Closing Thoughts


Creating Your Reality with Composite Photography


Lesson Info

Closing Thoughts

So for people who are wanting to get into this, whether you want to do it for fun or you wanna do it for a living, I'm gonna be very honest and say that you have to get some thick skin. Because people are gonna be out there, and I read the section yesterday and there are some people out there that suck. There are some people out there that are not nice and they're gonna say terrible stuff about you and the work that you're doing. They don't know you. They don't know the first thing about you. But they're gonna say awful stuff. (laughs) It's gonna happen. So if you are out there and you wanna create content and you wanna put it out there and you wanna work your ass off and get onto a platform like this, be ready that people are gonna say horrible stuff. (laughs) And it sounds horrible but it's true, but the other side of that that's really, really awesome is that nothing is better in this kind of a career than being able to give back. (laughs) And this where I get emotional. I think it'...

s like PMS time or something, but the best part of my career is being able to help people. And it's being able to see the expression on somebody's face when a little puzzle piece falls in. (laughing) And here we go. (laughing) But it's true, the best part of my job is not necessarily making images. It's not traveling. It's not anything else, but it's being able to reach out and being able to give back and to give hope to people who are sitting there and all they are seeing on the internet is stuff from people saying horrible shit to them. And to know that it's okay, and to stand up and that you're better than that, and that there's nothing better than being able to make amazing artwork and to share it with everybody else and to be able to give hope. And that I think is the best thing ever (laughs) (audience clapping) That's awesome. Thank you so much that was really great. (Renee laughing) You definitely are inspiring. So many great comments that I know you're gonna be reading on the page. I'm totally reading them so those of you who are saying nasty stuff, I'ma find you. (laughs) From Ed, Ed said "Spectacular!" With an exclamation. "Thanks for the detailed information "to creating reality with composites these past few days "has given me a lot of insight on the amount of work "that goes into this entire process, thank you." Belfy says, "Please let her know "she accomplished creating amazing images. "That they entertain and are informative, "so thank you very much." And one last one, "This really helps inspire. " I wish I didn't have to eat or sleep so I can spend more time on compositing." (laughs) Yeah. = So yeah, it's all about the time. It's a big part of it. Absolutely, if you want to master something, it's time in. A lot people are sitting there and they'll ask me, "Hey can I get a portfolio review?" and, "how can I get better? How can I get better?" Man, it's hours. It's hours you have to log the time and it's cool. I haven't' found a fast way to it other than, oops, I haven't found a fast way to it other than trying to get those 10,000 hours in faster and faster and faster. It's 10,000 hours, however long that takes you. It's 10,000 hours or 10,000 hours, whether you get that in five years or whether you get that in 15 or 20 years. It doesn't matter, but it's your 10,000 hours. So you're gonna have to clock time, because I mean, we went from really quickly, yesterday we did this. Yeah. And really quickly. To be honest, to do that in an afternoon is quite fast. And what I want to remind everybody is that you can do this with an iPhone. You can do this with a point-and-shoot. All you have to do is make sure that your files are the same quality. That's what makes it easy. If you're out there with your iPhone and you're taking photos, I mean there's thousands of millions of people doing iPhonography right now. And there's apps where you can mask things out, there's apps that you can do all of that stuff. It's all good. I'm not a snob, and I don't think any of us should be a snob of like "Oh well you're not shooting that on a 5DS, "you're not worth anything." Stuff it. (laughs) If all you have is a point-and-shoot and you want to make stuff, you can do this with a point-and-shoot. You just need a little bit of software. (laughs) And fortunately right now, Adobe makes that kinda cheap. And if you don't have the money for that, there's apps that you can get on your phone that are cheaper yet. Who knows, you might be really smart and you might make an app that can do it for cheaper for people. You might wind up going into development and all of a sudden work for some of these companies and develop techniques and software that can make this stuff even more accessible to more people. We live in the age of the internet. We live in the age where we are absolutely connected and we ar not limited by money anymore. Yes, your phones are expensive, but my first camera was a beat=up, used (laughs) point-and-shoot that went to a Nikon D that I bought off a student that needed money for school. Then I bought a used 5D Mark One. And I borrowed a 50mil lens. Actually the lens I was shooting with today is still that borrowed lens. I don't even own it. (laughing) Mostly because he never used it and he never asked for it back. I've offered it back thousands of times, but you know, so you can rent stuff. You can borrow stuff. You can ask people. This is the age of where everything is possible so stop letting everything else pretend limit you. Open your mind get out there and do awesome fucking work. (laughing) I think that's a good note to end on. (Renee laughing) It's absolutely perfect. Get out there and do the work. So Renee, thank you so much. No worries. For bringing your passion and your inspiration and your beautiful, beautiful work.

