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Environmental Portrait Photography

Lesson 42 of 48

Edit Raw Images from Indoor Shoot

Dan Brouillette

Environmental Portrait Photography

Dan Brouillette

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Lesson Info

42. Edit Raw Images from Indoor Shoot
Learn how to polish those indoor shots inside Capture One. Work with exposure, contrast, and color with the shots from the artist's studio.


  Class Trailer
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1 Class Introduction Duration:06:15
4 Personal Work Duration:18:36
5 Find Your Process Duration:20:20
6 Tethering Duration:18:35
7 Purpose For Action Editorial Duration:05:19
8 Prepare for Shoot Duration:06:10
9 Action Editorial Process Duration:11:27
10 Set Up Action Editorial Shoot Duration:12:43
12 Studio Portrait Shoot Overview Duration:05:58
18 Shoot: Action Shots In Studio Duration:04:00
19 Review Images in Capture One Duration:14:54
20 Raw Processing Duration:05:24
21 File Handling Duration:05:19
22 Retouching & Color Overview Duration:05:45
23 Retouch Images in Capture One Duration:11:37
24 Retouch Images in Photoshop Duration:07:00
25 Retouch Images With Presets Duration:27:40
26 Advertising Vs. Editorial Duration:04:49
27 Indoor Location Shoot Duration:13:12
28 Indoor Location Shoot Process Duration:11:19
29 Get to Know Your Subject Duration:13:12
30 Test & Frame Your Shot Duration:10:44
31 Create Natural Light Duration:24:33
34 Indoor Shoot Results Duration:19:00
35 Outdoor Location Shoot Goals Duration:16:51
36 Indoor/Outdoor Light Setup Duration:17:27
37 Studio Light On Location Duration:09:56
38 Create Location Portrait Duration:11:41
39 Outdoor Shoot Results Duration:13:26
40 Post Processing Overview Duration:08:42
44 Portfolio Management Duration:28:13
45 Importance of Website Duration:17:55
46 Marketing 101 Duration:18:51
47 What About Reps? Duration:05:54
48 Bring it All Together Duration:10:52

Lesson Info

Edit Raw Images from Indoor Shoot

So with that said we're gonna go into the raw editing. I'm going to reset some of these. I'm actually gonna make a second variance so Image + New Variant, and with the new variant I'm going to show you the before and after so you can see how it looks straight in camera. So this is with absolutely nothing done to it and that's with my RAW setting. So if you look at all the settings over here they're all zeroed out. So I don't, I didn't do a whole lot to the shoot, it was mostly in the editing. What I did do was I upped the Contrast, I took a little bit of red out in the Tint here on the White Balance. Upped the contrast, got rid of a little saturation, definitely brought back the highlight so you can see if I didn't bring'em back versus bringing those back because I wanna add to the highlights later when I'm doing the color. Brought up a little bit of the shadow detail here to bring it back into her face, hair, and apron. And then Color Balance I added you can see a little bit of blue t...

