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Lighting to Simplify Your Edit

Lesson 12 of 16

Culling of Photoshoot

Daniel Kudish

Lighting to Simplify Your Edit

Daniel Kudish

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Lesson Info

12. Culling of Photoshoot


  Class Trailer
Now Playing
1 Class Introduction Duration:01:33
2 How to Analyze the Light Duration:06:53
3 Leveraging Video Light Duration:03:26
5 Scouting Best Practices Duration:10:55
6 The Importance of Playing Duration:09:32
10 LIVE SHOOT: Mixed Lighting Duration:04:43
12 Culling of Photoshoot Duration:08:18
13 Editing Workflow In Lightroom Duration:32:32
14 Processing Your Presets Duration:14:50
15 Editing in Photoshop Duration:07:21
16 The Image Salon Duration:02:49

Lesson Info

Culling of Photoshoot

To start we're simply gonna go through the images one by one and select the good ones from the shoot. I'll just make a note that I did shoot a little bit less than I normally would during a portrait session because we were tethered, so the pace was a little bit slower I didn't wanna cram, you know, hundreds of photos 'cause they would have shown up just for a split second. So, normally I would have just a little bit more variety on each photo, maybe a little bit more smiles, a little bit of different looks, so just keep that in mind as we go through the images. So, in terms of software, what we use for culling our photos is Photo Mechanic. If you guys haven't heard of that software, it's really wonderful and its sole purpose is to look at images, browse through them, and do quick selections. There's no editing capabilities, but by being solely for the purpose of selecting photos it, they've created a software that works really, really quickly so when you drag a folder with 3,000 raw im...

