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Simple Composite - University

Lesson 48 from: Incredible Engagement Photography

Pye Jirsa

Simple Composite - University

Lesson 48 from: Incredible Engagement Photography

Pye Jirsa

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Lesson Info

48. Simple Composite - University

Summary (Generated from Transcript)

The topic of the lesson is creating a simple composite in engagement photography.


  1. What is a simple composite in photography?

    A simple composite is a technique where multiple images are combined to create a single final image.

  2. What are some common elements that can be combined in a simple composite?

    In engagement photography, common elements that can be combined include different poses of the couple, different exposures of the background, and different lighting setups.

  3. How can hand positions and body language affect the composition of an engagement photo?

    Hand positions and body language can greatly impact the overall look and feel of an engagement photo. Adjusting these factors can make the couple's interaction more natural and visually appealing.

  4. What are some post-processing adjustments that can be made to enhance a simple composite?

    Post-processing adjustments can include adjusting exposure, highlights, shadows, clarity, and contrast. Adding radial filters, sharpening, and using layer masks can also enhance the final image.

  5. What is the purpose of aligning layers in Photoshop when creating a composite?

    Aligning layers in Photoshop ensures that the elements from different images line up properly and seamlessly in the final composite.

  6. How can light spill be eliminated in a simple composite?

    Light spill can be eliminated by using a low flow brush to paint over areas where the flash may have spilled onto the background. This helps to create a consistent lighting effect throughout the image.

  7. Why is it important to save the composite and take it back to Lightroom for further adjustments?

    Taking the composite back to Lightroom allows for additional fine-tuning and adjustments to be made, such as changing the crop or applying further enhancements using brushes or filters.

  8. What is the purpose of adding a radial filter burn in the final image?

    Adding a radial filter burn helps to draw attention to the center of the frame and create a visual focal point in the image.

  9. What is the significance of the full-screen version of the image?

    The full-screen version of the image allows for a closer inspection and evaluation of the final composite, ensuring that all elements blend seamlessly and create a visually pleasing result.

  10. Why is it important to choose appropriate shots for the composite?

    Choosing appropriate shots for the composite ensures that the final image looks natural and avoids any distracting elements or poses that may detract from the overall composition.


Class Trailer

Class Introduction


Posing Guidance for Him


Posing Guidance for Her


Foundational Posing


Posing Touch Points


Couples Body Language


Posing Three Point Check


Posing Tips with Demo


Lesson Info

Simple Composite - University

Let's go up to our simple composite. That guy's over here. Right there. I wanna show you guys this shot first. So here's the different frames. We got our lights set up, and then once we got our lights set up, notice how this is kind of awkward. This is what I was seeing in camera was that that dip was weird. Doesn't it look like she's pushing him away, their body language? It looks odd. So this is much, much better. I adjusted the hand position, adjusted everything, and we're good up there. I like that shot. What do you guys like? What shot do you wanna do? You wanna do the dip, you wanna do the ... What y'all wanna do? No dip? Let's do the kiss? Let's do the looking at each other. Staring, stare in each other's eyes. So all we would do is this. Let's select out one image. This is gonna be one of our images. I'm gonna press six just to mark it as red for right now, just so I know that that's the image. That's a kiss one, so that one's not it. We're gonna select our second one, so what ...