o the shadows, just a little bit. If we bring up more you can see that's too much, that's none but it cools it off just a little bit, and it fits the room with all the blue. I added a little bit of red, just the tiniest bit, actually I wanna change it a little bit to the mid tones and that's actually zeroed out so there's nothing added to the highlights at all. So again, that's all I did to that and then Color Editor, I took a skin sample on one of the first shots I did of her. We took the Hue and moved it up 2.7 points so that actually added green. I took the Saturation down 4.7 points so I desaturated her skin tones a little bit to get rid of any red, and that's been applied to every shot, so I'm not gonna touch that; I like how it looks. So again, before, straight out of the camera raw, with some editing and that'll give us a good base to go into Photoshop. We'll delete this variant. Moving forward we'll create another one of this one so a New Variant. So there's the shot straight out of the camera, there's with the same editing, and actually now that we've touched this one up a little bit we can copy those settings, and paste them here, and just open up the shadows a tiny bit; I'm gonna redo that. So we'll get rid of that original. Same thing here, paste those settings. So you can see that was quite a bit different. We did some different settings there so I (mumbles), oh it's because of the highlight, so once we apply our settings, you can see it's bringing back in a lot of that. What I mentioned earlier is if you wanna expose her brighter but you really wanna bring in some of this stuff down here, you can do a separate layer - remind me later, thanks. We have our Layers, you can actually add a new layer. So hold on one second. Add a new layer, we can name that Highlights Art. So what we'll do is we'll go on that layer, you can kinda mask in where you want it to affect the layer, my computer's gonna hate me - we need to increase the size of that brush because that's gonna take forever. So I'm not gonna be too picky with this right now. Normally I might spend a little more time but this is if you really wanna bring back the detail within this artwork you can make this layer. Now you're gonna see as we lower that, you could even make it more blue, up the saturation but really what I'm concerned with is the highlight, so I'm not gonna mess with the exposure. I just wanna make sure that it's not blown out and that we get those highlights there for later. So I'm okay with that. Here you can see before and after. It's just bringing a little bit of that detail back into the artwork, it's actually even too much. So I consider that good and when you go to export, it'll save all those settings. However, if you apply this, if you were to copy and paste this, it would apply that same highlight thing to your next image, and you'd have this weird rectangle of highlight recovery in the bottom, so we'll use those settings unique for that image. We'll copy these settings to paste on here, I like that, give her a little more shadow; I actually like the depth of this one. I think that's the image I showed in this slideshow. I keep going back to it so it's probably for a reason. That looks pretty good there. I like that one; I've already done quite a bit of work to that one. If you wanna see the before, it was just darker so I just brightened it up. This one was interesting. Again this was not my favorite shot. There's what it looked like straight out of the camera; whatever, it's okay. For here what I would probably do is spend a little more time with the background layer that we spent... I would have to, I'd probably end up doing this in Photoshop but just to give you a quick idea, I would try and blow out this window even more through the settings, and this would be something that again I would probably do in Photoshop, or do in multiple, multiple exposures overall because the masking feature in Capture One while it's handy, it is not nearly as refined as Photoshop in my opinion, so this is gonna be very rough - you're gonna see some spots that don't look so hot, but I would try you know, such as the window, I would keep that dark. Let me see if we can, killing me here. Oops didn't mean to do that. Well whatever, you get the idea, but I would basically try and make that so it stayed the dark, but the overall goal would be to blow out the window more so the focus was more on her and - not doing that - and less like this, and closer to that. So she would stand out and you wouldn't have those distracting elements behind her. That would be something that might take me an hour to do, or at least 30 minutes, so I'll save your guys' time and boredom, but you get the idea. This photo definitely looks better here than here so what I did to that one was - we'll get rid of that layer altogether. Alright so all I did was up the shadow, bring back some of the highlights. I mean I could do a little bit in here, that's actually better. Up the contrast a little bit, that'll bring some of that in. That's pretty good right there so compared to that, that's definitely more interesting. We can work with that, we'll give it a shot. And then the only other images are the portraits. So with this one, again just to see how it was shot in camera, they're all gonna look very similar. I just brought back a lot of that detail. That'll be something we'll be able to play with more once we get into Photoshop. It's lower, lower the saturation a little bit, I'm sure I did a little color balancing there. These ones are all essentially the same so with that said we're gonna select these ones, and we're gonna export'em. So I'm gonna export'em, I'm not gonna do high/full res right now at 100% because I wanna make my computer not hate me for a second, so we're gonna do Long Edge, yeah we'll stick with 3200 pixels on Long Edge, we're gonna output these to a new destination because I started to edit these previously. So we're gonna use Creative Live Selects, select as Output Folder, and we can go through and we can batch these out, and get them all into that other folder. Alright so you see those will go out, it'll take about five megabyte files each. They're pretty low res compared to what the camera's capable of but they'll work just fine for editing. So we'll open those quickly and I wanna show you kinda what I do here, and I also wanna get to a couple of those ones in the garage. We're only gonna do three from the garage and I'm gonna save the time of going through the full edit, and just pick a couple really quick. So we'll let these finish up loading. I'll let the garage photos preload so MotorShed + Capture. Just to quickly go through that, this was the scene, this is what the garage looked like with full ambient light; not ideal. I had him move, move one of those motorcycle lifts off to the right, I had him turn the direction of the other lift so you can see, there we go, we just turn the direction because I started framing out the image. Now I started introducing my main light, started introducing Fill, eventually go to the point where I put in that backlight - it's in there now I can tell - and then I just started shooting. And when I'm shooting all these images of him looking into the motorcycle, I know those are not the shots I want that's why I had him occasionally look outward, and we got to a point here near the end where everything came together; that would be this shot right here. So if you wanna see what that one looks like totally raw, that's what it looked like in the back of my camera, that's what it looked like with a little bit of adjusting. So you guys were seeing this one in the video so it was definitely dark, that's what you could do with all the detail that was in there, so we'll get rid of that variant. And then as we move forward I was good enough with that but we went outside and here's where things got a little more interesting, and you'll be able to see these have been a little bit processed, so if you wanna, what you were seeing on the video - let me go to one of the shots where he's crouched down cause that's where things got good - I think this shot was one in particular. So looking at the variant of that, the one you saw on the video was this, but that doesn't look lit, but that's just with a little bit of work because it was a balancing act, so knowing what could happen, the rest of that was done in Alien Skin and Photoshop, but that's how it looked raw. So again, it looks very underexposed but I didn't wanna blow out any of this other stuff, and I didn't want it to look lit so I didn't wanna turn up the light, but I knew because we were shooting tethered, that's what it was looking like on the screen so I knew we were onto something good, it's just a matter of knowing that you can adjust those things and make it look how you want.

