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Setting Up the Shoot & Poses for Composites


Essential Compositing Techniques


Lesson Info

Setting Up the Shoot & Poses for Composites

So this is our location so this is capture one this is what it looks like it's not super user friendly but that's okay it's very very powerful but this location there's a boatload of city this is outside of edmonton alberta so most people want to think of amazing exotic fancy locations nobody's like oh my god I want to go to edmonton although somebody paid off national geographic super hard core and their list of it is like the top ten places to visit in the world or something is here I don't know how much oil money that took but uh you know write on we have tourism now but so this is this is the thing right so I'm like okay, well that city is gonna have to go but I'm okay with that that's a decision that I am allowed I'm allowing myself to suffer and clone stamp out a whole bunch of houses so now my world goes into let's get the lighting right let's get the composition right let's get the posing right and I'm going to be moving the fabric around and all that kind of stuff and anybody ...

who shot moving fabric or hair or anything you have no control you think you d'oh you have influence for really you're just trying to catch it at the right time when the fabric genie comes along and it's like here's this perfect throw and then your battery dies and you're like damn it right so that that happens so you just kind of hoping for the best as soon as it comes to anything random that's what it is so this is this is literally how the shoot went so it was like okay this here there's way too much city I'm not willing to deal with that that's just a note and I don't like the line anyways it's like this horizontal line coming through her head or mid section like me kind of kind of sucks so here we go this is where it starts my friend he move over there please that sounds great on she does this happy face thing and we're going to go so I brought her a little bit closer and I started sitting lower into the grass and so in the true world with shooting out in nature is probably covered in bugs and ants and I was great um so from here I'm going okay well we need to bring in some strobe light because this is what this looks like right now it's a little bit too dark right we have all those shadows that I was talking about that we're going to be there it doesn't don't love it so when I don't love something I'm going to change it wow that sounds terrible um e I should not have kids so from here uh you know we bring in the strobe light so now we can see this looks like it was hit with a stroke right? We have this this bright shadow here it was a great shot of this harsh shadow way have his highlights here and the sun the overcast sky is my filet so I don't some people who love shooting on location with bright sunny days there's actually this photographer named zack sutton he's really great but he hey post all the time about how frustrating is overcast skies and then when the sun comes out on my shoots I'm like no I'm like running for the studio it's just the way that we choose to create so I think it's quite finding that some people are like yeah, the sun is amazing and I'm like now no, none of that overcast is great um so now it's ah figuring out the composition right? So I have my stroll with a little bit strong but I'm okay with it at this point I haven't really been you know, oh, this is the worst idea ever but now figuring out the pose. So this is where I think it starts to come in like sculpting, right? So this is where it's in my mind starts to be like sculpting, so you're taking a piece of something you just kind of chipping away at it and trying to make a form and a shape and something that makes sense so when I'm shooting I will often pay attention to how I feel sometimes will pay attention to how I think I think in my world in my opinion there's two ways that a lot of people create those left brain creators which are like the engineers the mathematicians which is most men not all and I can see this from being a teacher and then those people who shoot like most women write so you can you can take a look at the way a lot of men create so like for example ben von one right he is an engineer and he creates like one he's like this is my composition this is this this is this step one step two step three step four step five right, which is great it works for him he was amazing stuff and then those people like um a man ideas or nikki harrison right there these incredible, beautiful women photographers and they shoot it and they go, oh, that feels good oh, that feels nice and you look at it. You know, while one of these fields very feminine one of these fields very masculine I'm not saying that only women create one man only men create one with us totally be yes, because that's a sliding scale but just as an example so when I'm shooting stuff like this where I don't have a pre viz sketch drawn right, so in this case here literally we shot three four different sets this day, a whole bunch of different costumes it was literally just get out and push buttons day, right? So then I'm going to pay attention to how I feel if I have a previous sketch has already made, like if I'm shooting in the studio and I go, can you use this back? I'm going to use this thiss that I'm going to pay attention to the math of it because I know that this is my perspective. These are my angles, these air my lighting step one step two, step three, step four so in this case, we're out, we're pushing buttons today, so I'm just literally going to pay attention to how I feel on my chest because my subconscious knows what's good before my conscious brain knows my conscious brain is a chai tea idiot, it gets in the way of all the good things, right? So it's paying attention to what my subconscious is like, hey that's cool! And you know that feeling? We take a photo before you even look at the back of your camera you're like, oh, that was good because, you know, you got it, and then you look and you're like, oh my god, you dance around, I don't know about you guys, but I dance around like a little kid on set and I get really excited I'm like oh my god this is so awesome and then I do this thing and it's fun and I'm okay with it so I pay attention for that when I'm out pushing buttons so here I'm waiting for that feeling so I looked at this and I was like oh that's that has a lot of potential this feels like it's a good vein to go down I like this kind of with the way her face is looking off I like and anonymity in a lot of photos I'd like to sometimes hide the eyes because then the viewer can put themselves in that position the viewer can go oh that's they won't look at that people who even know brandy don't look at that and go oh that's