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Fine Art Photography: The Complete Guide

Lesson 52 of 138

Edit Details of Images


Fine Art Photography: The Complete Guide

Lesson 52 of 138

Edit Details of Images


Lesson Info

Edit Details of Images

I've got this image here, which was quite a funny picture to put together, not so much out of laziness like the last one, but this is a rather (laughs) shocking image to start, because I did it in my office and had just natural light coming in from the front, where I had a window and I could have done this outdoors of course, but there was no real need, because the end image was going to be in space and where you know, I don't really know where the best spot is to photograph somebody in space, except on a black backdrop with some sort of overall diffused light, unless you have a certain lighting structure, that you're trying to attain, but I did to just soft light, so I'll show you how this image was put together and some things are going to be a little bit funny, but we'll see how it goes. So I've extended the ladder upwards, that was the first thing, I wanted it to go either to the top of the frame or out of the frame, just so that it really moved through nicely and then I did my rea...

lly awesome technique of painting a color in the background, I sampled the color that was in this fabric, that I had and then I just started painting and this is what I was talking about earlier, I actually made a mistake in this image, that I would go back and redo, which was that I didn't have my hair on the black backdrop and I could not isolate my hair from that background, so I actually went in and just cut it out, I just cut around it, knowing that that was not something that people would be looking at in the image, it was sort of up and away, so that it didn't distract from anything and I do soften that later on, but it was a consideration after the fact and should have been before. So here we have this really funny thing, which looks like I just totally missed an entire piece of dress down here, I knew that that would be covered up, so I just drew a line all around my subject and this is an interesting case, because when you're thinking about how you wanna form your images, you're often thinking about color and I did think about color ahead of time, but I didn't have a dress that had the right feeling, except for this blue dress, so I ended up using it and went through quite a process to be able to turn it red, I don't know if any of you guys have ever tried to turn a really light color a totally different color, but it's super difficult to do and it takes a lot of patience with selections and coloring, so that's what happened there and then I have my clouds, so I've got the clouds and I obviously did not photograph them in outer space, I photographed them from an airplane, as one would and then simply, if you can sort of look at this Layer Mask here, I just erased at the back really lightly to blend those clouds in, so that it looked like it naturally faded into darkness and then we've got some shading here to make it look more believable, okay and then I've got my little star picture, I really need to photograph more stars, I think my constellations are getting a little bit predictable, so that's on my To Do list and then some more shading, so from here on out, you can see the colors are where I want them generally, very close to how the image finishes, so these are all finishing touches, which is texture, which I photographed and then all of these little things, that in some ways are very teachable, for example, why would you wanna do a vignette to draw attention to your subject, but others really have to do with your own personal style, one example is this second sort of coloring here, where I'm adding a color into the vignette, that you can see there, I don't know if that's obvious or not, but there's a red color that mimics the dress and those little, tiny details, oh, that's my little star, I love that little star, those little details make all the difference, so this was how the image ended and you can see it went quite a distance from where it started, which was in my office, looking very lazy, as they tend to do. And this image is one of my creepier pictures and we've looked at a couple of these already, so this is good just to be able to walk through this process. Compositing does not have to be so many elements put together, I think that it can easily be just a couple little things in the same space and this is a good example of that. So here we are with the main picture and you can see that I'm expanding my frame, so I took extra images, so that I had all of that, there's my (laughs) painted black, you can see a theme emerging here and these were extra pictures, that I shot, just adding them in to either side, okay and then you can see the beginnings of the rip in the back and all of these elements that you just saw are obviously not created in this order, so I did not go through and be like, hm, I'm gonna add in this shading, because I think that I'm going to put the rip in the back right there, no, what ended up happening was I put in this zipper situation that we have, as you can see it emerging and then I had to go below the zipper with my layers to create shadows, so that it only showed up on Layer four, if that makes sense and we'll talk more about this in just a moment. So if I continue on here, you can see lots of little, tiny changes, so many little changes and then we have the zipper mostly in place there and you can see little things, for example, look at my hand on this fabric, it doesn't look like it's really there yet, because there is no shading and that's why I wanna emphasize in Photoshop, that I would say that at least half of compositing is knowing how to create shadows, because that is what makes something believable or not, so I'm just creating the shadows under my hand, creating that believable look and as we go, you can see it becomes more and more believable, based on the shading, so this is a really good image to look at for that and again, these are little steps, that aren't as teachable as other things, but when you see this happen, you see that I'm sort of painting right over all of the fabric down at the bottom, because it was really distracting, 'cause it's the brightest thing, it has a lot of contrast, so I'm just literally painting over that to get rid of some of that contrast. Okay, and then we have some color changes and some highlights coming in and this was, I think the most important step in this image, which was desaturating everything but the skin underneath, one, because it furthers the concept, because if it was like this, then it's not quite believable, you don't really see the separation, but the concept is really aided by these changes here, because this skin is now looking old and disgusting and the skin underneath it looks new and fresh, you get a different perspective of what might be happening here, sort of a shedding of the skin situation. So I'll just zoom through the rest of these changes, which are now all cosmetic from this point on, brightening, darkening, shading, all of those fun things, we've got the texture, which always will come at the top, you'll usually see that at the top of my Layers, because it's one of the last things that I do and then I get a little bit indecisive and I make a few more changes and then it finishes there. So any questions on this one? It's pretty straightforward, when you start to peel back the layers, but you can see how many tiny, little thoughts go into creating that photo.

