Practical Ways of Lighting for Composite
Practical Ways of Lighting for Composite
6. Practical Ways of Lighting for Composite
Fine Art Compositing: Class Introduction07:36 2
Why Composite ?14:51 3
Logic Checklist24:10 4
Shooting for Composite08:12 5
Changing Backgrounds and Light04:18 6
Practical Ways of Lighting for Composite13:29 7
Compositing Simple Swaps and Group Shots in Photoshop09:16 8
Lighting in Photoshop17:26
Practical Ways of Lighting for Composite
Let's talk a little bit about lighting now. The other day I did a lighting test and it was my first time ever that I went into a shoot just to see what the light would be like. So I set up to lights and they were to continuous lights, just bearable blights, and I set up a black backdrop, and that was how I started creating this image over here. I started with that black backdrop and I went over and I just sort of taking pictures of myself with two lights shining on my hair. So one was up here looking down this way, and then the other one was back here looking down this way. Same height, same position just behind me, looking down at my body. So I sort of working with lights like that. And I said, All I want to do is create separation from my hair in the background. I want back white on my head. Two reasons for doing that one was to practice cutting things out from a background, which I do periodically. I'll take shots of hair sometimes like this where I don't even need to really and the...
point is just to see if I can move it from that background just to test it and see what works best and stuff like that. So that's what I started to do here. So the first thing that I did was I did this lighting test. The top image was just me wearing my normal clothes, taking pictures of the black backdrop in my hair against it. So in this case, I wasn't trying to do anything fancy. I just wanted to see what the light would look like. Now. What I did for this lighting test is pretty much exactly the situation we have here. I used to artificial whites on either side to backlight my hair, but then I used a window in front toe light my body, and so there was still light coming in on my face with the two lights behind. I started shooting like that and was sort of flipping through the images. I found this one that I really liked, and that was when I said, This is an Alice in Wonderland picture, so let's go for it. So I ran to my garage. I put on a new dress. I came back in. And that's when I took this middle photo. I took that picture. It my only thing that I was trying to do was try to match how the hair looked and held the face position and all of that because I wanted to be looking down at the hole in the ground that was not yet there. So then you might be wondering, Why did you take a picture of just your shoulders in your head if you were trying to take a picture of your whole body? Good question. One that you do not need to do ever in your life, pretty much. But let's mention anyways. So I was shooting with this black backdrop. Now I don't have a studio. I don't have a space to shoot in my house, so I make things up. So I bought this black fabric just from a fabric store, and then I put my dining room chairs on top of my table, and then I took the black fabric and I took some ponytail holders and I had just wrapped him around the top. And then that was my studio. So I was doing that. I was right next to a window. They really the only window in my house that gets really good light. So I had the light. It was a big door window. So that meant that it would like my whole body evenly. Because of that, I didn't I didn't have space to move things away from that window. But if I moved even if I tried to move too far away from my window that I wouldn't be lit anymore enough to counter the lights that were behind me. So I was trying to find a closeness to the window that would allow the ratio of light to be correct to be enough That one light wasn't overpowering another light. So I shot it like that. And then as I continued shooting and this goes into some of the compositing that we're gonna do later, I started taking my tripod. Since this is a self portrait and I started with my tripod up here, and then I lowered it here. I'm gonna have lowered it here. And each time I lowered my tripod, I took a picture of a different section of my body. So I had a picture of my chest in my arms and then a picture of my hips and a picture of my legs and all these different pieces that I put together to create my body in the final picture. We'll talk about that in a second. So back to the lighting here now What I did was I have very blond hair. Now it's a new development, and, uh, and what I did was I had this hair and decided to light it up. And that was the perfect situation for cutting something out of a background. You can't get better than this. You have backlight, which is already creating separation from the hair in the background. You have a black backdrop with nearly white hair on front of it. I can't ask for more than that. So I started doing that test and then I said, You know what? I'm doing a test for how easy it is to move this hair off the background. So let's just move it off the background then. And so that's how we get to the spinal picture here, where this image exactly ended up coming down here, and you can kind of see in these images that almost every single little hair has been transferred to that final image. So we don't have the problem of all these hairs that are around here not following through to the final image because they're being cut off for something or your selection process isn't good enough. They're all still there, every little hair. And that's what I really, really want. I mean, nobody wants to have to chop hair off when you're moving here to a different background. So that was the goal here, and it wasn't the easiest process for me. I mean, I don't do well with moving things very often, but what I'm trying to do is get as much air as possible and put it on a new backdrop. No. One thing that I will share about this is that I started with a white background here, nearly white. There were no clouds in the background of this image, and I'll show you that in a second. And when I transferred my hair onto that background, I noticed that there were some black outlining of my hair when I moved it, which is just a process that one usually goes through. Cut something out of a background. So I had this black outlining and it's not good. So I was trying to figure out what I was going to do to fix that. And I decided to put clouds in the background that were a little bit on the dark side that way it kind of countered that a little bit. But I also went in with the Dodge Tool and went around on those black edges. Just a lightning them a little bit. So then it smoothed out a little bit more. I did things like brightening the hair around the edges just a little bit to get that sort of blended in a little bit better. But in general, I tried not to go with too bright of a sky behind there so that it didn't look like just to contrast ing. So this is what I mean by I moved my camera down and took new pictures. So I started with the camera up here and then, actually, this is already with some of the midsection put on and then over here, this is one picture to picture three pictures now there and then we have the rest popping on soem or dress down here. We have the legs coming in here. And then this was the final composite here. So what we had was we had the top of the