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Light & Airy Fine Art Post-Processing

Lesson 59 from: Portrait Photography Fundamentals

Scott Robert Lim

Light & Airy Fine Art Post-Processing

Lesson 59 from: Portrait Photography Fundamentals

Scott Robert Lim

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Lesson Info

59. Light & Airy Fine Art Post-Processing


Class Trailer

Class Introduction


5 Shots That WOW


Four Fundamentals of Photography


Create a Visual Impact with Composition


Importance of Foreground and Background


Create Depth in Landscape Images


Photos Don't Always Follow the Rules


Composition Practice Exercise


Composition Critique of Student Images


Keys to Posing


Shoot: Classic Elegance Female Pose


Shoot: Modern Female Pose


Shoot: Rollover Female Pose


Female Hands & Arms Poses Overview


Shoot: Hands and Arms Poses for Female


Seven Posing Guidelines


Headshots Poses with Male Model


Shoot: Headshot for Male Model


Shoot: Sitting Poses for Male Model


Shoot: Leaning Poses for Male Model


Shoot: Standing Poses for Male Model


Keys to Couples Posing


Shoot: Couples Posing


Couples Transitional Posing Overview


Shoot: Transitional Posing


Keys to Group Posing


Accordion Technique with Groups


Shoot: Accordion Technique


Shoot: Best Buds Pose


Shoot: Talk with Your Hands Pose


Shoot: Lock Arms and Hold Hands Pose


Run at the Camera and Dance in Your Seat Poses


Shoot: Pod Method Pose


Posing Critique of Student Images


Introduction to Lighting


Soft vs Hard Light


Difficult Lighting Situations


Bright Light Techniques


Overcast Light Techniques


Low Light Techniques


Lighting Techniques Q&A


Drama Queen Lighting


Laundry Basket Lighting


Make it Rain Lighting


Smart Phone Painting with Light


Mini LED Bokeh Lighting


Choose the Right Lighting System


Hybrid Flash System


Innovative Accessories


Gear Overview


Theatrical Post-Processing


Ten Keys to Post-Processing


Essential Skills to Post-Processing


Headshot Post-Processing


Bright Light Post-Processing


Flat Light Post-Processing


Low Light Post-Processing


Introduction to Fine Art Post-Processing


Light & Airy Fine Art Post-Processing


Dark & Moody Fine Art Post-Processing


Post-Processing Critique of Student Images


Lesson Info

Light & Airy Fine Art Post-Processing

So first of all, let's do this image, okay? So this is what I took, okay? But this is what I ended up with, okay? So a lot of this image here, the secret sauce to this image is playing with your... Oops, I don't wanna do that, what am I doing? Okay, what you wanna do here is playing with the color of these leaves and changing it, right? And so that looks okay but I just felt like, you know what, it would be great if it was autumn instead. So we can mess around with, so let's just go straight to that. So how do you do that? How do we change that color? So again, you go under this area here where you got the hue, saturation and luminance. And you select hue and then you select this little button here and now you can select any color and then move your mouse up and down to change the feel of it, right? Ooh, I'm starting to like that there, right? And here and here, maybe if we make it darker there, that works and just changing these tones. You can mess with it, who knows? Maybe I was at 1...