a great photo brandy because he can't tell you see this a person right who looks like a blond version of brave the girl from brave right and they go oh wow that's really pretty that's it that's what I want I don't want people to associate an identity with the photos most times I like people to write their own stories and they look at it and then they build this thing in their head and they're like oh that's really cool I can just imagine I've had I've had some people at his picture of ah red riding hood that I did years ago and she's like all bloody and her hands like this and there's blood dripping down this dress and it's red hood and I saw prince of it all the time I have never once had somebody told me the same story when they look at it ever and I've sold so many prints if it's so for me that's fun I was like whoo! Psychology that's awesome so you couldn't see her face it was just like all this red stuff and I don't shoot a lot of gore it's not really my thing but you know, it really made me aware of how what people vocals to their minds when they're looking at images so just gonna work through these here? This was a failure, a big piece of grass like yeah also she's got a tail no, so we're just going to slide there here so these I have a lot of shots like this where her head is being cut off by the horizon and I knew that when I looked at it. So from a composition standpoint, it's kind of one of those four paws because you're like, oh, you're cutting off her head that's weird um, you know, we're not henry the eighth I believe he did that haven't read history books awhile, but I know in post production if I'm feeling really industrious right I love this post, I think it's really pretty and there's a couple here where this like the fabric looks so good like this one I love this one I was like, oh, this is one of the ones that gave me the like, the giddy feeling and I turned into a five year old was like, this is awesome, so I know the in post production in the world of potential, if I'm feeling really industrious, I could just go in and hack all that stuff out and I'll send my horizon line is lower, I haven't been that excited yet to do it, so I haven't done it, but I took a whole bunch of photos from this post because I thought it was beautiful, so a lot of ways that I would get to see how we have a beautiful, like fabric kind of just throwing forward, right? And I kind of wish I had brought one of the skirts with me so I could get brandy appear, tow, hop around, explain hard to get she probably never forgive me. S o but what I do to get this a lot of people are like, oh, just throw it, but if somebody actually moving, if there's a little bit of wind in the air, you can't just throw it because then the hair is like mitt, it does nothing right, so in this case here we have a little bit of movement of the hair right here tiny little bit. We have a little bit of a whole bunch of movement in the skirt. Well, how do we do that? Well, she's on a shell, they're just treacherous, right? She's in sneakers you know, I'm not I'm not like a status photographer and I think you have to wear high heels that's rude, but we're in deep grasses. She converse sneakers so she's going to be safe and all they do is they have her stand sideways like this and I say, okay, well, just like hop and throw it at the same time and that little bit of air will get a little bit of movement out of most wigs, all of utmost and natural hair is going to go everywhere because natural hair is nice and fluffy and the wind just loves to play with it. So that's, how I get like that, a little bit of movement and so it's just a matter of catching it at the right time and waiting for the genie to be like, here you go, you got to present its awesome so I shot a whole bunch of these because they're like, you know what? Maybe one day if I'm sitting in an airport with like a twelve hour layover and I'm just angry I could just do one of these because I think that there's a cool so I shot a whole bunch and who knows? Maybe I'll do something with him maybe I won't I love this one your sneakers were showing in that one no, this one I love this one was another one of those like, oh my god, this super cool but our heads stuffing cut up by the horizon line so I have to tackle this one when I'm feeling more industrious when I'm feeling more excited to be like cutting out a whole one to graph sounds like a great idea right now, so that means I'm probably going to be stuck in an airport with nothing better to do this one I love to it was just like one of those things, you know what head are just throwing the skirt right? And it looked really nice, so from here I was like, okay, I've had enough of cutting off her head I'm going to get a little bit taller, so it means she's going to get a little bit shorter. So now we're taking the dress we're throwing it, I believe, is what we had going um and she's turning her head at the same time so everything's moving right sword turning like this so her head is going this way fabrics going this way so I kind of have to pay for car back to bill's after that okay um so we're doing a whole bunch of this throwing it around it going this is really nice it's really pretty her face was still nicely lit it's not this dark shadow this is the thing I hate bush shooting on location we always runners and pedal bikers coming by going like hey without like, go away um like studio photography so it's just getting lower again and this time I'm lower because they don't want to cut off her head I know that that wasn't really working so trying to first off this is obviously caught her like right at the height of that hops or hair kind of just leapt up I'm just kind of trying stuff, trying stuff, trying stuff and if you're doing anything in photography or doing anything art it just means you gotta push a bunch of buttons and see how it goes so this one I loved I thought this was awesome I was like oh, that was close this is really cool to have a little bit of blurred here down at the bottom of the dress and just because there's no blur here where the grass is right it was just kind of bugging me so I looked at it I was like, oh, this is like ninety eight percent of the way there and if we don't get anything better I'll work with this I love this but let's try again so try a few more things the wind picked up the wig there and she started having to eat it for lunch so we changed it and this is the one that we got here so this is where I was like oh, this great piece of dresses sticking out there but that I could get rid of there isn't a whole ton of movement in the dress so it's consistent with the graph which looks nice her hair has a tiny, tiny, tiny little bit of movement and then I got like that feeling in my chest of going like ok, yeah no, this is this is good so I marked it right away then I say