Class Description


  • Confidently create environmental portraits
  • Light any portrait, indoors or outdoors
  • Compose strong environmental portraits
  • Cull and polish high-end images in post
  • Develop a portfolio and marketing tactics


Create dramatic images anywhere by mastering on-location scouting, planning, lighting, and composition. Join professional photographer Dan Brouillette in a start-to-finish course on the art of environmental portraits. From planning and scouting to post-processing and portfolio building, gain the skills to shoot high-end portraits, anywhere. While designed for environmental portrait work, this class is also for any photographer that wants to create better light, on location.

In this light-intensive course, learn how to craft environmental portraits using photographic lighting techniques working with both natural light and studio lighting equipment. Work with multi-light strobe set-ups and natural window light to turn difficult lighting conditions into beautiful light. Then, learn how to mix natural light and studio lights for dramatic effects that complement the scene. By incorporating light in new and inventive ways, Dan will help you push the boundaries of your portraits and improve your workflow.

Finally, work with culling and post-processing. Learn how to polish images using a combination of Capture One, Photoshop, and Alien Skin software. Then, gain insight into building a portfolio and marketing your work to work in editorial and commercial areas for environmental portraiture.


  • Budding portrait photographers
  • On-location portrait photographers
  • Photographers eager to learn on-location lighting
  • Photographers branching into commercial and editorial work


Capture One 11, Adobe Photoshop CC 2018, Alien Skin 2018


Dan Brouillette's high-end editorial style has lead to work with celebrities from Anne Hathaway to Scarlett Johansson. A commercial, editorial and senior photographer based in Nebraska, he's known for giving everyday people the Hollywood look. His previous work as a lighting technician helped him build his signature style using dramatic lighting techniques typically used for commercial work. With an insightful and easy listening teaching style, he helps photographers learn to craft with light.


Julie V

I had the chance to sit in the audience for this class and absolutely loved it. Watching Dan create amazing images from start to finish in front of us was so inspiring. I've learned so much from this class. It actually gave me the confidence to start playing with lights in my studio. It was really useful to see how he sets his lights and how he can easily mix ambient light with artificial. I also love how he focuses on getting the image right in the camera to only do light edits after. I recommend this class to anyone wanting to learn more about lighting, shooting tethered and editing efficiently!

a Creativelive Student

I love this guy! I so appreciate his honesty while he is explaining his thought process, admitting that his “shoulda/coulda/woulda’s” - which I experience ALL the time. I am now going to dust off my light meter and start using it on location as I’m convinced that it works now that I’ve seen Dan’s class. I enjoyed the detailed way he sets up each light individually, checking to make sure it adds the amount and quality of light he wants. Definitely recommend this class - especially for those people who have experience using studio lights and want to see how they can be used to get specific results. Dan’s clear, simple explanations, his unabashed humility, and his sense of humor made this a truly enjoyable way to spend my time learning his methods.

a Creativelive Student

Dan is an excellent instructor! He's completely transparent with his thought processes, from technical to creative. He doesn't waste time horsing around or getting off topic, but is structured and sticks to his outline. Every minute watched is on topic, and is understandable. He's sincere and likable. The course is great for anyone interested in this genre!