0 minutes doing this just to get the right tone, (laughs) but I'm just showing you generally how you do it and then adding some tones into there later, making it darker. But see how you can change the color of the leaves right there? And so let's say this yellow, we can change the luminance of the yellow if that's too bright. Let me bring that down a bit. You see that? See that helps that image pop? So now the luminance helps with the brightness of things. And so maybe I wanna make that green just a little bit richer right there, okay? And we can go in there with that there and you just mess with all the colors and see what's up. Some of the colors might not even make a difference there, okay? So that's generally how you get some of the tone, and then we can even mess with it further a little bit later on, okay? And so now I want them to be featured. So naturally, I'm gonna take and make the stairs darker because I want them to be the brightest area and I want them to pop. So the more dark, I make things darker around them, then you're gonna really see that come through, okay? And so that's a very easy way to do it. You can also do it in Photoshop but that's the a way to do it there, okay? And you're generally getting there at this point, right? Let's just mess with the vibrance. So what I'm gonna do is pull the saturation down a bit and then I'm gonna bring the vibrance up because that's not gonna affect the skin tone that much, okay? So you're starting to feel that right there. Okay. And we're generally massaging it. I'm gonna bring it into Photoshop to bring down these areas here and then kind of deal with this stuff right here, but let's do that and see what we can come up with. All right, so now we have our image and let's make these pillars just a little bit darker. And so I like to do this part dark and just kind of hit it here and there. Boom, boom, boom, boom, right? And you see the stairs might be a little bit bright there? So I'll hit it a little bit there too. And then this area here is bright. So when I see a large area of the same tone, if it's too bright, then I darken some areas, right? And then if I see an area that's too dark, I'll go in and do the exact opposite. So like here, it's a little bit dark right there so I'll hit the spot lighten and I'll kind of bring out that area right there, okay? And so now you can really start to kind of see the image come to life there. And so now look at the stairs here. So that's kind of dark and I like to break that up. So I like to add some areas of brightness, random brightness where there's large areas of dark. Use subtly, it's a subtle adjustment and so I like to see those leaves right there, I like that to come out. It's a subtle adjustment, but it just kind of makes things a little bit more realistic. And you know who is the master of doing that is Renoir? Did you see his painting and how he does little light spots everywhere? And so maybe he invented that, I don't know (giggles) but that's what I like doing. So that Renoir style, adding a little detail where you're not. Now it's starting to shape up quite nicely, okay? Now we got stuff you got to deal with over here. And so that is gonna be the, I'm not gonna really get down into the nitty-gritty of this because this is literally the tedious part of the image, right? And so that's why you gotta really stick with this if you wanna make it into a great image because you gotta spend time with it. I'm not gonna do it all but I'm just gonna show you a few techniques how do I get rid of image because they need to have a clean spot right here, right? And the problem is, is like how do we remove that stuff that is like right there, okay? Because it's pressed up, if it's separated, then that's easy because like for example you can kind of take this clone patch tool, circle it and drag it. Oh, why is it not doing that? Is something opposite? I think something opposite here that I'm not used to. Because usually, when I take the patch tool and drag it, it'll just drag it into... You guys know about that? Well, usually what I do, and it happens, I don't know what the default setting is, I'm sorry, this is not my computer but I would drag something like this and when I drag it, it blends it with that white area and makes it disappear, okay? The source and destination, I think. Source and destination! Okay, yeah, so you switch that around. Is that what you do? Click Source. Okay, wow I don't have that. Ooh, okay, now we're cooking with gas. Good thing we have people that are knowledgeable over here. Right? But the problem is, when it gets so darn close here, when you try to do it, it can blur things out and you can't do it right there. This is what I do, is learn how to use paths and so you can make discrete lines and discrete areas and then get that out. You can try doing the magic wand and selecting it, but it sort of accurate but not. But you're just gonna still have that little hump there. And so like I can now select that area with the magic wand and then I can just erase stuff in that area and not worry about it. So like right here, right? It separated the hair from this little thing right here so I could go in, I'm gonna select that whiteness and I wanna paint that in. So I can just go in and I can paint in and it's gonna take that. See how if I go to the hair, oh, it doesn't let me go over there, there's a border there, I can't do it. And so that helps you take out certain things but creating a distinct line. The path tool, you can draw lines around things and then totally eliminate all that information in there, and then you can separate it out completely and make it more cleaner. And then see now, I took all this out in the original image, so what I did was let's do that just a little bit. I don't wanna bog down the whole thing here. So this is how you create a path, right? You select a path here, I just hit Command + P, but it's this little tool over here. And so it's a little bit tricky using this tool. So you select the point and what I wanna do is draw a line around here and separate that so I can paint in white, okay? So what you gotta do, and this allows you to do that for that adding information in is, see that I can select that and then I can select another point and then I can curve it if I want to. And I'd put it across that line where that is there, right about there. And