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Digital Sports Photography

Lesson 33 of 33

Finalize Images in Photoshop CC: Triathlete

Dustin Snipes

Digital Sports Photography

Dustin Snipes

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Lesson Info

33. Finalize Images in Photoshop CC: Triathlete

Lesson Info

Finalize Images in Photoshop CC: Triathlete

So we're gonna start with this image. I'm gonna try and auto levels. Didn't do a thing. I'm gonna try auto color. I kinda like that little blue tone to it. It's kinda cool. Automatically, when I do that, like when I leave it warm, I wanna leave those shadows open. When I turn it blue, I wanna make it come down and make it darker for some reason. Again, it's a lot of feeling out for what I do in Photoshop. I may hate it after I do it and just wanna get rid of it. I'm gonna take out this in the back. It's a light stand from our sun. I'm just gonna use the healing brush right now. It's doing a pretty good job. I'm doing it slower than before because I don't wanna streak it all the way through because I feel like it might mess things up a little bit. Can't really see it up there. Gonna take that out, even though it might be just part of the bush. Get this out, then I'm gonna take my sand bag out and the sand bag out right here. So, it's pretty good. If I really wanted to, again, I don't th...

ink this is, nobody's ever gonna see this. It's a little sloppy back there but nobody's ever gonna see it. It's kind of in the shadow. I'm looking around the image. If I really wanted to, I would soften up this shadow right here 'cause it's a pretty hard one but I don't mind it right now. I would probably take this out too. This, this, and maybe a little bit of this, and then on her, I would probably clean up a little bit. Let's do a little bit of clean up first. So there's a couple ways you can clean up skin. People, everybody does it differently. I will go, and you can, I do a lot of highlight and dodge and burn style and it's a lot more intricate, take a lot longer, and you really only do those on really high resolution face portraits. In this type of stuff because it's kinda softer and further away, you don't need to do that. You can kinda get away with doing a quicker, more, like a heal brush. Just make sure you're not smoothing things out too much. Sometimes it'll take a pixel. Here, let me see if this will do it. Yeah, it's kind of adding in texture but it looks a little weird. So I usually try to keep it as small as possible and if I'm really having problems or whatever, I will just use the, again, the straight clone brush and kinda blend back in that texture if I can. So on this particular image, she has a little bit of shine right here. I think I wanna take a little bit of it out. I'm gonna take some of this right here, put it on the clone brush, turn it down to 20%. Just brush over this. All I'm trying to do is lighten it up. I don't mind the highlight. I just don't want it to be distracting, so, that's it. Just a soft, little take away. There's a little hot spot on her nose. I'm gonna take the heal brush. We're just gonna get rid of it. And now it's a little weird so I'm going to go to Fade, bring it back down. It's still there, but again, not very distracting. Or maybe it is, let's take it out. I contradict myself a lot. Again, it's all about what feels right to you. So I'm gonna also take this shadow or the highlight down right there just a tad. It's not much. I'm still in my clone brush right now at a low opacity. Still just kinda blending through some of these. And I'll pull from different areas. Like I'll hover around out in order to get it. You can see this kinda smooths it out a little bit. I'm gonna open it up and see how bad it looks back here. Can't really see it once you get back to this point. So unless somebody's under a fine microscope, I don't really think I would care too much about that. Take this out on her arm. Again, you wanna go in the same sorta color. I wouldn't wanna take over here and clone right here 'cause clearly, that's gonna be too bright, so I wanna take from right below it 'cause it has the same sort of range as the skin above it. When you're doing the highlight and shadow, you're really close most of the time. You're really in here at pixel level and you would basically just lighten these to match the ones around you. It takes forever, but it's probably the best way to do it. Well, if you really wanna make it look the most pro. There we go. (humming) Lot of beauty photographers and stuff do that type of work. I'm just kinda blending in skin tones making her skin a little bit more. There's a little variation in here. I'm trying to soften that up. Just doing with a light opacity coming through. I'll probably fix some of these right down here. So let's do this last one. And again, I'm in the same line right here. I wouldn't wanna take from there. I don't wanna mess that up too much. So it's pretty good. I would make sure I go to the leg, especially right here, it's a little off. So this is a little redder right here on her knee, so I'm gonna take the brush, open it up a little bit wider, make sure it's on a soft opacity or a soft, sorry, soft hardness, and then I wanna turn down the opacity, take that off, and then turn it to my quick brush or my quick mask. It's right here by the way, or you can push Q. Turn that up to 100%. Kinda go in like this, brush around, turn it back to Q, inverse it. I wanna make level or adjustment layer and I think I'm gonna use, you can use a couple different names. You can selective color, you can use hue and saturation, we're gonna go just in hue and saturation, take down the reds just a little bit and if we want a little bit more, we'll go around it. So I'm gonna take this, go down to 50%. We are inverse, so I gotta go to white now. Take down this right here. Take down this over here, and now I'm gonna take down some of this on this leg. Watch out, you can, obviously like here, now it's a little too much but we can go back if