I'll probably do is I'll use that one, and I'll also use this one. When we took the plate, we took a couple different exposures of the plate just so that we had some different brightness levels. Could easily do that in post, too. For our plate, what we're gonna do as for our shot, we're just gonna produce the image. We always process the image for this shot. We'll process it based on this guy, with the couple inside of it. So I'm gonna go ahead and just keep things a little bit quick. We're gonna do just a nice little ... No, you know what, let's just show you guys how to do it. Let me go full screen also so we have a little bit more view. I feel like we have enough time. We might as well work through it. All right. Oh, what? (laughter) And that might be why I chose the kissing shot, actually. We'll just do it anyway. (laughter) Let's just do it anyway. What I'm gonna do is just, I'm gonna bring my exposure down in this frame. I don't want them to be that bright. I'm gonna bring the exposure down. I'm gonna go ahead and bring back the highlights and the whites a little bit just to bring them down, and then add some shadows in the shot. I'm gonna press J just to look at my highlight and clipping alert, and then we'll just bring back a little bit of the exposure, so leave them right about there. I'm gonna add some clarity to this. This is one of those scenes that's so far pulled back that adding clarity in that mid-tone contrast looks kinda cool. I dig the vibe. With the tone curve, we've already added quite a bit of contrast to the image. If we wanna add a little more, let's actually just use the contrast slider this go-around, just so we can say we did. That's really it. I'm gonna go ahead and grab a radial filter. We're gonna grab this guy and drop it with a 0.5 burn right over our couple. Don't need to worry too much about sharpening in this shot. It already looks pretty good. Let's not zoom in. (laughter) What we're gonna do is now take that setting. If I press the red filter right now, it'll show me the images that I've marked red. These are some of the shots that we're gonna do in the nighttime class. That's gonna be fun. I'm gonna actually mark those as not red so they don't appear right now. I just do that so it's easily visible, but I'll just mark them as red and then paste the settings from this image over to this one by pressing Alt-Shift-V, or Option-Shift-V. We have to be in the develop module. Let's just click that. What happened was, we also got a little bit of the radial filter. That radial filter popped over to here, too. What I'm gonna do basically is on the darker shot, I'm gonna brighten this guy up a little bit, just so that he's roughly the same. But I still want that darkening effect a little bit. I'm scrolling back and forth between the two just checking the exposure, and it looks good right about here. Totally fine. Select both images, right-click, Edit In, Open as Layers in Photoshop. I'm gonna select both these layers now, so we're in Photoshop. Both of our layers have been loaded. I'm selecting both by holding down Shift, left-clicking. We're gonna go right up here to Edit, there we go, Auto-Align Layers, and we're just gonna click Auto. That's done. Here's our layer with the little dude on there, kneeling there. I'm gonna go ahead and ... Little dude, little dude guy. Add a layer mask. Wockum. I love that word. Every time I say it, I wanna go, "Wockum wockum wockum wockum wockum wock." All I'm gonna do now is paint black. I usually go down to a pretty light flow, maybe 10 to 15 percent. And watch how easy this is. If you want, you can speed it up by going up a little bit. When I'm doing more crazy composites, I'll slow it down just because it's nice to have a graduation. Boom. Boom. (laughter) That's as simple as it is to do ... That's why we call it simple compositing. It's literally a five-minute process and you've removed them from the frame. It's a good idea to press Z and just click and drag to zoom in, just to make sure there's no issues. Because you see this? We have a Back to the Future light pole. (laughter) We don't want no Back to the Future light pole, so let's just paint that guy out. Everything else is fine. You can even press Alt or Option and click the mask, just to make sure that the mask is solid around where you need it. With something like this, as simple as this, there's no point in leaving the flow less than 100. Might as well leave it at 100 because it's so easy to just get out, and we're not worried about too much else. There's one other thing that I like to look at, which is, do I want to eliminate any light spill? So if you look at this, where the flash is hitting, I'm gonna go ahead and press B to bring up my brush. Where the flash is hitting on this other side, if we're not using a grid, then it basically is gonna spill onto the opposite wall. So what I sometimes like to do is, now I'll bring my flow down and I'll actually paint this out. What you're gonna see is that the wall's actually gonna get a little bit darker. So if we want, we can just remove that flash that might have spilled. Whoops, that's a click from there. I'll usually use a fairly light flow. That's probably too light. Let's go up to 25. Just paint around. That way, that area has a very nice light feather to it. That's just to prevent one side of the wall from being brighter than the other side of the wall in your final image. Once we get to this point, I would save it out and I would take it back to some Lightroom for some re-fried beans. (laughter) I like it when I make Kenna laugh. I call it re-fried beans when you take a processed image and you reprocess it. (laughter) You cooked it once, now you're cooking it again. So what we're gonna do is we're gonna change our crop now. We didn't do this before because what if I don't want that crop later on? What if I wanna change the crop to something else later on? We'll bring it back to Lightroom and make these adjustments back in Lightroom to finalize everything. And now that I also have my tone there, I can also do other things, so watch. I'm gonna go ahead and I'm gonna use a detail brush. Let's go to a general, all-purpose detail enhancer. This is where our contrast is up to 30, highlights at 20, clarity at 30, saturation 20, sharpness, and we're just gonna paint over the entire frame, and then hold down Alt or Option and just click once to remove it off them. Look at this. There's a big difference in that little, small adjustment. What I might even do also is just put one more radial filter burn into this image. So let's just switch this over to a burn. Just bring that attention right in. I'm gonna make it a large one, so I'm gonna hold down Control and Shift, and we're gonna expand this so that this just subtly pulls attention right into the middle of the frame. If you wanna test it, go back to grid view. Ask yourself, "Does it look like it's transitioning?" And to me, it does a little bit. So I'm gonna go back, click this guy, and just click up maybe one or two notches right there. All right, let's take a look at this now. So I'm gonna go ahead and just reset out this guy. We'll press Control to select both of these, bring these up, and compare these to each other. That's pretty cool, right? Cool effect. Pretty simple, easy to do. Here's that full-screen version of the image. Cool. And I wouldn't use the kissing shot because obviously her tongue is out. (laughter) Not cool. Not cool, man. I'm sure I have another shot of them looking together without her tongue out, but it's fine.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Pre-Shoot Videos
Keynote 1
Keynote 2
Presets Installation Guide
Gear Guide
Favorite Software
Lightroom Presets

