Selective Sharpening


Creating Your Reality with Composite Photography


Lesson Info

Selective Sharpening

From here I like to do sharpening. So, once again, tons of different ways to do sharpening. For composites I find using a high-pass filter works pretty well. This image is already quite crunchy because, of course, I was pulling it in to capture one and we bought up the structure for a bit on her. But I'm just gonna create a merge layer again. Alt + Command + Shift + E or Alt + Control + Shift + E. Just gonna merge that up. Filter, Other, High Pass. Three is probably too much. I just went down to 2.4. I'm gonna put that blending mode on overlay. Now what I don't want, is I don't want this over my entire image. See, we're getting that little bit of haloing here, around her hair. So a lot of this hair stuff here, if I'm running into this problem, I would be drawing back in some hair strands. So this is not an image that I would blow up really, really, really, really big, simply because, well we just don't have the time to spend on hair today like I would normally do. Also this haloing is ...

really kind of annoying. So I'm gonna go Alt and I'm gonna click. And so what I'm gonna do, so when I hold Alt and click it just creates a black mask, right. So it hides everything. So I go Control + I which inverts it, I get a white mask, it's all over everything. Control + I, black mask, hides all of the work. So in this case, what I don't wanna do, is I don't wanna sharpen just the eyes and nothing else. What I wanna do, is I wanna sharpen according to the focal length of the image. Because we're creating a composite. So if you photograph something, focal length is gonna work in panels like windowpanes. So you're gonna have your windowpane and your windowpane and your windowpane. So one way to teach yourself aperture, of course, is if you get a whole bunch of chess pieces and you put them all in a line and you throw a camera on a tripod and you take a picture and then you adjust your aperture, your ISO and shutter speed to keep the exposure the same, but then you're getting more and more chess pieces in focus. So if you haven't done that, it's really kind of a fun little exercise. If you're playing with photography, experienced or not, it's just kind of a fun little thing. But another case, so when I'm sharpening her, I'm gonna want to sharpen the things that are aligned with her eye. At least as best as I can guess, right. And subtly. But it looks really weird if the only thing sharp in the picture is the eyes. You're just like, no that doesn't happen in real life. It doesn't work that way. So if you wanna experiment with that, take a photo of a friend or something at a low aperture, like say f2.8, standing up, and then study what's in focus. All the way down. Study what's up. So necessarily the eye is probably gonna be the one thing that's in focus, the nose will be a little bit out of focus, but if you're going down the body, if they're wearing a necklace or something, there's gonna be a line that's in focus across their chest. Because it's gonna be in line with her eye. Assuming they're standing up straight. Of course. If they're leaning forward of course then the whole experiment goes out the window. (laughs) If you wanna see what that looks like and what's in focus, do that. Do that experiment. Zoom in nice and close and see what's going on. So in this case, I'm gonna look at her eyes. I'm not gonna do this at 100%. I'm going to my brush again. Gonna lightly hit her eyes, probably some of her fingertips are gonna be in focus-ish, maybe a little bit of that hip. So we're looking at that there. The fabric here at the front is not gonna be more in focus, but some of this area here around the feet are probably gonna be more in focus than not. Wooh. Like I said, I played with the clarity a fair bit, so everything's just kind of crunchy. Mighta pushed it a little far. But whatever. Aah, cancel. Brush. So kind of approximately doing that. And so if I zoom in and someone goes, hey there's sensor dust, check that out. That's one thing that's nice when you do a high pass filter, all your sensor dust is like, what's up. (laughs) Control + Shift + New, Blank Layer. Healing sensor dust. (laughs) Ay! Sample all layers. (laughs) Please go away. There we go. Yeah, when you do the detail extractor actually, there we go, I knew there was another one there somewhere. Ahhh! Sand storms are bad for everything. (laughs) Yeah, if you're out shooting sand, put something around your camera. (laughs) Otherwise it gets sad. Alright, so from here I have this and I turn that on and off and it should be very subtle. It's like all these adjustments that we've done here, have been mostly pretty subtle. I'd say the most extreme adjustments are the color, when you start sliding things around and you start getting a little bit more extreme with it. If you're trying to make really, really realistic compositions, where you're not having fancy color like this, then your color adjustments are gonna even be more subtle. Very gentle, very soft color adjustments.

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.