we need to later. I'd probably add a little bit more contrast in here. You can see how the light's mostly hitting up here and now her skin tone down here is a little off, so if I was to really fine tune this and take a lot longer on this one image, I would just select these legs by themselves, match the color up there. But right now, for speed, we're going to not do that. I'm gonna flatten what I got so far. If you really feel comfortable with that, I flatten often, I don't mind. If I mess up, I'll just go back and do it again. I usually try to, I just did a auto level, I took some of that blue out and it added some warmth. Again, I don't always do that. I just kinda check out what it looks like. I like it because it popped in some of that skin tone. It's still got a blue feel, especially the smoke back there. I'm gonna add a little bit more contrast and texture with adding a layer, like I do with a lot of my images. Again, that's kinda like one of the things I do to give it my feel of how I do my images. So we're adding that in that. I'm gonna check and see what I like here, take off that one. Think I'm gonna add it still. Yeah, I think I'm gonna leave that there. I think I want to now turn on an adjustment layer, a selective color, and go to greens. It's probably yellow, actually, but, yeah, I think yellow's gonna be the one. Yeah, here we go. So I wanna kinda get that a little bit greener back there. A little bit more, yeah, there we go (hums). Cool. Let's cut that in half. So I just dropped that selective down to 50%. I feel like this is pretty good. I'm gonna leave it as is. Let me just go and do history. Let's see what we did differently. We did, this was the start, this was the end. So let's go into this image. Okay, so, again, this was an image I looked right past at the beginning, we can open it again right here, and see the differences. Just adding a lot more contrast, getting those darks back in. It's pretty easy save but I'm really happy that I did. I don't really need to do much to this image. I like it as is, but I'm gonna add a little bit more red into this 'cause I just like what's going on with that color, but I want a little bit more. So I'm gonna go into my selective color again. Adjustment layer, selective color, open up the reds, and increase this, I'm gonna go like that, and then I'm gonna brighten that up. Now, her face is red too because turns out the skin is the same color as the background. So I'm gonna take my brush, make sure I'm selected on that layer, open it up, turns black, take out some of that in her face. Go up to zero, I wanna take all that out of her skin so it's a little bit more neutral and she's separated a little bit more. Here we go (hums). Okay, let's see. So, I think I want a little bit more right here in this middle. That's at zero. Then, I think I'm gonna flatten this. Actually one second, let me see this really quick. Yeah, I think even maybe more. I just wanna really play with this image. See what it looks like. I love the color in it, so why not just push it? I'm gonna do that even more so I'm gonna leave it just like that. Looks great to me. So I think I'm gonna clean up her skin just a little bit. Again, I'm giving her hard lights so I gotta be friendly to her 'cause she was nice enough to let me shoot her with a hard light. Let's see here. Take this out, take a little bit out from underneath. (humming) I'm on my clone brush using a lighter area of skin right here, and I'm just gonna get some of these dark spots underneath her eyes. You can also do this with highlight, dodge and burn. We can actually create a new layer and get a lot of that in there, but I'm gonna do this the quick way right now. It's actually, I'm gonna leave her freckles in there. I almost just took one of those out. Again, freckles and stuff like that, unless it's a beauty campaign or somebody specifically says, I hate that about me, I just leave 'em because I don't wanna end up on one of those Photoshop disasters websites. Okay, this is a little bit much right here so I'm gonna take it back. Back to the, oops, sorry let's go back to there. History, let's go back up here. Take this down just a little bit under her eye so it blends in a little bit more naturally. There we go. So, yeah, if you really want to make her face just come out a little bit more, I would make a new layer, turn it to soft light, turn on brushes 10%. Start with 10, you could do anything. Sometimes I go down to four, five, but if we're trying to build fast. Say I wanted to mimic this highlight right here, so I can start brushing in this right around here, give her a better highlight on her face. Give her a little bit of highlight on her nose. When you're doing this, you're thinking about contouring, so I use this a lot for muscles and also just to, again, to highlight, eye highlights, all the whites, and then I can darken up her eyebrow right here. And I'm doing this because I added so much contrast and I took away so much contrast. I really wanna bring it back a little bit. So let's do this and her arm, add a little bit of it here. Take out some of that dark spot. And then come over here and do the same on the other side. All right. So it's a little, yeah. It draws your attention right to her face now. I like that, I think we'll move on. (hums) Let's go to this image real quick. So, I was looking at this image and I was wondering how much of this I should open up. I kinda like how dark it is. I mean, you could still see the information there, but it makes it seem like it's a little bit more realistic 'cause the sun's coming from this way or the sun, so I think I'm gonna leave it sorta dark. As long as I can see it there, I'm okay with it. And it kinda draws your eye over to him. Right now, I'm almost done with this picture right now already. You don't really need to do much. It's a wide image. We don't really need to clean up too much skin tone. The only thing I would do is probably clean this line up right here. I think I'm gonna mess with some selective color. Go