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Creating Your Reality with Composite Photography

Lesson 58 of 60

Selective Color Adjustments


Creating Your Reality with Composite Photography

Lesson 58 of 60

Selective Color Adjustments


Lesson Info

Selective Color Adjustments

I've added atmospheric stuff, we've added things and stuff, it's looking not too shabby, I am down to start playing with color. So now I'm gonna go, let's do, I like selective color. It's kinda fun. I'm totally gonna jump into Nik Software, it's gonna happen, but I like to play in here a little bit first, anyways. Cool tones looking not too bad. The cool tones is gonna balance out this nicely. This is actually looking a lot better, just like that. Well then. (chuckles) Happy accident. I'm gonna turn this off first, and I'm gonna just quickly do a detail extraction. I'm gonna slide the color up. Detail extractor, there we go. That's way too much, looks HDR, it's awful. Totally gag worthy. But if we pull it up a little bit here, I know I'm gonna mask it out of the sky, like I did before, because I don't really want tons of detail in the sky, but I like what detail extraction does to my subject, bringing it in to even it out with some of the stuff that's in the scene. Knock up the contras...

t a little bit. Not too bad, gonna hit OK. Gonna create a layer mask. Turn the flow up. Let's get that out of that sky a little bit. I don't really want it there. Before, after. I'm okay with it being in the cloud a little bit, just not as hardcore as it was. I have that selective color adjustment, it's looking pretty awesome. Hey, that's what I call a happy accident. (chuckles) Even better, let's turn that down just a little bit. Nice. Neat. That happens sometimes. (chuckles) I've lost some of the atmospheric work that I put in there, so I'm going to take this atmosphere layer, I'm going to duplicate it. I'm gonna drag it to the top again, because I like what that does for that little bit of separation there. I'm gonna turn it down even further, but I don't want to lose that. This is really starting to come together quite nicely, I think it's working out not too bad. I'm gonna jump into color effects again. We're gonna load up. Go into cross balance. Go away, come on. Thank you. Now remember things that are closer up sometimes can be warmer than things that are further away. Day two, my brain is like, nope, we're done. (chuckles) But if we play with this here, and I up this up a tiny little bit, and then we remask out those clouds, so we copy that mask for the clouds and we have the cooler clouds in the background, this could look actually pretty rad. So I'm gonna go OK. And I have this mask here from detail extractor, so I am going to hold Alt, click and drag that up here. So now this is not good enough, and it's a little bit too strong. (vocalizing) First thing I'm gonna do is I'm gonna make the sky super blue, which it's too blue right now, in my opinion. Click that. We're looking not too shabby. Now I'm going to invert this and I'm going to take a really big brush at a lower flow, and I'm just gonna wiggle it across the whole screen. Maybe that will lighten it up a little bit. I'm basically bringing back in some of that tungsten tone into the shot. That's looking better. It's a little too much that time though. Lower flow. That's better. That's not too bad, it's looking all right. Let's play with this a little bit. I'm gonna go color balance. Once again, this is not the end-all, be-all of editing color. Totally just sliding around here, seeing what's kinda fun. I'm gonna add a little yellow to my highlights, shadows, let's add a little bit of cyan, little bit of blue. Too much, there we go. Alright, this is the Bob Ross-y part, I get it guys, it's cool, it's boring. (chuckles) I'm gonna open up a curves here. Gonna just flatten this a tiny little bit. So this is a little bit strong. Gonna bring that back a touch. I'm actually gonna see what happens if I put my curves there underneath this. Nah, not too much. The order of your adjustments makes a huge difference. Huge, huge, huge difference. Lots of things can make big changes there for sure. Last thing, I think I'm getting pretty close here. I'm gonna go hue/saturation, I'm gonna slide down my saturation a tiny little bit. Whoa. Go away. Give me my room back. (chuckles) So I'm gonna put the saturation back at zero. I'm gonna just lightly desaturate a little bit, and I'm going to leave the saturation a little bit stronger on her, because she is my subject, my little walking mermaid. So my mask, let's see here, little bit more. My mask is very, very, very subtle here. It's so, so, so small. Let's add just a little bit more. That's our mask right there. We can probably bring that down a little bit. Cool. Let's see how that looks on your screen. Not too shabby. What do you guys think so far? Anything that I missed? Like the hair strands, that was pretty awesome. (laughs) I see here, curves could maybe be a little bit less. Not too bad though, not too bad.

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. :)