ages, it just pops up on your screen and it's pretty much instant. So, that's what we use for doing our selections. So, let's go ahead and go through the photos one by one. To select the image, all I'm doing is pressing T on my keyboard and that adds a little check mark here at the bottom, and at the end we'll be able to just sort through the ones that we have kept. So, we'll go ahead and select one of these full-body images, then going in medium, we'll select one of these as well. Looking at the camera, we'll select one. Looking down, a little bit of a smile, maybe a little bit of a nicer expression than the neutral face, so I went ahead and selected this image. One from the back, one full-body from the back, then the two of them. I'm just looking for the best expression, the best smile on their face, same with the medium and same with the full-body. Then the two of them looking at each other, medium looking at each other, and closer looking at each other. There we go, then a little bit of a connection between the two of them, select one, select another one, which we might put in black and white afterwards. And then we went ahead and expanded, and tried to do something a little bit more creative. Looking back on these images, I wasn't too crazy about the reflection that was coming from that compact. And that's okay, we tried something. What's important is in that moment, I didn't necessarily communicate it to the client. You never wanna make them feel panicked. When something isn't working, we'll never stop and say, hey guys, this is not working out. We'll just see it through, maybe a little bit more rapidly and then move on to something else. I think it's important to keep that energy high with the couple, and if you tell them that something isn't quite working, it changes that dynamic a little bit. So, I'm not even sure that I'm necessarily gonna select anything from these closer-ups with the reflection. I'm looking through them, but nothing is really standing out to me, so we'll just skip ahead, and that's okay. 'Cause the thing too is, with creative photos, the couple doesn't necessarily know what you're doing, so they can't possibly envision what the final image would look like. When they receive their final collection of photos, they're not gonna say, hey you missed that one crazy reflection that I saw you working on, it should have looked this way. They'll just look at the final photos and they'll appreciate what they have. So, by leaving this out, I think it's okay, no one's gonna hold it against us. So, let's go back, so now we have the silhouette against the windows. And so, I can speak a little bit about the question that we had before regarding the straight lines and the visual balance. So, this is sorta the straight-on version of the photo, where the lines are a little bit crooked, but nothing that we can't fix in post-production. But as you can see, like the balance here at the, you know, at the bottom of the frame it's, is very big. And let me just zoom this in the way that ideally I would want it, sorry. (mouse clicking) A lil' difficult to replicate, but, so yeah. So, this is straight on, and what happens here is, I have a tight space here on the left side against the, the edge of the window, and then a wide space here. And the reason why I wanna tilt it is to close down the, sorry, open up the space here and close down the space here at the bottom. So, that's really the mindset that affects how much we tilt the photos. Alright, so let's carry on, so then we went into a vertical, so here everything kinda lined up, we're a little bit more abstract so we'll go ahead and select this one. Then we added a reflection. This one doesn't quite work because their heads are so close together, it's almost alien-like, so we're not crazy about this, we're gonna move on. So then, I just adjusted the orientation of the mirror to separate the reflection and the real version a little bit, so that works well. Go ahead and select it. (mouse clicking) And slight variations on this, well so, like this one as well. In our first round of culling or selecting, we'll, we might over-select and choose images that are very similar to one another. We try not to go too crazy by comparing one photo to the other at this stage, we just wanna select the best one from each sequence, or as many as we feel is necessary, and then we might do a second pass and just review the ones that we need to compare. So, carrying on with the wall, we can select this one, which is a little bit interesting, but then, I think we evolved it into something a little bit better by including more in the foreground. We made that adjustment to make sure that the hands weren't cut off, that the space around them was nice and even, as you guys can see, like if this was our final frame, this would drive us crazy, right? Like where the hands are getting cut off against the edge of the frame. So that little adjustment is really key, and also the balance now between her hand and the edge of the frame, and then the space between the two of them and even between the back of her head and the light bulbs, everything is very even. And it's very subtle, but that's what creates visual balance, and makes for a more appealing photo, generally. So, go ahead and select this one. And then we can select something like this, that's gonna be pretty interesting to edit as well. Then we started with them in the good light against the lit-up wall. Here, what I'm looking for is really the, those little subtleties in their expressions, so here, it's just kinda serious, I haven't prompted them to kind of connect a little bit more. And here she has a little bit of that smile, it creates more of that connection, so we'll go ahead and select this one. Even more of a smile, even better, let's go ahead and select that too. Then we moved their hands even further the connection, so we'll go ahead and select this. And even more of a smile, even further. And then tried to add a little bit of a reflection, make it more interesting. Let's select this one. We, we'll select one of her alone, just kind of a nice bridal portrait to add to the collection, nothing too crazy. Then, the pose that didn't quite work out, so we'll skip over that, not select any. Then we made that correction, turned them against the light. Made that adjustment in the hip, you know, here you can see she's very straight in her body language, and then that little hip out creates a bit of that curve. Connect them a little bit more. We'll go ahead and select this one. And then maximize our opportunity, go in a little bit closer, and work on just the two of them. That hand that she brought up really made a difference, and I actually didn't notice that she had a heart tattoo on her hand, but now we see it in the frame as well, so that's nice little added bonus.

Class Description

Good lighting makes for an easier edit, and solid editing knowledge allows the photographer to play more with light. That said, there are plenty of things you can do about substandard lighting in the post-production process that can save your photos. In this course, wedding photographer Daniel Kudish will conduct a live in-studio photo shoot with a real couple to show you how to create great lighting during your shoot so your editing process is easier. He’ll then do a full editing walkthrough in Lightroom® to demonstrate how to correct lighting problems and play with your lighting to bring your images to life.


Adobe Lightroom Classic CC, Adobe Photoshop CC 2018


Sara NAomi

So love the way Daniel explains the thought processes for the images. Calm mental very very helpful. The D+D pair are an amazing photographic team from the feelings, experience, teaching and the results of their vision. So want to take a class with them in person.

Carlos Rosa

Amazing, very short compared to other classes that I have, but it's really relevant, he goes straight to the point and there's a lot of great info, and that's what makes this class so good. I really like his style​ of teaching, very simple and clear, and that's what we need.


Excellent course! Daniel explains in details how to take the pictures and how to retouch them later. I like his easy and clear approach and the use of a lot of examples. I recommend this course to anyone.