into the yellows, bring that down, bring up that. I just wanna give more of that green tone to it. Actually, I don't know. Yeah, I want the green. Not that green. Let's see what we got here. I don't know, I kinda like both. I'm gonna stick with the darker. We're basically done, like I said, with this image. I'm gonna brighten up, I'm gonna pop up a little bit on my levels on the low, on the highlight side. See if that looks different. Yeah, I'm okay with this. I don't need to do anything else. Then we're gonna go into this one. This is one of my favorite pictures from the entire week. This is where we'd probably go in and do a little bit more skin correction. You don't really need to, again, because the stylization, I don't think, but we're gonna be nice and do it anyway. So, we got some great spray work in the background. Shout out to Cat. We're going to go in. I'm just gonna take care of a few blemishes. Same way I'd been doing before. We're gonna see how well this cleans up. Get in a little tighter. Again, I'm just trying to get very similar skin texture I have right next to it and I go from different angles so I can blend it a lot better. Skin's very intricate, turns out. (humming) So I'd probably blend in this a little bit. (laughing) Let's see here. We'll open up, take a few of these out. Everybody has hair on their face. (humming) We're shooting at a pretty high aperture so a lot more things are in focus than should be. So again, it's more of just softening up some things. I'm at 30% opacity and kinda just hiding it and sort of blurring it down with some of the stuff next to it. So I'm gonna use highlights. I am just throwing some really hard side light at her so I'm gonna take some of this off right here. And this one, I'm gonna leave this. It looks like it's a mole. I think unless she told me, I would take it off, but the other pictures, it wasn't really showing too much so I left it. I might soften it a little bit but otherwise, it's like, you know some people are known for their moles so I don't wanna take it out unless she specified that because they're such public figures that you don't wanna really change the way they look too much. That's a little too much so we'll pull that back just to soften the hard parts, because again, we are shooting that hard light at her. And again, I'm just fading it after I put it in. Go into the nose here and I wanna take out those freckles. I do wanna take out this little hot spot from the overhead light or at least soften it up. There we go. Looks a little bit better. This thing's a little distracting right here too from the water. Just softening. Like the water drops there. Some blemishes right up here. Take those out. (humming) I'm being picky. Just scanning over the picture. The only thing I see on her face in terms of lighting I'd want to fix, if I were to re-shoot this, I'd watch this shadow right here. See how it's a little darker on this side? So I might actually just turn on my dodge and burn layer. Soft light layer, new layer, turn it to black, 10%. Kinda draw on just a little bit. Not too much. Just to give it a little bit more darkness here. I like the separation. I like the look of this and that's what I was kinda going for. Just a fast shoot that we were trying to get through, so. And then again, a little bit of the gradient. Try to feather off. This looks okay. And sometimes, you can do the same thing to the highlights if you wanted to. They're pretty even, but if say, one was brighter than the other, you would just kinda dodge in and make it a little brighter. (humming) I would probably even, I could bring down the suit a little bit. So I'm gonna turn it to burn. I'm still in the same layer and I'm just on my black brush at 10%. I'm gonna just take some of this down so I can pull the focus up towards her face. Just gonna go into the outside too. Also gonna turn it to the burn tool. Go back to my original layer. Go into my shadows. Again, we can see what's behind there because we are working on a background. We're going to open adjustments, open up our levels just to see what's back there. We're pretty good on our background. I think this spot is the only spot that's really the trouble spot so we're gonna take our burn tool, we're in highlight right now, and we're going to burn that down over here. So now, nothing else. I'm gonna take that off, delete. If can get it right. And now, I'm going to do some color for it. So, again, I just did a auto level. The skin tone kinda tweaked. I think it's cause we have that gray cap on there and it helped out a lot, so I'm gonna keep it at that point right now. I'm gonna duplicate layer. I'm going to bring up the reds on it and I'm going to see what else I can do to kinda bring a little bit more contrast to this black and white. Turn it down to one or 10% on this in a soft light. That's my actual other mode, sorry. By the way, this is my highlight shadow. You can see the differences here. I did a subtle amount. It's just to really balance this out a little more. I didn't wanna do too much 'cause it'll look very drawn in. I don't mind that it's not perfect. I wish it was, but, and so this layer right here is on normal, so when you do the duplication and it's just on normal, the black and white, you just kinda mute the colors a little bit. So I'm taking down the reds which I wanna take out of her skin and then I'm gonna do one more duplication, put on a soft light, pull that up to like, two or yeah, let's actually go to, yeah, let's go to two. So now, I'm just gonna put these in a folder and see what it looks like before and after. So you see the color difference in there and it takes out a lot of the reds in her skin tones and it makes her look a little bit more pleasing, especially for this type of picture. It's meant to be very contrast-y and stark and kind of like, stylized, so I want the color to feel that way too. So let's go back to the beginning of this. I'm gonna flatten it out. And then I'm going to go to History. Check out the beginning. See