Powerful Portraits using Mirrorless Cameras


Lesson Info

Add Grain to Images in Alien Skin

Grain. This is something that, for me, this is powerful. Like this is it. And it's very weird because a lot of people kind of look at me sideways when they're like, Miguel, you add grain to your image? You spent all this money to get this super-expensive camera, and then you add grain afterwards? And I say, yes. Because part of the magic of film, back in the days, were the different types of grain, and the quality of the grain. And if you look at ad campaigns, and you look at images on fancy designer brands, and you see the pictures on their stores, you may not notice that there is grain that has been added to images. And for mine, I would say 95% of the images that I shoot in the studio, I add grain in post. And I do it using Alien Skin Exposure. 'Cause it's very powerful for you to be able to customize and add grain to your shot. So for this I usually look at a part of the image where there's mid-tones, highlight and shadow. Because the program actually is able to add grain to specif...

ic parts of the image. So if you wanted to, for example, this is the overall grain strength, so you can kind of tweak and customize the amount of grain that's in a particular shot. So if you click here, by the way, you can just type if you are with your pen and it's kind of hard sometimes to get like 101.05. You can just type that in. So looking at this particular shot, and I'll actually ... Let's go back here, and let me open this thing up here. And I just always make sure that I do kind of like a before and after look to the shot. So let's see. Did I switch images here? Did I just do the old okey doke? I did. All right, let's go back here. So let's go with reela, and so I'll zoom in. And looking at this particular shot, let's go back in here, sorry. My palm is touching the tablet so it's undoing everything that I'm doing here. All right, so if you look at this particular shot, If I wanted to remove the grain just from the shadows, I can kind of play with just the shadow slider. So you can see that if I go here, there's no shadows in the grain, or no grain in the shadows. Or I could go ahead and I can add a ton of grain into the shadow area. So it's very powerful, in that, I can customize where I want that grain to be. I could go ahead and increase the grain just in the mid-tones, or I could take it away. So usually in a portrait, I want the grain to be very subtle in the highlights and the mid-tones. And also in the shadows. I want it to be a very subtle-looking grain. But for your own taste, you may decide that you want to add more or less in different areas. The other thing you could do is you could change the roughness or the roughness of the grain. So if you wanted to make it more rough, so that it appears more grainy, you could do that just by sliding the roughness up or down. So these are all things that, again, the grain tool for me, in Alien Skin Exposure, is super powerful, 'cause you can customize it exactly the way that you want it. So I'm kinda cool with the way that this grain looks in this particular shot. You have infrared bokeh, which are features that I don't use for portraits. But if you wanted to get kind of a ... Let's fit this on the screen. You can get different IR looks, which, again, for landscapes and things like that, these are very cool effects to add to them. Bokeh basically gives you a blur to the image. So if you have a shot that you want to add that magical type of blur to it, they have a bokeh tool that you can actually customize the blur on an actual image. We shot this one wide open at F 1.4, so I'm not gonna adjust the blur, 'cause it's already looks pretty good with the blur. You also have the metadata tab where if you want to basically add your copyright to the photo, so people ask me about watermarks, and I don't watermark my images. Well, what I will end up doing is I'll go into the metadata, go into copyright, and put Miguel Quiles Photography. Put my name, address, email, and that will be in the file. So I don't really need to add something. Because if I add my watermark to this image, it's going to take away from the look of the shot.

"Miguel's class was exactly what I needed! He lets you in on his practical and streamlined approach to creating dramatic portraits that deliver every time, and I can't wait to use his 'Jedi' posing techniques." - April, CreativeLive Student

Allowing your subjects to feel relaxed and natural when taking their portrait can be a challenge, especially when you’re worried about the technical side of your camera while interacting with clients. Join Sony Artisan Miguel Quiles as he discusses the pros of choosing mirrorless cameras to focus on the creative side of your images. Most mirrorless cameras are built around the same size sensors and have similar lens options as DSLRs. Become more portable while staying professional with your lightweight camera.

Miguel will share:
  • How to use the correct lighting when shooting with a mirrorless camera   
  • Tethering techniques using Capture One   
  • Why it’s important to develop the connection with your subject for a stronger image 
  • Techniques to help you focus more on the creative parts of an image and less on the technical aspects   
By the end of this class, you will feel more confident connecting with your portrait subjects, and less concerned with how you use your camera to take the image.  



  • I want to commend you for hosting Miguel Quiles. He is beyond competent and knowledgeable. Light is Light, but It is encouraging to see incredible minority photographers on your platform and to see diversity in the presenters. It is inspirational for minorities to see themselves on the center stage. I sincerely thank you for that. I am buying this course although I am not a mirrorless shooter because of my support of Miguel and the quality of his instruction of which benefits all photographers. He is a great addition to the Creative Live Family of Presenters that I have supported as well. Kudos Creative Live!
  • Wow! As a Newb and someone looking to get into portrait/studio photography, this course was perfect and comprehensive. SO MUCH GOOD CONTENT. Miguel is so approachable about questions, positive, and thorough in his explanations. This course broke down the gear and technical side very well. I recommend going to a class live. It was a great experience with food and beautiful facilities. The facility has a positive vibe and really encouraged me to be creative. Thank you for the experience and knowledge!
  • WOW!!! I LOVED THIS CLASS!!! I learned so much. He made lighting soooo simple, I finally understood. I liked the way he explained the why of his camera settings and how to overcome ambient light. he explained and made everything simple!!! I liked the way he talked about connecting with your clients. I am so happy I purchased this class. I finally understood lighting What a great teacher!! Thank you!!