Powerful Portraits using Mirrorless Cameras

 

Powerful Portraits using Mirrorless Cameras

 

Lesson Info

Cull Images in Capture One

Let's go back to Capture One 'cause I wanna be able to show you guys a typical way that I would go through and retouch a portrait session using Capture One, Photoshop and Alien Skin Exposure. And so I'm gonna go to the very first shot here and actually, the images that I'm looking to retouch for this segment are the beauty shots 'cause I went on to social media, and people were telling me that they were really interested in seeing one of these style of portraits retouched because they have a lot more detail and you know, oftentimes, beady images require a little bit more work. So I figure I will show you the images that will require more work as opposed to the easier shots that, you know, might make things a little easier for me, but provide less value for you. The very first thing, I'm shooting tethered with Capture One, so all of the images are all stored within Capture One. And very much the same way that I would do when I was using Exposure X2, what I'll do is I'll kind of go throu...

gh these images. And any images, again, that jump out at me that I think may possibly be images that I wanna retouch later, I do that same star rating system where you will rate them from one to five. You can also filter these by color if you decided that that was more of a way that works better for you, so you can tag photos. This is also the same in Exposure X2 as well. So if you don't wanna do the star rating 'cause you just like colors better, maybe you think in colors, so you could do that. For me, the star ratings work much easier and much better. So use whatever works best for you. But scrolling through some of these shots, I'm looking really for shots that have like the engagement and have the expression and have kind of like the really nice look that I really wanna go for. So I'm gonna star this one with a one. I'll give this one a one. Some of these shots where the exposure might be off, but they have a great expression, I would not necessarily discount this type of shot and say no, I can't do anything, because again, you have great dynamic range. So all of a sudden, a shot that's underexposed is now perfectly exposed with just a two second slide of a slider. So kinda keep going through these here. And this is really my process every single time when I'm done with a portrait session, is to kind of go through these shots and try to find poses and expressions that were interesting. And sometimes the models like put it together and they'll have like a string of like 10, 15, 20 shots in a row that the expressions are just excellent, you know, and it makes your job kind of easy. Other times, you'll try something and it'll take them a few shots to really get comfortable and start to give you good looks. So kind of going through all of these from yesterday. This was another one where I was talking about this yesterday that's an advantage of shooting with the macro where you can actually get really close to your subject's face, and you're able to photograph them and you can capture a lot of detail that, if you were shooting at farther back, you wouldn't be able to do. So for hair, makeup, especially for makeup type of photo shoots, it comes in handy to get in really really close. So again, just kind of looking through these. Trying to find the expressions that looked the best. And this is usually a bit of a process, again, just like I was explaining when we were talking about the process in Alien Skin, you know, we're usually doing this late at night, got a nice little glass of something or another. And I'll sit there and just kind of sip and take my time as I go through these images. 'Cause what I don't wanna do is to like go through it really briefly and then miss something that's really good. So I believe that was all of the beauty shots, so I'll just scroll through, and it was. So we went ahead and we kind of went through all of these shots, and if you go into Capture One here, you have a folder tab. And so I kinda wanna go through and show you guys, 'cause there's a lot of stuff in Capture One, it's a very powerful program. But there's a lot of stuff that if you're coming from let's say Lightroom, it might be kind of confusing 'cause there's all these buttons and pages and stuff, and you never know where to start. So I'm gonna show you guys my workflow because there's a lot of stuff here that you don't need to use unless you happen to need it for some random project or whatever. But this is the way it's done. So all of the images that I just starred, if I go here to the ratings, you could see the folders. So you have your one start, two star. If you gave it a color tag, you can see them there. So I'll click on the one stars. There's an image that I gave one star to before, so I'll hit zero 'cause those are not part of what I wanna see. And so all of these shots here that don't need to be there, I could just hit zero. That will clear them from our little preview pane here. And so basically, I just wanna be able to look at all of the images that were from this particular model's session. So at this point, again, this is where I start to look at it to see if it's nice and sharp and in focus. This is where I will start to pixel peep the images, usually looking at them at 50 or 100%, which it tells you up here what your percentage of your zoom is. So oftentimes, you'll see people at 200%, and it's like, why do I need to see an image this close? Like, this is weird. And it gives me no valid information whatsoever. So I'll look at them really close up, like that's a really nice shot, I'll give that a two. Same thing, I think this one was out of focus. So there we could just hit zero to get rid of that. This was our grumpy face look. This happens often where the first time