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Portrait Photography Fundamentals

Lesson 58 of 61

Introduction to Fine Art Post-Processing


Portrait Photography Fundamentals

Lesson 58 of 61

Introduction to Fine Art Post-Processing


Lesson Info

Introduction to Fine Art Post-Processing

I'm gonna talk to you a little bit about fine art, what they call fine art post processing and, you know, I would have a lot of people look at my photos and go, you know what, I like how you do that effect where it kinda looks like a painting and a photo and I'm not quite sure what that is. Well anyways, that's what I'm gonna talk about and its a very popular method, and a lot of times when you're submitting for a competition, a lot of those type of images win. And we'll go into a little bit why they do and I'll explain the fine art post editing process. And so let's get going on it now. So when you're doing fine art post editing, it's really kinda creating a timeless image and that's what you're kinda going for is something that's timeless, that could just live forever. So what type of imagery is that? Let me first ask you, why are paintings priced higher than photographs? I did a search, and you can do this too, on Google, and I looked up the highest priced paintings, and I think the...

y're up at 200 million or something like that. And I go, well, I wonder what it is for the highest priced photograph. What d'you think that is? Lookin' it up, and who do you think it is? What's that? Peter, what? Peter Hurley, I think you mean Peter Lik. Yeah. (laughs) Peter Hurley does head shots, he's great at that. (laughs) He would take the compliment, that's for sure. Okay, right, and what do you think that price was, on a photograph, the highest? Anybody have a guess on it? Well, it's about... Well at one time it was one and a half million, but I think he recently sold something, you know the one in the Grand Canyon where the light goes through the things and... I think it was about six and a half million. But paintings, why is it that paintings are so much more popular and demand such a higher price with a painting than with a photograph? Well, reality is common and that's kinda what a photograph is, right. We could go to the Grand Canyon and we can see a great landscape shot, right, and so we see a picture of that, we can go to the exact same location and see it. And so it's somewhat, reality we can actually kind of see. But when you're talking about a painting, and these paintings that are millions and millions of dollars, it's strictly, what, the artist's vision. So what does that tell us? We are gonna get paid for our vision, okay? And if post processing allows us to extend our vision, then that's gonna separate us. So let's take a look at what really makes, say, a painting tick. Right, if we can kinda look at, and I recommend you doing that, I recommend you doing a Google search, and if you Google search and are like, you know, top paintings, or whatever it is, and search it and then go in Google and just hit images and just look at what comes down at you, you get a kinda feel of that painting. And so what we wanna do is take some of those aspects and bring it into our Photoshop, and create that. So let's look at some of those keys of what happens when you do that. When you do the Google search, and you click images, and you look at it. Well one thing is when you see a painting, you see detail, detail, detail, details, like crazy. And so there's a lot a detail in it. And when you look at a famous picture, let me ask you, do you see a lot a white in the image? No, right? Does, like a painter, he's got a canvas, right, the canvas is white. Does he leave, oh you know what, I'm just gonna leave that canvas white there, 'cause it goes with that. Do they do that most of the time? No. (laughs) It's completely filled with tones. Tone, Tone, Tone, Tone, all over the place, right. And so that's why you see me when I'm doing my editing, I'm adding tones. Like when you see my pictures it's just solid tone and there's not a lot of like, whites blown out. I am kinda like the opposite of light and airy (laughs) you know the light and airy look, where they've got a lot of blown highlights and things like that. I'm the opposite of that, where I'm going for the tone feel to it. So there's minimal white tones as all. No blown out highlights. Complimentary color pallets, they use that a lot. And they exaggerate that a lot. So they have exaggerated tones! Look at it, Google it, look up famous paintings, click the images so you see 'em all at once, you're gonna see exaggerated tones all over the place. Larger than life tones. It has to grab your attention. 'Cause everything kinda looks normal, oh okay. But if you change the tone of the sky and make it even bluer or whatever, oh, okay, or make it pink, or... I'm looking now because those tones are exaggerated. And that's what our vision is, that's what our creativity is that we do that in our mind. Strong composition, you'll see those paintings, they have very strong composition. They have strong posing, and they have strong lighting. They've got it all, they're the full package, exactly what we're trying to learn. And so those images are perfect, they're timeless, everything is perfect about them and you're gonna see that, the composition, just, wow. The lighting is wow, Rembrandt lighting, well that's where we got the term from. It's from a painter! What we use in photography for lighting is what a painter developed. Rembrandt lighting, that tells you something about the lighting. Strong posing, right, everything has to come together. And so, you're really not gonna be able to do these processes with your images once you start to lock down the basics of each of those. And then bring those images and then do that fine art processing with it then it's gonna... Keep practicing it, and it's gonna look better, and better, and better, as you get better. You're going to have more versatility with your images the better they get, right. But when you don't produce a great image, eh, I can only do one or two things here, really, and that's about it. Okay, amplify the main subject, diminish complementary elements. And then we talked about that before. And that's a must, especially when you're having detail, detail, detail, right. Then you can't have all the detail come out at you all at once because you'll go like, oh, sensory overload here, not quite sure what to do with everything. So that's why you've got to say, hey, main image here and then complementary around it. Okay, then here's another source of information. I want you to look up popular landscapes. So do a Google search or, you know, top landscapes, right. Do the same thing. Click on the images that screen come down to you and see those tons of thumbnails of the best landscape images. What are you gonna see? You're going to see the same thing. Are you going to see just normal skies out there? Or you go on Instagram, right, and you follow those amazing landscapes photographers and you are gonna see tone, tone, tone, tone. You're not gonna see a lot of blown out white anywhere. Everything is gonna be filled with tone. Usually there's like a main focal point, like a waterfall or whatever and then everything is gonna kind of enhance that main focus to it. Instead of focusing on people they're focusing on nature and using post processing to really amplify that. And that's What you really want to get at.