head to the bottom of the foot and all of that was put together, even though I only had about 43 or four feet of space in front. Obviously, you can see here that the black back Trump, which is just on the chairs in the background, didn't really go down to the floor. There was just table behind there and stuff like that. And I knew that that would happen. And I knew that that was okay, too, because nothing in my house is as bright as my skin. That's nothing in the world. Probably is Burgess my skin, but yes. So I was sort of very ghostly in front of that window, very lit. I didn't have to worry too much about not being able to cut myself out because that was a pretty simple process because of the contrast. So one thing that we're doing with lighting in terms of cutting somebody out of a background, making absolutely certain that there's enough contrast between the subject in the background we have a model here today for the shooting segment, where she's dressed in quite a dark dress. And that's just to show how to come back that now this is a very bright dress. So of course, the light easily let that dress up. But what happens when you're wearing a dark dress and you don't have that luxury? This was the first shot that I started with, which seems really silly, but this was supposed to be a group shot that I took this year earlier, Um, of some new friends that I made, and in this process, I was just sort of flipping through pictures, looking for stock photos that I had and I came across this. Now what I did in this picture was I actually had my focal point right about here in this picture. Why? I don't know that I did, and they were out of focus back there, so that was a really good thing for me because I could use this as a stock image despite thinking it was just a I mean, I don't even know why. Same to this picture, it was just there was very serendipitous, so I ended up using This is my background shot and the things that are working for me here is that we have white sky in the back, which, as I mentioned, I don't want a white sky. But that is perfect for adding clouds in, So we'll talk more about that later. So had the white sky and we have the trees, which I got rid of and very unfortunately got rid of all my people here. But I did. And so what I ended up doing was I started to build first thing as I did this. Now what is happening here? There's a perspective shift happening here, so if I go back, you can see the whole ground is moving up so you can see that moving up. And that's because I'm changing the perspective of this image. So I'm going into Photoshopped. I'm using the transform tools, and I'm changing the perspective so that everything matches. This was not a perfect match. This is one of those situations where maybe I should have gone to shoot a separate background. But I wanted this sort of manicured lawn look and I did not know where to get that where I live. We don't have that, so I don't know where to go. This was working pretty well after some adjustments, so I move forward the hole in the ground, which obviously wasn't there to begin with. It's from another shot of mine. So this image was very much about piecing different things together from wherever I could find it. So I found this whole that I had used once, and it fit perfectly in this crass. It was really, really good match, just based on the angle. So that was great. So I put that whole in there and I said, Okay, that works. Now let's see if my body will pop in and it did so it's a very drastic change or what? So I put everything in there, and now this is not the final image, even though it kind of looks like the final image. So what's wrong with this picture as it is right there? Delighting Avi? I guess that's obvious, because we're doing a lighting segment, but anyways, this is something that I never would have noticed on my own. It's something that it goes back to that logic idea and how I don't have it and so I have trouble seeing things in terms of light in perspective and stuff like that. So I showed this to my husband, as I always do, and he said, Well, you know, it's nice, but the white doesn't make sense in the background because he did not see how I shot this. He did not see my set up. He didn't watch me do it yet. He still knew that the light was coming from above me in this picture where I shot myself and I was kind of like drafts he noticed. And I've got a tinge. It s o eso. I started with these clouds back here because I just loved the sort of at this fear that I brought him. I loved how it drew your attention right to the center of the image. I thought it was really dynamic, but then I said, Okay, I need more light. So first thing I did was I moved this light from the clouds and I moved it up, but it looked really unbalanced. It just looked like there was so much nothingness behind her and then just hold on to light up top. It didn't really make sense. So that's when I started thinking. What else can I do? Should I add more clouds in? Should I? You know, How should I fix this? So that's when I did that? No. You also notice my arms moving, which let me go back here. You see that? I don't really get it that See, this is how my arms really look. But if they just look to tiny what I really dio, I still don't know. It's a mystery. So I guess I have really tiny arms and I had to make them bigger. But mostly what I did here is I added the sky up top. So because we have clouds up top is well, it indicates that there's light up there and coming down here. So that means that the light could be coming from above or behind, or just anywhere in the distance in the background there. It's good movement that we have here. Okay, so that's where the light was coming from in this picture, without being able to pinpoint where your lights coming from. That generally means the other lighting issue. I mean, either it's overcast lighting, so you know the lights coming from straight above or lights coming from the left or the right of the front of the back. And those are all things that we just have to know when you're doing a composite. So that led me to realize when I was thinking more about light even in this 1st 1 that the grass didn't match. I mean, we were We had cloud that day. It was sort of overcast. And so what we're going to do about this, we had to fix it. I mean, I had to change the light on the grass, and I didn't do that by selecting the edges of each blade of grass to create backlight on them or anything like that, because that would be crazy. So instead, I just selected a very big general area and added a lot of contrast. And by adding that contrast, it gives the look like the light was a little bit harsher on that grass than it was before. So if I go back here, you can see that there really isn't a lot of light on the grass that makes it look like a spotlight effect. Really. But then here we get the sense that there is light coming from above and hitting the subject from above and on the ground. And that was very, very important to me in this process. So no light source in the motivated light source. And that's when I say motivated light. I'm simply talking about where is the light coming from? Like logically. And I don't mean you have to see a light source, but in this case we did have to see a light source. Otherwise, it just doesn't quite make sense, especially because thes clouds get so much darker as we move up. There's no way those clouds would be darker if the light was coming from above, it just can't help it.