around, I thought it looked good, and then I see it now and I'm like eh, she looks like she wants to kill me, we'll give that a zero. Next shot, same thing, we zoom in, lots of detail. This is something that I really was excited to show you guys, because part of the conversation that I've heard from people who just don't know any better and haven't tried this stuff is they'll say well, you know, it's 42 megapixels, but you know, it's not really 'cause you know, cell phones are 16 megapixel, but if you get a professional DSLR that's less megapixels, it looks better. And so people, for whatever reason, will like discount mirrorless cameras because they're smaller and they think that they don't have the ability of capturing like a lot of detail. And you guys can see, I mean, this, even if this was with an A7 II at 24 megapixels, you would see just amazing, amazing amounts of detail and clarity. This is what you need as a professional, this is what you need as even a hobbyist if you wanna take really fantastic quality images, you're able to capture that using these mirrorless cameras. So part of this process, I really wanted to impress that upon you. So I'll hit two for that one, kinda like it. This one is kind of an interesting expression. Like, I wanna click away from it, but she's got this like very worried type of look, but still beautiful. And this is like again, I'm thinking out loud 'cause this is what's going on through my mind as I'm clicking through images. I'll see a shot like this, and again, I'm really trying to capture these like scroll stopper images. And sometimes those like off putting expressions that don't look like the generic pretty, you know, yeah, that's definitely a good expression. Like, some of those that are a little bit off for some reason will cause people to stop and look at it and evaluate it and say whether they like it or not. This is one that kinda stops me where I'm like, I don't know, I kinda like it. I mean, she looks great but she has this worried look. I don't know, I'll give it a two. Same thing on this one, really nice, nice and sharp, give it a two. She got a little more mean on this one. Give that a two. And basically, I go through all of the shots like this and just continue to kinda zoom in and out. Just gave that a two. And I kind of already know the shot that I wanna work on, so I may be cheating a little bit here. Just from going through it the first time, I kind of saw one that stood out for me, but we'll just kinda keep going through this, so I'll give that a two. Not too crazy about that, this is what I call a deer in the headlights. So this happens really often with portraits, especially if, usually it's early on in the session where you're testing your lights or you tell them okay, my lights are good, let's start shooting. They give you this like wide-eyed look 'cause they have like beautiful eyes oftentimes and they just wanna show you their beautiful eyes. Little do they know that sometimes it looks kinda creepy. So shots like that, that's where we use that kind of eye chart analysis to tell them, close it down a little bit on the next frame. And then you start to get something that looks a little bit nicer. So going through there, kinda like that. This isn't going for kind of like a beauty look in this one, this is more of just like a standard portrait. This is one that I kinda like. Like I think she has a really nice like a genuine smile and expression. And you can kinda tell, if you go from this one, you could tell that smile looks like, you know, say cheese. And then you look at this one, and I'm thinking I said something really funny at that moment 'cause I got a real, you know, smile. Maybe she just looked at me and thought I looked funny, who knows. But you could tell the difference, and this is something where there's no tech that's gonna teach you this, it's just kind of an experience thing that, as you work with a lot of portraits, you start to pick out when you get a great portrait and where you get one where it's a little contrived. So I kinda like that, I'll hit a two on that. That's the fake one. That's kinda Kool-Aidish. Kind of posed, not crazy about it. This one I really love, so I'll hit two. And kinda love this one. And this was the one where you had asked me to do the what would it look like if I moved the umbrella to the side. So here on the side again, we'll go to two star. We went from 286 to 18, I went from the 18 now to 11. And just for the sake of time, I'm gonna go ahead and tell you guys which ones I'm gonna pick. And it's probably gonna be this particular image. This is one that I wanted to immediately post to Instagram last night when I shot it. And I said I'm gonna wait, I'm gonna hold off 'cause I'm gonna post this after I'm done retouching it. So if you wanna see this image right away, if you go to my Instagram, go to Miguel Quiles Photography on Instagram, and this will be up as soon as I finish working on it, 'cause it's gonna be awesome. When we do the mobile upload, we'll get that thing up there. Anyway, so I have my image picked. The very first thing that I do when I start going through my retouching process here is clicking on this particular tab here. And this is gonna show me my histogram. And you can actually customize what stuff, like what things that you see in this particular panel. So if you right click and hit Add Tool, you can add only the things that you envision yourself working on. So let's say if you just wanted to have the exposure tab because that's all you ever do to your portraits, is play with exposure, you can actually get rid of all this other stuff so you don't have to see it and be worried about it. For me, this is my typical setup for portraits. So if you wanna notate this, I always have my histogram tool up so I can take a look and see where my image lies on the histogram. It also