Class Description

Want to be able to go into any situation with your camera and have the confidence to know you’ll get the shot? Award-Winning photographer Scott Robert Lim goes in-depth on the four foundational elements you must conquer if you want to develop your creativity and style.

Scott will give you the guidelines you need to master:

  • Lighting
  • Posing
  • Composition
  • Post-Processing

Once you master these fundamentals of portraits, you free up your mind to get creative and ultimately get the shot.


  1. Class Introduction
  2. 5 Shots That WOW
  3. Four Fundamentals of Photography
  4. Create a Visual Impact with Composition
  5. Importance of Foreground and Background
  6. Create Depth in Landscape Images
  7. Photos Don't Always Follow the Rules
  8. Composition Practice Exercise
  9. Composition Critique of Student Images
  10. Keys to Posing
  11. Shoot: Classic Elegance Female Pose
  12. Shoot: Modern Female Pose
  13. Shoot: Rollover Female Pose
  14. Female Hands & Arms Poses Overview
  15. Shoot: Hands and Arms Poses for Female
  16. Seven Posing Guidelines
  17. Headshots Poses with Male Model
  18. Shoot: Headshot for Male Model
  19. Shoot: Sitting Poses for Male Model
  20. Shoot: Leaning Poses for Male Model
  21. Shoot: Standing Poses for Male Model
  22. Keys to Couples Posing
  23. Shoot: Couples Posing
  24. Couples Transitional Posing Overview
  25. Shoot: Transitional Posing
  26. Keys to Group Posing
  27. Accordion Technique with Groups
  28. Shoot: Accordion Technique
  29. Shoot: Best Buds Pose
  30. Shoot: Talk with Your Hands Pose
  31. Shoot: Lock Arms and Hold Hands Pose
  32. Run at the Camera and Dance in Your Seat Poses
  33. Shoot: Pod Method Pose
  34. Posing Critique of Student Images
  35. Introduction to Lighting
  36. Soft vs Hard Light
  37. Difficult Lighting Situations
  38. Bright Light Techniques
  39. Overcast Light Techniques
  40. Low Light Techniques
  41. Lighting Techniques Q&A
  42. Drama Queen Lighting
  43. Laundry Basket Lighting
  44. Make it Rain Lighting
  45. Smart Phone Painting with Light
  46. Mini LED Bokeh Lighting
  47. Choose the Right Lighting System
  48. Hybrid Flash System
  49. Innovative Accessories
  50. Gear Overview
  51. Theatrical Post-Processing
  52. Ten Keys to Post-Processing
  53. Essential Skills to Post-Processing
  54. Headshot Post-Processing
  55. Bright Light Post-Processing
  56. Flat Light Post-Processing
  57. Low Light Post-Processing
  58. Introduction to Fine Art Post-Processing
  59. Light & Airy Fine Art Post-Processing
  60. Dark & Moody Fine Art Post-Processing
  61. Post-Processing Critique of Student Images


Vitor Rademaker

This course is amazing! Scott is extremely straightforward. He goes directly to practical problems, tips and etc. He explains every thing very clearly, and he is also very funny and charismatic, making you laugh as you learn. He shows that you don't need a lot of expensive gear to make very nice pictures. So I have saved some money as well, cause I was about to buy some gear that I wouldn't need right now. It is for sure one of the best photography courses I have ever attended to! I highly recommend! Thanks a lot Scott! You are the best!


I have purchased a number of classes, this being one of them. The quality of the information was good and the level at which Scott spoke was appropriate for me. Having a course sylibus would add greatly to the value, which usually is not part of the programs I've purchased including this one, unless I've missed it. I believe the speaker should be required to provide one. After watching the videos, much of material can be recaptured by seeing it in writing. I would like to hear back from Creativelive their thoughts. In sum, good topic, good speaker, good technical audio and video quality by Creativelive


Another fantastic class with Scott Robert Lim! The combination of his knowledge, willingness to share, passion & entertaining personality makes him a top choice for photography education. Learning not only the "what", but the "why" & "how" can transform one's entire approach towards MAKING pictures. A constant inspiration to get better & better through practice.