about shooting tethered is that if I have been shooting so for example you want to go back here or is it too this one? Okay, so if I had not been shooting tethered five been shooting with my camera I never, ever, ever would have noticed that little bit of a blur. Probably not. I would've looked at him and think, oh my god, this is an amazing photo we're done we're totally right this is great and it would have totally missed the fact that that piece of fabric is blurred and it's going to drive me nuts later and then I'd have to go in and frequency separate the fabric and redraw in the fabric because I'm a little bit control frankie on how my images like and that would have just drove me nuts that would have added a bunch of time, so shooting tethered saved me a lot there, so we tried shooting just a couple more different outfits here a different you're different outfits different poses but this is the one that I really loved and so just to show you this is the stroke that we're using it's an alien be with a modifier that I picked up off of ebay for like twenty bucks that's an umbrella with the diffuser attached to it pretty sure you can find it on the internet um and it works great it's awesome because I hate soft I love soft boxes I hate taking them down and putting them back up so when I buy soft box and I put it together it's staying there like karam and like tetris in all these like open soft boxes because I hate putting them together so much so this umbrella is really, really handy because I could just pop it open, stick it in my back and stick it in the light and when I'm done I fold it and stick in the backpack and if it's pouring rain, then we're good and this is my mom she was recently retired and she was like hey what are you doing today I was like hey wanna come hold light it's gonna be fun so that was lunch but see here yeah so this is that this is damage that we're gonna work on that we're going to try to turn this into something you know more we're going to look at this and look at the potential and see where we can grow it from there do you shoot all of your backgrounds or compositing or d'oh incorporates stock photos I don't like using stock photos when I first started when I was laid up I was using stock images stock photography can be a little bit sticky because those contracts like this right and sometimes his limitations of what you could do with one of those images so sometimes in stock image license agreement they say oh you can use this for reasons x y z but you can't modify this to use for reasons baby see but unless you read through all of that and you have your lawyer check it over you might not know that and so you can sometimes get into legal trouble with that they're actually our digital artists that have had trouble with that in the past so when I started finding that out I was like screw this I'm just going to make me travel right off have a corporation and I'm going to be like, hey I want to go to belgium, I need stuff, they're so time to make it right off, and so I go shoot all the stuff that I need. Sometimes it will collaborate with other photographers, for example, the photo of the girl jumping off the building with the wings, right? Not really cool heights, we're not best friends, I'm not afraid of them, but they make me really uncomfortable, especially when I'm like hey, let's, hold my camera here and take a picture, right? I was in halifax at the time. I didn't have any photos of the top of a rooftop building or even a tall structure, because halifax isn't super tall anyways. But ben von bohlen was in hong kong, it was like here, and we're out there rooftop ing, can you get me a couple of photos from like, you know, we're rooftop ing adventures, he's a guy I totally have thumb, and then so that was example of a collaboration where it's outside my limitations of a what I'm comfortable with and be what my location will out for this is the age of the internet. This is the age of facebook and be hence and conferences and face to face and whatever, right, we're not stuck with like our own tiny little world, right? We can reach out anywhere around the world and go hey, I see you live in vietnam if you were okay with that I see you have these photos of this location can I look at some of the images on your b roll and can I maybe pay you for to use one of these shots or maybe I'll give you credit? Most people are cool it's just fitz or b you're old, they don't care like yeah, sure, whatever you go, send it over and it's fine, but in the interest of keeping everybody in the creative world paid and happy because we all like to get paid for what we do, a lot of us don't that's fine, but if we can get paid to do it that's awesome if you can call somebody up and say, hey, I'll paypal, you fifty bucks, twenty bucks, ten bucks, whatever they want, it doesn't matter right now that's going to help get you what you need, right? Why not? So in that case, would you sign a contract with them? Some sort of like agreement in case they ever came back to you and said, yeah, usually I mean, I'm not a lawyer straight up so and that's why most of the time I will be very careful about who I choose to contact right? So I'll usually creep their social media never see a bunch of trolling posts on like now we're getting all reached out to somebody else or maybe ask for references, right? So say, oh, I know this photographer who's, a friend of mine, he went travelling, you know, hey, I saw you were in shanghai recently. Do you know any photographers? Did you meet anybody? Is there anybody that you think would be cool if I reach up to them? Hey, can I possibly use an image or two of yours, right? And most people are pretty cool, right? So this is the thing about the internet. The media would tell us that, oh, everybody's, bad. Never result to hurt us know this stuff. Ninety five percent of the world wants to be happy. They want to be healthy. They want watch your kids grow up and they want to make cool pictures or be creative or be free, right that's. All it is, if you can offer something in exchange to help them maybe attain that, or maybe make their life better or appreciate them in some way, shape or form than one up.

Class Description

Whether your photography demands that you create a dreamy image of a sleeping infant or multiple characters in an epic battle scene, the magic of compositing can make it happen. 

In Essential Compositing Techniques, Renee Robyn will take you through the whole process, from start to finish on how to set up composite poses. Renee will discuss working with layers, brushes, color manipulation, and masking techniques to create a mood or story in your image. You’ll learn about composting outdoor images and Renee will offer tips on things to keep in mind while shooting stock images for your artwork.

Software Used: Adobe Photoshop CC 2015