her like kind of long and lean and just kind of strong. So that's how I chose the outfit for this. The other thing that I chose on the skirt is an elastic band, so it'll fit (laughs). Because sometimes with models, the time of the month can happen and we gain two inches around our midsection, there's nothin' we can do about it. So you might be a 32 naturally, or the model might be 32 naturally, but I've had this happen in the middle of shoot where, you know, time of the month hit, and this is reality, this happens, and all of a sudden I just like watched her expand a couple more inches and I was like the outfits the other outfits we have are not gonna fit. We had to shoot, and it was for a designer, we had to shoot the back of the dress with the zipper open and we just clamped the top because bodies happen, it's just what happened. So I just had something that had a little bit of flex because I didn't know her before and who knows what can happen. So it's having options and removing my limitations. So we actually had another skirt that was also sized for a size two but it didn't have the stretch and it was a little bit of a and a gap on the end of it. So I was like okay well that's why we have backup plans. So, that's how we chose it for this and also she can stay warm (laughs) so stack all the warms. Yes? What kind of resources do you use for outfits? Or do you find yourself like pinning fabric a lot, and stuff like that? I pin fabric and I Ebay the crap out of things (laughs). I get lots of stuff from the internet. I get a lot of stuff from, and we'll talk about this as well going forward, at the shoot tomorrow, I get a lot of stuff from theaters when they close out. There's, sometimes there's operas. One of the outfits, I don't know if it's gonna fit our model for tomorrow or not, we're not really sure, we had to get somebody shorter 'cause we originally were gonna put it with this girl but she's like three inches too tall for the dress and I was like oh that's not gonna work. So we got somebody a little shorter. But, it's you know, it was from an opera and they weren't using it anymore, they were selling the costume. So you can sometimes pick those up for pretty cheap, sometimes they can be pretty expensive, right? So, depending what your budget is, pinning fabric is always fun too. I've actually made dresses and skirts out of just like safety pins and fabric and a little bit of creative editing. You know like if I have like a corset on somebody I can totally pin up just tons of fabric under that thing. And the corset's gonna look a little bit fluffier than what she is normally. And then you know in Photoshop you can Liquify. So, Liquify is not all bad. There's just can be used for bad purposes right? So, but another case yeah, that's another thing that I like to do is just go to a used fabric store. One thing that I love, that I wish more photographers would do, are clothing and prop swaps. We used to do them back home a fair bit. We would, all the models would show up with four of five garbage bags of stuff that we were tired of shooting in. And so we would like throw all the stuff in the middle of a floor and then everyone would just run at it like dogs (laughs). We'd just like, okay I'll take that. And then if two people wanted the same thing it was rock, paper, scissors (laughs). And it worked really well and then we leave with like four or five garbage bags of brand new stuff. So photographers can do the same thing actually. There was a group, a couple times we would like take our cars and just pop the trunks in a parking lot and so we'd just like trade gear. And if there was stuff you wanted to sell you could do that. So, all that stuff is really powerful if you have a community that's willing to come together and not be like, these are my secrets, you can't have my secrets. You know if you're tired of shooting with something offer it out, there's lots of garage sales and stuff like that that you can get things from too. So, you know getting everybody to come together as a community is such a foreign concept I know. But it's totally possible, we can do this. We can play nice. So yeah that's where I spend a lot of time is doing that kind of stuff. But yeah, lots of Ebay, lots of fabric, lots of whatever happens across my doorstep. So, yeah, it's good.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Texture Sample Pack
Layered Beach PSD Composite
Layered Cliff PSD Composite

Ratings and Reviews

Dino Maez

i have to say, the class was AMAZING! in every way from the tricks and technique's of mastering this art form to the personalized attention given by Renee. through the class you are able to learn information that would normally take the average person years of trial and error. Renee gives you the gift of benefitting from her her experiences and what she has learned THE HARD WAY! Renee is an outstanding instructor full of passion for what she does, and with a strong desire to not only improve the art, but more importantly, pay it forward, by sharing her knowledge with others. I was fortunate enough to be able to attend the event in person, truly a once in a lifetime experience for me, the staff at creative live were THE BEST! they are helpful in every way and really made this event something special, i can't say enough about the experience i had and would highly recommend that anyone who has the opportunity to go down for a class, it will be an experience that you will never forget. but the best part of creative live is that wether you are there in person or wether you are watching from the comfort of your own home, you are involved in the class in REAL TIME, you have the ear and attention of the skilled artist giving the instruction, being there myself i can tell you that Renee was regularly given questions and comments from the viewers via the creative live staff and she would respond to them as they came, in that way you are very much apart of the class you are never left without getting that personalized attention of an amazing artist or that specific question you have answered, and even better you have the option to purchase the class and have it as a constant resource in your tool kit that you can refer back to at any point that you need a refresher or want to recall that special technique that was demonstrated. thank you thank you to renee and all the staff at creative live you have a life long member in me. and i would recomend that everyone take advantage of this valuable resource dino maez

stephen lenman

I have completed many creative courses. This is by far the best so far. Quite the most amazing and inspiring presenter with a true passion for their craft. The core information is excellent, but the thing i liked most were her subtle tangents, dropping incredible information completely on the fly. A complete real world honest view of business and practical side of the industry. Especially her advice on how she started to her business. Saving up enough in her day job so she could pay the rent, and do photography for 3-6 months.

Sheldon Carvalho

Awesome class. I've been following Renee for a very long time. I love her work and to finally see her work and get an image done from start to finish was quite something.. I love the way she sees things and the way she treats her work and all fellow creative. I would recommend this to everyone interested in getting into composting. Looking forward to creating and making my own art work. But it now :) Have fun creating. :)

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