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Creating Your Reality with Composite Photography

Lesson 8 of 60

On-Location Safety Tips


Creating Your Reality with Composite Photography

Lesson 8 of 60

On-Location Safety Tips


Lesson Info

On-Location Safety Tips

So what we did before all of this stuff here in the studio, we went out onto location, and we did a pre-shoot. So we actually photographed a model on location, and then we actually photographed the background pieces that we're gonna use for the studio stuff tomorrow. So we're basically gonna go through tiny little segments of film that we pre-shot, and we'll do questions and explanations all the way through it, and then we'll go through the series of culling the images. So the first one here that we're gonna go through is just safety, so it's brief. They cut out the part where I was cursing at the sun when the sun came out, I was kind of sad about that, but, yeah, I guess I'll just hit play, and we'll go from there. Okay, so we made it to our location. We hiked everything out here, and we want to make sure when we get here that there's major concerns to look after. One of them of course being safety, making sure everybody's warm, making sure the equipment stays safe and stays dry, and ...

then making sure that everything just kind of stays the way it's supposed to. So I want to make sure there's no equipment failures, no equipment breaks, and more importantly, no people get injured. So one of the things that I like to look for, is in this case we actually have a cliff behind us here, but iw ant to make sure that our model's far enough away so that she's not gonna get hurt. So there's no risk of her stepping back and falling away. It would take a lot of effort for her to fall off this cliff, especially if we even have a lot of wind, which it's kind of windy today. Next we have computers, we have computers propped up on stuff, so there's no sand getting in anything, there's a platform to put the camera, so there's no dirt getting into the camera or the lens, and then we have lighting, and we have people here who can hold the light to make sure it's not gonna fly anywhere. Originally, we had planned on using a lighting modifier, but it's way too windy, so we're just gonna use a bare bulb. All righty, so that is video number one. So do we have any questions on safety? Because basically what we have there is that we're shooting on a cliff edge so that it's relatively easy to cut out, right? But I'm keeping her far enough away so that if she actually fell over backwards, it would take so much effort (laughing) that it basically would be like the perfect storm. Which the perfect storm can happen, but we want to make sure that there's enough safety steps in place that we can keep everybody and the equipment safe. So there's no equipment gonna fall on her, we didn't have anything overhead that the wind could catch and fall on her, or on anybody else for that matter, because life is necessary. And yeah, I wanted to make sure that the equipment stayed safe, because of course this is a laptop, sand getting into things is bad, and as I learned when I was in Death Valley a couple weeks ago, and I got caught in a sand storm, sand in your lenses is really bad. So my lens is off for repair right now. (laughing) But do we have any questions on safety before we go into the next video? These are all pretty short, so. Yes? Just a question from me personally. Can you talk to us a little be about what kind of insurance you have, and where you get it through. Yeah, I have, so there's lots of places to get insurance, I just have private insurance. So I just have commercial liability insurance. If you're part of, say, PPA, or PPOC, depending on what part of the world you're in, a lot of times you can get discounted insurance through those agencies, but mine is just through private insurance, that I have everything covered, so. That's, insurance is a really great thing to have, especially if somebody was to fall off and get hurt, that perfect storm happened, she jumped, and then gale-force winds took her and threw her off the cliff, it's really nice to have a healthy insurance policy sot that your people are looked after.

Class Description

With the right Adobe® 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.

In this class 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.


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

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. :)