then when you hold the Option key, I can take this little doohickey there and I can point that in the direction I want the line to go. So I want that line to go over here. So then when I click the next point, now I can just curve that line to where I want it. I'm gonna select Option and I want it to go over here, right? And so you can keep doing this and get a very precise line going through here, right? And see that? I want that curve there, hold the Option key and I want that line to go right down this leg right here, okay? And so then now when I select that, it goes all the way down here. And then I can take that line, hold the Option key down, select it over here and I can go here, and then I can kind of just make up stuff of where I want that contour of that line to go, right? And so what I'm trying to do is just separate that area there so I can white it out and get rid of that information, okay? This is a very just quick way to do it. You might have to fine-tune it yourself, but I'm just telling you the concept about doing it, okay? So then to close it off, you select the starting point and then it's selected, okay? That's a path. So if you go into your paths there, I like to save that path because I might want to come back to it, I don't know if I screw up and I need to redo the selection again. You can turn that path into a selection but what I do is actually kind of save it just in case I screw up, which is often. So I hit Save Path and then you can call it whatever, right? But that's Path 1. So now what I can do, let's just duplicate this just in case. So you always try to work on a duplication just in case you screw it up. So now I can take that path and now I can say I want a selection, I want that to be a selection and so I can paint inside, right? So now that's blocked off, I've got a barrier there and so if I take this tone here with my painting, so I'm gonna select that tone right there and I want that tone to be in here. And so if I paint in here, right, so let's make sure the brush is on there, flow is 8%, okay. That's cool. and how come it's not painting in there? That's a good one, right? Oops, it's opposite. So what was going on here? I'm sorry this is not my thing. So I'm selecting in. So it's actually doing the opposite. So is it the source thing? Why is it not painting inside the area that I'm not selecting? I made a selection of that. It should allow me just to paint inside wherever it's selecting. Did I do something here? Subtract, new selection, rendering? Okay, well anyways... Anyway, that's what I do, I select it and then I just paint inside there. Now I created a wall so now I can't paint that white on the area that I want to. So you're gonna have to go in a lot of times to designate these areas, to select it. Oh I think because this right here is white and not black? Is that the reason why? Maybe inverse it? No, that's not it, undo that. Anyways, and that's what I did. So I selected areas around there so I could paint in there. Yeah, it's tedious, does it really matter? I don't know, but I'm trying to make things perfect, right? And so I will do that, I will come around here, I will select paths here and create a shape and then take out all these leaves right here so it is a clean space here. But that is a very tedious process to do that, right? And so I'm not gonna do that here but let's see what happened here. Are you trying to inverse the-- No, I was trying just take the selection here. Okay so look right here, make selection. So I'm selecting where that path is and I'm just trying to paint inside the path, but it's making me paint, I mean, I'm trying to paint inside it but it's making me paint outside of it. So that's interesting. So anyways, it's not a bit deal, we'll just move on from that, okay? And so that's that. So that's clearing out that area and a lot of postprocessing is doing that. And if you're the type of person who's like, oh, I just don't, that just seems like not even worth it or whatever? You have to understand that creating a fine art process, it takes a long time, just like paintings. They take a long time. You have to think of it as this is your masterpiece that you're working on and you're doing a painting. Okay, so let's not worry about that. So let's just pretend that's all taken out there, right? And so what other things that we can do again? We can do that whole thing and that's white there, right? We can add, to that same method where we can add a sky in there to give it a little bit of umph, right? Because we're shooting in very lowlight and so now we can add just a little drama in there to see it. And this also, there's no real easy way to do this. It's basically, oops. So Control + T to hit transform, and then I'm holding the Option key down or Shift, and it's just keeping it in proportion when I pull it because I don't want that distorted, okay? And so then I'm pulling it all the way across and then I'm selecting that area right there. And so that's why you kind of somewhat have to get your horizon straight when you do it, because when you do this kind of stuff? And so now I do it that, ooh, doesn't that look great, right? And so now you turn it to multiply. Multiply means dark, okay? So you multiply it and it takes whatever lighter areas are and it makes it darker in those lighter areas there, okay? Ooh, it's starting to get there, right? And so hmmm, that looks nice. And so now you gotta kinda take out the areas that are not cool with that sky. And so we can do that by doing Gaussian blur here, right? So look at that don't look to cool around there, okay? And so one method is you can select around there, okay? And you can kind of, you can do two things and delete it but let's just do this and see what happens. So I Gaussian blur it, and let's see if I whack out the blur how much it will disappear. Uh, sort of. See that? Wow, thousand pixels, give it to me, I'll take it, right? And so now you're starting to get rid of that tone in there, okay? And so I'm gonna select this out here too and we're gonna whack this with Gaussian blur. Full tilt. I guess I could have just did the thing again but I just wanted to see the difference there. Yeah. Right. And it doesn't totally eliminate it, right? But what you can do to finish this off is, is... What you can do here is take that tone that's there and then just start painting it in. So