Class Description

Creating a great photo for a client is one thing - but turning your passion and ideas into a series that is shared, shown, and sold is a whole different business. If you do it right, you’ll be shooting what you love all the time. Learn how to choose which ideas to create, how to turn your concept into a production, and steps to getting your work seen and even sold in Fine Art Photography: A Complete Guide with Award-Winning Photographer, Brooke Shaden.

This is an all-inclusive workshop that provides the tools you need to run a successful and creative business as a fine art photographer. You’ll learn creative exercises to find and develop your ideas, how to create an original narrative, how to produce your own photo series, post production techniques and skills for compositing and retouching, how to write about your work, ways to pitch to galleries and agents, and how to print your pieces so they look like art.

This workshop will take you on location with Brooke as she creates a photo series from scratch. She’ll walk through every step for her photo shoots including set design and location scouting, she’ll cover techniques in the field for capturing your artistic vision, post-production and compositing techniques, as well as printing and framing essentials.

She’ll round out this experience by discussing all of the details that will help make your career a success like licensing, commissions, artists statements, social media plans, gallery prep, and pricing your work.

This comprehensive course is a powerful look into the world of fine art photography led by one of the world’s most talented photographers, Brooke Shaden. Included with purchase is exclusive access to bonus material that gives exercises and downloads for all of the lessons.


  1. Class Introduction
  2. Storytelling & Ideas
  3. Universal Symbols in Stories
  4. Create Interactive Characters
  5. The Story is in The Details
  6. Giving Your Audience Feelings
  7. Guided Daydream Exercise
  8. Elements of Imagery
  9. The Death Scenario
  10. Associations with Objects
  11. Three Writing Exercises
  12. Connection Through Art
  13. Break Through Imposter Syndrome
  14. Layering Inspiration
  15. Creating an Original Narrative
  16. Analyze an Image
  17. Translate Emotion into Images
  18. Finding Parts in Images
  19. Finding Your Target Audience
  20. Where Do You Want Your Images to Live?
  21. Create a Series That Targets Your Audience
  22. Formatting Your Work
  23. Additional Materials to Attract Clients
  24. Which Social Media Platforms Will be Useful?
  25. How to Make Money from Your Target Audience
  26. Circle of Focus
  27. The Pillars of Branding
  28. Planning Your Photoshoot
  29. Choose Every Element for The Series
  30. Write a Descriptive Paragraph
  31. Sketch Your Ideas
  32. Choose Your Gear
  33. How to Utilize Costumes, Props & Locations
  34. What Tells a Story in a Series?
  35. Set Design Overview
  36. Color Theory
  37. Lighting for the Scene
  38. Props, Wardrobe & Time Period for Set Design
  39. Locations
  40. Subject Within the Scene
  41. Set Design Arrangement
  42. Fine Art Compositing
  43. Plan The Composite Before Shooting
  44. Checklist for Composite Shooting
  45. Analyze Composite Mistakes
  46. Shoot: Black Backdrop for White Clothing
  47. Shoot: Black Backdrop for Color Clothing
  48. Shoot: Black Backdrop for Accessories
  49. Shoot: Miniature Scene
  50. Editing Workflow Overview
  51. Add Fabric to Make a Big Dress
  52. Edit Details of Images
  53. Add Smoke & Texture
  54. Blend Multiple Images Into One Composite
  55. Put Subject Into a Miniature Scenario
  56. Location Scouting & Test Photoshoot
  57. Self Portrait Test Shoots
  58. Shoot for Edit
  59. Shoot Extra Stock Images
  60. Practice the Shoot
  61. Introduction to Shooting Photo Series
  62. Shoot: Vine Image
  63. Shoot: Sand Image
  64. Shoot: End Table Image
  65. Shoot: Bed Image
  66. Shoot: Wall Paper Image
  67. Shoot: Chair Image
  68. Shoot: Mirror Image
  69. Shoot: Moss Image
  70. Shoot: Tree Image
  71. Shoot: Fish Tank Image
  72. Shoot: Feather Image
  73. View Photo Series for Cohesion & Advanced Compositing
  74. Edit Multiple Images to Show Cohesion
  75. Edit Images with Advanced Compositing
  76. Decide How to Start the Composite
  77. Organize Final Images
  78. Choosing Images for Your Portfolio
  79. Order the Images in Your Portfolio
  80. Why do Some Images Sell More Than Others?
  81. Analyze Student Portfolio Image Order
  82. Framing, Sizing, Editioning & Pricing
  83. Determine Sizes for Prints
  84. How to Choose Paper
  85. How to Choose Editions
  86. Pricing Strategies
  87. How to Present Your Images
  88. Example Pricing Exercise
  89. Print Examples
  90. Licensing, Commissions & Contracts
  91. How to Keep Licensing Organized
  92. How to Prepare Files for Licensing
  93. Pricing Your Licensed Images
  94. Contract Terms for Licensing
  95. Where to Sell Images
  96. Commission Pricing Structure
  97. Contract for Commissions
  98. Questions for a Commission Shoot
  99. Working with Galleries
  100. Benefits of Galleries
  101. Contracts for Galleries
  102. How to Find Galleries
  103. Choose Images to Show
  104. Hanging the Images
  105. Importance of Proofing Prints
  106. Interview with Soren Christensen Gallery
  107. Press Package Overview
  108. Artist Statement for Your Series
  109. Write Your 'About Me' Page
  110. Importance of Your Headshot
  111. Create a Leave Behind & Elevator Pitch
  112. Writing For Fine Art
  113. Define Your Writing Style
  114. Find Your Genre
  115. What Sets You Apart?
  116. Write to Different Audiences
  117. Write for Blogging
  118. Speak About Your Work
  119. Branding for Video
  120. Clearly Define Video Talking Points
  121. Types of Video Content
  122. Interview Practice
  123. Diversifying Social Media Content
  124. Create an Intentional Social Media Persona
  125. Monetize Your Social Media Presence
  126. Social Media Posting Plan
  127. Choose Networks to Use & Invest
  128. Presentation of Final Images
  129. Printing Your Series
  130. How to Work With a Print Lab
  131. Proofing Your Prints
  132. Bad Vs. Good Prints
  133. Find Confidence to Print
  134. Why Critique?
  135. Critiquing Your Own Portfolio
  136. Critique of Brooke's Series
  137. Critique of Student Series
  138. Yours is a Story Worth Telling