Ratings and Reviews

CPR Photography

I think Pye Jirsa is one of the best, if not the best, instructor for photography on Creative Live. He is very personable, smart and approachable. He has a perfect blend of personality (comments, laughs, tangents..) to the amount of instruction. He asks the questions for you, because he knows you are thinking those questions right then. He's very good about identifying settings, gear, etc.. and not leaving us in the dark about how he "got the shot". He goes into great detail. His instructions flow, but are linear, which is helpful. He's very organized, and you can tell that he really put a lot of work into his presentations (slides, video, test shoots, live teaching, graphics, etc..) I have been listening to him for like 10 hours straight, and still haven't gotten tired of him. He keeps things moving, He's very funny too. Nice job, I've learned so much. :)

a Creativelive Student

This course was AMAZING. I'd say int he past year or two I've fallen into a slump. Uninspired by my surroundings and uninspired by my clients. As a result, it showed through my work. My posing suffered as well and more than a handful of times some of my shoots became more than awkward. Then I bought this course and watched most of it in the course of a day. I walked away inspired, blown away, and renewed. The next day I walked into an engagement session confident. I gave my couples a quick overview on posing and then we just had fun in front of the camera. Immediately afterwards they texted me about how amazing their shoot was and how relaxed I made them feel about posing. The photos turned out fantastic to say the least. I've since shot several more engagement sessions and each one of them has been amazing. If anything, this course should inspire photographers to think outside the box and provide you with the necessary skills to take incredible engagement photos. Thank you Pye and Creative Live! I cannot speak more highly of this course. I should also state I purchased Pye's Natural Light course on SLR Lounge: this course is a wonderful addition to that. If you already own the natural light course and are hesitant about purchasing this one, don't. Buy it and reap the benefits!


This is by far one of the best courses I have taken. Pye makes learning fun and easy to understand. I feel like I have learned so much throughout the course, that I have truly advanced my photography skills. I am so excited to get out there and try so many of the techniques that he showed. I would love to take another course of his. The pricing for the course doesn't even compare to how wonderful the education truly is, I really got more than my money's worth on this one.

Student Work