we did a little bit on her skin, brought up the shadow so it directs it to the face, and that's it. So I would save it at that point, move on to the next picture. So this picture's really fun. Very hard, it was cold in that water. So the first thing I see in this that I do not like is this right here. It's a little flare. And then this right here. The light's hitting it a little bit from this front light or from the back light. I think it's actually from the back light right here. So, I'm gonna take it back into Camera RAW and then I'm going to put a gradient, take down the shadows on it and let's see if we can bring down some of that color right there. There you go. Cool, let's bring in just a little bit more. Wanna direct my eye up to her and not to the water. That's not important to me right now. Let's take away some of the yellow out of it, so I'm gonna put in a little bit of blue 'cause that's the opposite. Take out some of the green so it becomes a little bit more or less drawing to your eye. I don't wanna put too much in it 'cause I don't wanna color the water too much. I'm gonna pull it up just a little bit more 'cause you see some of the green in the water up there. That's cool. Now I'm gonna add a little contrast and highlight so I can bring back the highlight in that water. So that looks okay, let's open it back up into Photoshop again, just push OK. So, now my focus is up here, so I'm gonna fix this now. So I would take open my brush tool. Get a big one. Just kinda make a sloppy, oop, that's not what I want. I wanna do a quick mask and then do another one at 40, but a little bit bigger so I can have a, and do another one, full, really small. So I did a little bit of a feather effect there by using three different things. I'm gonna go into adjustments, go into my hue and saturation, and I'm gonna just pull down the mask here first, see if it does anything. Takes down the color a little bit. It probably needs a little bit more feathering right here. A little bit on the edge, right there. And now what I'm gonna do is take that same one. I'm gonna duplicate this layer. I'll turn that off, get rid of the link right there, and then I'm going to take an adjustment brush, turn on a layer and put on levels one. Take this same mask, put it into this mask, yes I do, take this off, and now I'm going to darken this down. So I'm gonna take out some of the highlights. So there we go. But I still wanna see that, those little things. So I think that's pretty good. I mean, I could do a little bit more fine job but for the most part, it's what I want for now. So, let's see the difference here. I'll put that in a group. So it brings it down. It kinda just is darkening out, but it works. And a quick, dirty edit. We're gonna flatten it again. We're gonna fix this now, so I'm gonna just take this right here, right next to it. Again, we want this same sort of gradient because gradients are really hard to retouch. Even though there's water drops, it's gonna look really weird and duplicated but I'm gonna fix that in a second. Turn it up to 100, go down here, try to soften it up. Lower opacity, watch out, I'm starting to duplicate her arm, we don't want to do that. So now I'm going to take the history, go back, and feather it down. Open up my brush to a bigger size. Drop it down to 20%, take that down right up there. Take it down to 10, put it there. Looks pretty good, although I got a little repeating water drops, so what I'm gonna do is go on and take my clone. Take out some of those repeats. (humming) That one. Looks pretty good. I would say so. I don't mind this flare right here. That's okay with me. Okay, cool, so the only thing now I think I would do. Again, I would go in and fix some skin tone, but mostly, I would fix the color on her face. So again, we could do that with a couple different things. I'm gonna try a few of those auto levels. I'm just gonna go into color balance. Actually, I'm gonna make a layer of it because you can always take it back. If you just do it on top of it, you gotta go in history. So I'm gonna go into color balance inside of here. I'm going to take some of those reds out of the midtones, although it takes out everything. So I'm gonna switch that back in a minute, put some cyan in there, take some of the, let's see, yeah. Kinda like the blue in the background now. I liked the warm before but blue's pretty cool too. Maybe I'll leave it, I think I will. Okay, so I'm gonna duplicate that layer again. Again, finish it off with a little bit of duplication and texture. And we're gonna do that, add one more. Let's try a multiply in this one. Darkens it down a lot more. Put one more on there. Let's go down to a soft light. Brings back a little bit more of that color. Okay, I'm gonna put all those inside of a group. That's with and without the duplications. This is with and without the color. I'm gonna flatten everything. I'm going to pump up a little bit on the hot lights because I brought 'em down by duplicating. I think I'm pretty good right there. It's pretty solid. I think I was pretty happy with the shoots altogether. This is kinda the, a process that I do on most of my images. Obviously, it's a little elaborate for some more than others. It just depends on the image that I'm editing and what I really wanna bring out of the image. I'm thinking about this a lot while I'm shooting it too. So I'll shoot something in a way where I know later on that I wanna bring out some certain aspect of the photo and I'll do that ahead of time so then I know when I get into processing, it's gonna be a lot easier and simpler. So it's very important to keep that in mind. And again, develop a style with editing too. It's part of the process. It's not the main process. You don't wanna just rely on that heavily. It's kinda like having all those tools for lighting. You don't want to use that one lighting skill for everything. You don't wanna use that one editing skill for everything. Not one picture is the same, but yeah. That's about it. That's how we do it.

