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Image Selection: Row Boat in Fog

Lesson 45 from: Portrait Photography: Creating and Styling your Environment

John Keatley

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Lesson Info

45. Image Selection: Row Boat in Fog


Class Trailer

Class Introduction


Creative Photography Path


Importance of Personal Work


Concepts and Inspiration


Choosing Your Environment


Research and Mood Boards


Finding Your Style


Establishing a Team


Jobs on Set


Production Hurdles


Working with an Art Director


Pooling Resources






Set Design and Props: Interview with John Lavin






Technical vs. Flexible Lighting


Creating Environment


Gear Essentials vs. DIY Solutions


Lighting for Your Subject


Lighting for Your Environment




Directing Your Subject


Tips for Directing Talent


Pre-Lighting and Test Shoots


Shoot: Stylized Portrait - Close Up Part 1


Shoot: Stylized Portrait - Close Up Part 2


Shoot: Stylized Portrait - Close Up Part 3


Set Tour and Lighting Set Up


Shoot: Building Environment & Lighting Adjustments


Shoot: Building Environment Part 1


Shoot: Building Environment Part 2


Photo Critique


Shoot: Row Boat in Fog Set Tour


Shoot: Row Boat in Fog Part 1


Shoot: Row Boat in Fog Part 2


Shoot: Row Boat in Fog Part 3


Shoot: Row Boat in Fog Part 4


Shoot: Scuba in the Hull Part 1


Shoot: Scuba in the Hull Part 2


Shoot: Scuba in the Hull Part 3


Image Selection: Stylized Portrait


Image Selection: Building Environment


Image Selection: Row Boat in Fog


Image Selection: Scuba in the Hull


Next Steps: Create New Work


Next Steps: Share Your Work


Next Steps: Marketing and Branding Consistency


Final Image Reveal - Concept and Casting


Final Image Reveal - Retouching: Communication and Direction


Final Image Reveal - Final Q&A


Lesson Info

Image Selection: Row Boat in Fog

And row boat, Jessica... So... Let's see. This is gonna take some time. And it's a little different. Probably I'm gonna be looking at these a little, it's actually really hard for me to see too with the lights, when it's so dark and moody. But... I'm really looking... It's crucial to capture the smoke, and as best as possible. And again, pieces can be put together in post, but we're always trying to avoid that as much as we can. So I'm looking for, I'm looking for her expression. They're all very similar, but she did have a really good range within that tiny place that I put her in. So I'll go through and pick ones for expression. The way I would deliver these to a retoucher is I would have, either by folders or file name, probably folders, I would make a master folder and then I would put Boat and Subject. And then I would put Grass Camera Left, and then have another folder for Dead Body Legs or whatever. And then ideally you would comp it up as best you can, roughly, to give them an ...