Class Description

With the right Photoshop know-how and studio shoot experience, you can merge fact and fiction into a reality that lives up to your imagination. Renee Robyn has made a career of turning everyday photos from her travels into eye-catching images. Robyn will teach you how to add people and other elements to your existing landscape photos using ethereal custom effects.

Join us for “Creating Your Reality with Composite Photography” and you’ll learn:

  • How to choose or set up a shoot for your background image
  • How to direct posing during a shoot, and work with directional light in studio to make your subject fit into the background image
  • How to composite your subject into your image using Photoshop

Photo compositing allows you to breathe interesting ideas into your photos. Open your hard drive, walk into your memory, and turn past experiences into fantastic new realities.


1Class Introduction 2Why You Should Sketch Your Composite 3What to Look for in Your Background 4Posing Your Model 5Communicate with Your Team 6Elements of Compositing 7Learning from Failure & Criticism 8On-Location Safety Tips 9How to Nail the Right Perspective for Your Composite Photo 10Gauging Light & Exposure On-Location 11On-Location Posing 12Cliff Shoot Location Final Thoughts 13Tips for Culling Images 14Culling Images Q&A 15Preparing Your Image for Composite 16Composite Image Cleanup 17Adding Background Image to Composite 18The Difference Between Flow & Opacity 19Composite Sky Elements 20Using Curves to Color Match 21Adding Atmospheric Depth to Image 22Using Color Efex Pro to Manipulate Color 23Using the Liquify Tool 24Color Theory & Monitor Calibration 25Adding Smoke Layer to Image 26Selective Sharpening 27Crop Your Image 28Goal Setting for Digital Artists 29Review of Location Composite 30Understand Angle & Height for Your Base Plate Image 31Base Plate Focus Point 32Base Plate Lighting Tips 33How to Use a Stand-In for Base Plate Image 34Capture On-Location Base Plate Image 35Student Positioning Demo 36Base Plate Sketching 37On-Location Sky Capture 38What to Look for in a Base Plate Model 39Building Composite Model Lighting 40Composite Model Test Shots for Angle Matching 41Composite Model Shoot: The Art of Fabric Throwing 42Composite Model Shoot: Working with Hair 43Composite Model Shoot: Posing Techniques 44Composite Test with Final Shot 45Lighting Setup Overview 46Culling Model Shoot Images 47Adjusting Skintone Colors 48Merging Background with Model 49How to Mask Hair 50Creating a Layer Mask with the Brush Tool 51Creating Shadow Layers 52Removing Visual Distractions with Stamp Tool 53Replacing Sky with Layer Mask 54Drawing Hair Strands and Atmospheric Depth 55Creating Contrast in Your Composite 56Adding Atmospheric Elements 57Using Particle Shop 58Selective Color Adjustments 59Cropping, Sharpening, & Final Touches 60Closing Thoughts


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

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. :)

Tristan Wilhelm

Very good class. I enjoyed the very friendly, approachable and quirky style Renee teaches with. I did feel, as others have said that she could get off on bunny trails and tell stories and I was glad for Creative Live's option to speed up the video. But great tips and it was extremely helpful watching it how she would do it. Thank you much Renee, and also, I'm a PC user that unites with you.