April S.

I tuned in for most of Brooke's lessons in this course and watched some of them more than once as they were rebroadcast. First I want to say that Brooke is a very good instructor. Her easy-going, friendly, down-to-earth, somewhat quirky manner cannot be mistaken for unprofessional. She is very prepared, she speaks well (not a bunch of hemming and hawing), she is thoughtful, she is thorough, she is very relatable and at ease, and she is definitely professional in her presentation. I really thought when I first tuned in that it would mostly be background noise while I was at work, sound to keep me company. Not because I didn't like Brooke but I really didn't think I was into fine art photography nor did I think I cared about the business side of things much. Not now anyhow. I was really wrong. Brooke sparked a deep interest in me to delve into fine art photography, to consider creating images for myself, from my imagination. In fact, I realized that this was something I'd been thinking about for a couple of years though I hadn't put a name to it (the idea of creating pre-conceived images based on my own creative goals). I gleaned many little treasures from her about image sizes, working with printers, different types of paper, selling, interacting with galleries, and so much more. I may not need all of what she taught right now because I'm definitely headed in another direction at the moment, but she planted ideas and information in my head that I know will be useful at some point. Things I may not have thought of on my own, but that seed is in my head now so when the time comes, I'll know. I'd really like to buy her course but at the moment, with the holidays right around the corner, it's not in my personal budget. I'm grateful to have caught the live and rebroadcast lessons though, and her course is on my list to own. I think it's a great reference to be consulted over and over again, not watched once and forgotten. Kudos Brooke for really putting together an excellent course.

Ron Landis

I'm retired now, but spent decades in the people and training business. Brooke is extraordinary! Even though this course is extremely well organized and she's left nothing unattended, she moves through it with friendly conversational manners and without a sense of it being stilted. It's as though we are all her friends, not students, as she shares her heart and passion with us. What a joy it is to listen to her. And what a clear, unambiguous command of her subject. Wow! She explains it with such ease using explanations and techniques that won't overwhelm artists just starting their portfolio or the Photoshop-squeamish among us; but despite its simplicity her resulting art is breathtaking and beyond original. I wish more of my professors at school were as engaging. This was by far my best buy at Creative Live yet.

Angel Ricci

When the title says comprehensive, it means comprehensive! I loved every part of this course. It's inspirational, motivating, and insightful towards creating art work. Even if you are not necessarily considering a fine art specialty, the concepts discussed in this course are applicable to many areas! I find this super useful as a videographer and photographer and look to apply all of these exercises and concepts for my personal and business work moving forward. It is lengthy, but you will not regret a single minute. Brooke Shaden is an amazing artist and educator. I recommend keeping up with her work, presentations, and any future courses that may come in the future.