if I pick that tone that's right about here, okay, and here's the image here, here's the image, if I just start painting in that tone where that Gaussian blur is, it's gonna blend in and get rid of the variation. See that? See how it gets rid of that sky pattern because I am painting in, what's it doing? I'm painting in more that tone where that is eliminating that area where it's funky there, okay, and just blending it in there. And I do that with textures a lot, when you wanna get rid of a texture. So let's see if could just do that right up here. See how I get rid of that cloud right there by just painting an even tone. Now you could say why don't you just do it straight white? Well, the problem with doing straight white is, is it's not blending in with that sky and the tones aren't the same and it looks too, it looks too fake when you do that. But if you pick a similar tone that's in that cloud or that texture and you use that to paint, see how it makes that disappear but it's still blended in there. And that's the hard part of adding. When people show you how to add the sky, they show you easy things to do, right? But then when you get into it, you don't realize oh wow, it's a little bit harder than what they make it seem on the video. And then you got to go in there and figure out how to really blend it and do all that kind of stuff. And so now, see I'm taking the cloud texture off of this texture here to make it look like there's no clouds on top of the trees, which is not realistic, okay? So now we got it, it still looks cheesy, okay? Right? Are we gonna really, have I presented that to you? Oh here's my picture, right? You're not gonna go for that. Okay, so I some stuff on the bottom too. Oh, so let's take that tone and let's see the difference right over here, right there. Let's just blend that in. See how I'm blending it in with that? And then I could also do that with the stairs. I could take that away or could do it. So let's just paint it in real quickly because we've got a little bit of time. So I'm gonna select a larger brush. See how I just kind of paint that tone in and how it blends it in real quickly like that? And so now it doesn't look like oh wow. It's different. And then I can go back in now. I'm not gonna do that. What I'm gonna do is I'll mess with the sky, right? I never use it at a full strength, okay? So I'm just trying to get a hint of what's going on there to give it some difference. That's kind of cool right in right there, okay? And again, it's sharp, I'm shooting them with an 85 millimeter lens at 1.8. You can see the trees are blurry right there, right? So what I'm gonna do is Gaussian blur that a little bit to blend that in. It's all about taking elements and blending them in and learning how to blend the different elements in that make it look believable. And that is a lot of trial and error right there. Okay? So (chuckles) there's different things, different ways to do it, there's different, you know. And then you learn new tricks here and there and so okay, that's blacked out. So let's give it what we want. And I usually start from zero and bring it up from there. And then you just ooh, right about there is good, 24.7. That is the number, okay? So just add that in there and that's starting to look a little bit more believable, okay? Now I'm gonna flatten that. And again, when I painted that texture in to make things look more blended in together, it's too dark in there so I'm just gonna go in and I'm gonna spotlight in here and there, just to give it a little dynamic lighting right on the pillars here. Do that here, up here needs a little bit more work, right? Just to give it that feel, okay? And so we can do that. Let me flatten that. Now what did I say that I use to blend it together? My special sauce, blue, yellow. Bam! I just love that. I never get tired of looking at that, okay? Because it just blends everything together because why? It's matching the highlights of the sky and it's matching the highlights and the shadows, making them the same. So therefore, you have the same color tone across the entire image. That's why it's blending it together, okay? And then you just kind of pick what you want to do, okay? It's all your personal taste at this point. Do that and you finish that off. And then here is another way to make things sharper if you want to, okay? Actually, I'm not gonna sharpen it first. I'm gonna show you how to make this veil, the dress, how you can iron it without having an iron. And that's really a useful tool. And so I wanna show you how I do this. So this actually doesn't look that wrinkled, but if you want to give it that kind of flowing feel to it, here's a trick I love doing. So what you do is you circle, you select all this area that's kind of going into the same direction. Well, I guess this is in the same direction here. Actually, you know what? I wanna leave the dark areas because I don't wanna mess with those highlights. So I'm just gonna select this area here, okay? Let's just do it all (mumbles) get the idea, right? So I select that area there, okay? So I copy it. I can feather that too, but I don't need to in this case. So I'm gonna copy it and I'm gonna paste it onto a different layer. So there it is. Guess what I'd do with that? Motion blur, okay? All right, and so now I can arrange this direction of this to blur that out so it looks ironed, okay? I know in this particular effect it's hard to see it, but you can see the detail here. If you do a white dress, it has dramatic effect. See how I smoothed that out? And so you can iron it, you can change the direction of it and you can also change the effect of it. So let me just do that a little bit more. I can turn that in this way, right? And so see that? If I change that, it gives that flowing feel if I give it more of that blur. See how that's s a nice motion feel to it right there? Without it, especially in this area right here, you do that and you can do that with a dress and you can layer that on top and that can iron out your entire dress with that, okay? So anyways, this is how I do that. And then on top of that, I add also a layer grain to make everything put together. But generally, that's how I do it.

Class Materials

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Ratings and Reviews

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.

Student Work