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Creating Your Reality with Composite Photography

Lesson 26 of 60

Selective Sharpening


Creating Your Reality with Composite Photography

Lesson 26 of 60

Selective Sharpening


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 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. :)