Class Description

When starting out in Sports Photography it’s difficult to begin finding your creative style. Going out and practicing with friends or local athletes is the best way to start building your portfolio. But what happens when you want to take your images to the next level?

Join Red Bull Photographer Dustin Snipes, as he takes you on a journey through the creative process behind photographing 3 sports at 5 locations with 5 athletes. He'll be working with students to show the best ways to communicate and inspire the athletes he's photographing, as well as how to maximize time spent with them. Dustin takes students through the challenges of photographing in direct sunlight, at public locations, in parks with mixed light, and in water.

Dustin teaches:

  • How to photograph basketball athletes, triathletes, and a fencer
  • The pros and cons to working outside in direct sunlight
  • How to communicate with and work with professional athletes and non-pros
  • Working through unique challenges of on-location shoots
  • Lighting techniques to capture the athlete
  • On-location portraits
  • Freeze motion and capture water to get that hero shot
  • How to use motion blur to capture a moving bicycle
  • The importance of being flexible on location to maximize your surroundings

Do you dream of taking professional athlete’s portraits? Do you want to have your images on the covers of magazines? Then join Dustin Snipes as he teaches you his secrets to maximizing locations in short periods of time, communicating with athletes to get the most out of their movements, and lighting a scene to capture the frame you want. 



Loved all the ideas and why he's positioned his athletes the way he did, and positioned the lighting. I met Dustin a few years ago at and NPAC conference. It's nice to see him doing these teaching videos. His work is very inspiring to me.

a Creativelive Student

Less talk and all action.. This is the best no mumbo jumbo talks and straight to practical work..

Alexandra Schaede

I really enjoyed the multiple exposure video, the pity is that they are no videos to talk about the post processing of this image.