idea of what you want it to look like. And then you say Clouds. And like for me, I'm not getting those clouds looking very good also. I'll just kind of say this cloud is for this part, and you can circle it and draw on it in Photoshop or something. But you want to give clear direction. 'Cause I can guarantee you right now, well, I don't know. Who knows? But I would be shocked if this image didn't end up being a composite of some sort. Maybe there was an awesome one in there that happened. But like even here, I don't know, I can see this happening. You know, if you get something just right. It probably still needs some smoke in front of the boat, but it's a pretty cool billow in the back, it's got like really great texture. So, we'll have to see. This shot actually ended up quite a bit different than I think I was planning, but I like it. It's like not a bad different, it's just it looks different. But I'm cool with that, 'cause it's an exciting image, and I think that also, it's this, and I'm talking to myself more than anyone else here, I think it just goes back to showing up and doing the work. I was actually thinking about this last night too. I put up that quote, I think it was by Chuck Klossen, it says inspiration is for amateurs, the professionals show up and get to work. And I think like you have to kind of take that with a grain of salt. That doesn't mean, I mean inspiration, however you define that. Like, of course you need inspiration. You need ideas to come from somewhere, and I study other people's work and I study art of all kinds and I get ideas and things from that. So I would classify that as inspiration. So I don't want it to come across as like I'm taking a dig at people who search for inspiration. But I think there comes a point where you show up and you do the work. You can think about it and plan about it and worry about it forever, like, I need it to look just like this! And a lot of times it's not gonna look just like that. You know, it's gonna look like you hopefully, and it's gonna look like your version of whatever that original idea was. So you've gotta just show up and you've gotta shoot it, and then hopefully in the end, I mean assuming you actually really do like it, which I do, it's okay to say, you know what, wow, that is not really what I thought it would look like. But whether it's better or not, I really like it. And that's cool. So, it's a good reminder I think for all of us that, you know, you make a plan and you just gotta start putting it together and there's no turning back. Otherwise you're not gonna have anything. A lot of these are just super cool. I mean, it'll be interesting to see where it goes 'cause... There's not necessarily a right or wrong. But that's where especially I start to just let my kind of emotion take over and guide what feels best. But what I do really love is seeing some of this depth where you can tell that the smog is behind her and you can also tell sometimes when it's in front of her. So I would like to find a mix of that. 'Cause I think it adds a sense of depth, which is what we were going for. Trying to create an environment when we're actually inside. You also have to be careful, sometimes it can look like someone lit a smoke bomb off, and trying to find that balance of where, excuse me, it doesn't, it feels real, it doesn't feel too distracting. That could end up being the one. You got John in the background looking nice and creepy. You've got (mumbles) Jay Pop wanted me to mention her at least a couple more times. I promised her I would do that. John, as you continue to, keep going through, but I'm just curious if, now that you seem very excited about this image, if your mood and theme and the way that you're gonna go about retouching these, leading toward the final series, do you pick sort of a hero, if you will, image of a series that you then mold everything back to? Does that make sense? Yeah, I mean I don't think, I don't think it's... I don't think I could say that at this point for this one because it's not, right now how I'm feeling is, I don't feel like I'm done with this. I think these are awesome images I'm super excited about for this class, but now that I've done it I feel like there's more to be said, and so I would like to create more. And, you know, in terms of like is there a hero? I don't know, it just depends. I think for a series, generally, hopefully there's not a hero. I mean there may be one that ends up being people's favorites and stuff. But I've seen series of work, or I've seen images where I was like so amazed by, and I looked up that photographer and I went to their site and I was like, oh, there's that image, you know. And then I saw the next one and I was like, oh my gosh, that's even cooler. Then you saw a third one, it's like, oh man, you start to feel like depressed and inspired and excited at the same time. And then the fourth one I was like, oh, aw. And then the fifth one was like, oh my gosh. And then the sixth one was like, this is not good. Then it starts to cast this shadow over the first ones and you start to think, was that an accident? And I've seen this where it's like, you know, four through ten is terrible, and it ruined the first one that I saw. Literally there's been an image where I was ready to call and see if they sold prints 'cause I wanted to buy one. And this whole series was so bad I lost all interest. It doesn't mean that first image wasn't so good, but the worst work ruined the best work. And so I think it's important to, if a hero is just because it's that much better, that may mean you have more work to do more than anything else. So I think a series hopefully, they're all gonna carry equal parts in different ways. But again, that doesn't mean, maybe, you know, if you have a gallery show or something, one image has to be on the front of the brochure. But I try to make sure that I'm equally excited about all of them and I'm not just forcing one in just because I shot it. Quite possibly, and when I come back and we do it I'll be totally honest, I don't feel this way now at all, but if I came back and I felt like three of these were awesome and one was like, we shot it but it's not great, I'm not gonna be showing that image. Then I have three images, and that's the way it is until I make another one or something like that. And I think in that sense, in the same way that I'm emotional when I pick images, you've gotta remove emotion when it comes to like sticking with images. 'Cause if it's not working, you gotta cut bait sometimes. Where is that dead body? Alright. Perfect. Laughing, she's so sadistic. There we go. Alright, so let's check that out. Lets see where we're at. Go down to 12. So... That's a test shot, don't know why I picked that. That one's cool. Again I think these will look quite different. Alright. So just in terms of context, in terms of dead body or no dead body, we'll go through it. See what people are feelin'. We've got one, we got two... And we got three. What? (faint speaking) Yep, I agree. Yeah, again, it could've been really cool, and the seagull could've been really cool too. Some of it's just more for entertainment than anything else, but you gotta have fun and you also have to be open. Like that could have been the thing where it's like, wow, that was not my original idea, it was someone else's idea, but it worked and it's great. But for me, again, this one feels a little too hazy, a little too flat. I love the depth here. You still have that beautiful smog and folk. Smog and, I thought I just cursed for a minute, fog. (laughter) What did I just say? In fog? I'm getting tired. But you have that depth also, which I think is really nice. There's a really cool contrast on her. It probably needs a little bit of fog in the front of the boat, too. But, anyway, so what did everyone say? One? Yep. Cool. Alright, I'm gonna just... Gonna make a quick little folder. Cool, selects, so we'll export that. And we'll come here. Yeah, we can just flip through them too. (mumbling) I don't remember whatever we landed here for. We'll export that. It's kinda fun. I don't know, we'll see if these are the final ones, but this will give us a real good idea of like, yeah, those don't fit together so much. Or maybe they will. I'm kind of excited to see. And there she is. Alright, so... Selects... (mumbles) So we've got a rowboat. The ship. The dark. And the character portrait. And also, you know, we'll have to see, like, in post, obviously there's a lot of push and pull between color and saturation and stuff. I think all these will ultimately have the same level of saturation to them in one way or another. Maybe the colors from here will influence the color treatment of this portrait. I certainly think that will be the case. So color theme will be more consistent throughout.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials

Keatley Keynote Presentation
Casting for Nautical Shoot Video

Ratings and Reviews

a Creativelive Student

What an amazing show. I'm so happy that I could be a part of it. It was so great to see John at work and in his element. I learned so much from watching his process from beginning to ending. So many questions have been answered. I feel more confident, to get myself out there and create and make work that comes out from my imagination. I will definitely be keeping a journal/notebook with me at all times. I would also like to suggest that we have another course for John Cornicello, home studio. I'm curious to see what John is working on in his studio.

Doppio Studio

It's amazing to watch and understand how this great creative professional work. There's a lot to learn about with his production process. For me, that lives in Brazil, is a major opportunity to enjoy this class.

Vitamin Dee

Wow! There's just so much great information in this class. If you've ever wondered what it takes to produce an environmental portrait, this is the class for you! John did a superb job of taking us step-by-step through his process. From model casting to set building, lighting setups to culling; it's all here. He even wraps up the class with next steps and how to put it all together. He gives the knowledge so you can take it to a place you can create your own magic!

Student Work