Creating Your Reality with Composite Photography


Creating Your Reality with Composite Photography


Lesson Info

Using Curves to Color Match

Alrighty so we are going to play with color right now and we're gonna play with color a fair bit but right now, one of the things I want to correct is the inconsistency of color between my background, and my foreground, and everything like that. So she is a little bit too tungsten for me compared to what's going on around her. One thing that I noticed is that things that are further away tend to get a little bit more daylight balance and actually this mist mountain range is a perfect example of that. So see here, that mountain range here is nice and tungsten, it's fading off to the stuff that's further away; there's a little bit more daylight. So you'll see this a lot in cinematic stuff. I'm not gonna make this that extreme of course but I like to kind of blend things in a little bit smoother. So I do think that in Capture One I might've been a little bit trigger happy on some of the saturation adjustments which happens sometimes. So what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna turn off these two la...

yers so I'm gonna move back to here, and I'm gonna select this part of my image here. I'm gonna go Alt + Control + Shift + E or Command + Alt + Shift + E and that's just gonna merge everything up underneath. So what I'm gonna do with this now is I'm gonna create a clipping mask so I'm gonna click here, I'm gonna go to my Curves, but right now if I make a curves adjustment, it's going to affect everything below. But I'm sure I don't need to clip it but for out of good habit I'm gonna hold Alt and I'm gonna click - see that little arrow shows up - so it's only gonna affect this image. So if I had a whole bunch of layers of different stuff then this is gonna make more sense when I make more adjustments to the other layers. But if I'm doing that kind of work when I clip the mask, it's not gonna affect all the things in the shot; actually there's probably a better way that we can demo this so it makes more sense so it's more clear. Let's put a Curves there on top of everything, click, drag, it affects everything. If I clip this to the clouds, it's only affecting my clouds now. So, that's the beauty of a clipping mask but in this case we're gonna use it so that we're adjusting our color balance. So I'm gonna go to blue and I will be totally honest, I'm doing this in a really bright room, my colors are probably not gonna be super accurate but I'm gonna do my best here. So I'm just gonna pull this up, she's looking just a little too tungsten, and that's way too much blue but I can reduce the opacity of that curves adjustment layer, and I can go like okay well you know it's looking not too bad, her skin's looking a little better but the dress looks too blue. But because this is a mask, we can paint that. I might just bring back in a little bit of that yellow, not as much, move the Flow, make it a little smaller; I'm just using a soft brush and I'm just slightly blending that. So you wanna make sure cause just because her skin tone was just a little bit too much for me and so when I adjusted the blue, of course it made it a little too blue so our super specific mask looks like that. (chuckles) Sometimes if you don't need a perfect mask, don't make one (laughs). Perfect masks count for lots of things but sometimes they just don't matter. The sky I think I'm gonna add just a little bit of blue tone to it but just a tiny, tiny little bit. Gonna go to my blue channel, I'm just gonna play with it just a little bit and so that, even just that tiny little bit is almost too much right? See that's too much in my opinion anyways but once again, if you make it a little bit too much, it is a clipping mask, I can turn down the opacity of that layer so that it makes just the tiniest little bit of adjustment, and the devil is in the details right? So, we're getting a little bit more cohesive color, it's looking a little bit more realistic, we're going through here, we're looking at these greens here and these greens here, and they're not too bad. These are a little bit too hypersaturated for my flavor so I might make another clipping mask and I'll go Hue Saturation, hold Alt + Click, there we go, click on Hue Saturation there, and then I might go to my greens, and let's just slide down the saturation a little bit on the greens. So let's see, I wanna make sure I'm actually adjusting anything which nothing's happening right now; let's try a different color. And this is kinda what happens, sometimes things just screw up - there we go. So now when we push it all the way we can see what's going on. So I want to reduce the saturation just a tiny, tiny, tiny little bit; minus three. So let's look at this, let's see how we're doing. That's before and after, and the difference is really, really small, and that's totally fine with me. Okay so if we turn on and off our curves adjustments, and our saturation adjustments, we look like that, and like that to that. Very, very, very subtle adjustments. It's just lots of subtle 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