tells me what my settings were, which is helpful. White balance is always the first thing that I will work with. In this case, I've already changed it, because out of the camera, it came out like this. Which is kind of like a warmer type of look. It doesn't look terrible on her skin, but the background, it's not true to the color of the background the way it actually looked. Daylight for me looked a lot closer. Because I shoot raw, it doesn't matter which white balance I choose within the mirrorless camera. I can actually change it afterwards, and so I had some people asking me on social media why am I shooting raw. And part of the reason is that I can do this. If I had shot this with JPEG, you wouldn't have those options in that dropdown, you wouldn't have those options really in any raw conversion program. So if I wanted to tweak this for whatever reason, which there will be times that I will do that, you can play with the Kelvin and the tint. And so on the right side of the Kelvin slider, it basically warms the image up even more. So if I slide this to the right, you get super warm until you get a, you know, close to the sun photo. And if you go the opposite way, we have a super cool photo, and not in a cool way, but in a temperature way. So here, you know, you could play around with the Kelvin slider until you get the warmth to be the way you want it to look. Part of my selection process of picking white balance has a lot to do with their expression as well. If they have kind of like a cold type of look, then I will tend to white balance the image in a cooler way. If you have kind of like a menacing type of look and you go with a warmer tone, sometimes it's like, your brain sees it and it can't figure out why it doesn't like it. But it's just like ooh, it's kind of a cool look, but then you toned it warm and it's just, it's kind of off putting. But you can customize this, so you can basically get that baseline from daylight and then just play around with the Kelvin. And also, you can play with the tint, which will basically add your, kinda like your greens back and your magentas back, so you can kinda get everything to look exactly the way that you would like it to look. So I'm gonna tilt the image here. So this for me looks pretty good. I kinda like the way that the white balance itself looks on this shot, and I may still modify it afterwards, especially when I get it into Alien Skin. The preset might give me something that might look a little better. But if I shoot this or if I work on this from a cooler tone, it looks better when I warm it up later. If it's already warm at this process and I bring it to Photoshop and then to Alien Skin and you try cooling it, it sometimes doesn't look as good. So I tend to err on the side of having a cooler temperature for my portrait, 'cause I can always warm it up later. So after I'm done with white balance, I go to my exposure. Again, because this shot, we were very particular about how we did it, so the exposure for me is very good, it's not under or overexposed. Sometimes I will add a little tiny bit of contrast just to basically just see it with a little more contrast on the screen, but this is also something that I could do in the Photoshop or the Alien Skin process. So I could do these things at any point, there's not like you have to do this here, do this here and then do this at the end. You could do it to your own personal taste. In this case, I'm looking at this particular shot. I'm gonna skip through exposure 'cause it's great, there's really nothing to change there. Looking at high dynamic range, this is what basically changes the highlights and the shadows, and it will help you to recover detail from the highlights and shadow. So in this case, she's got kind of like a little bit of brightness on the forehead, a little bit of brightness here. If I raise up the highlights, you'll see that it basically brings back detail in the highlights, but it kinda makes her face look like she just got a few years older. And we're shooting beauty and we're not really trying to go for that. So oftentimes, we just basically tweak this slider just a little tiny bit, so maybe we'll go to like a 10. And that will add some detail back into the highlights, but not go so crazy to where, you know, she looks like she just aged a bit. Shadows as well, so if I lift the shadows, you'll start to see more detail, but once again, if you go crazy, they'll look like they just gained many many years, and we don't wanna do that. So I'm gonna leave the shadows because out of the camera, we got very lucky. We didn't get lucky, we, you know, meant to do that. We had a shot where the exposure looked really good. And so we're good there. The next thing is clarity, and I've heard a lot of people say that they don't add clarity to their portraits, especially if it's women, and I could tell you that, with a beauty portrait, I always add clarity. Because I want their skin to have this like, you know, sharpness and this beauty and this like high definition look to it. And part of that is in the clarity slider. Now, if you go super overboard and go here, it looks like, you know, extra crispy fried chicken skin. We don't want that. So usually what I'll end up doing is I'll basically go anywhere from one to five on the clarity. And so here at four, her skin looks pretty nice. But it doesn't have that crispy type of look. So it gives a little bit of contrast and a little bit of detail to the skin. Looks good on her lips, like everything overall, with the clarity of four, looks pretty good. Structure, which I'll back out, 'cause these are tools that you can kinda have to see how they do crazy things. So structure, if I bring it up to 100, basically kind of sharpens the image as well, kinda gives it even more detail, so now her skin has like mega mega detail to it compared to, and I'll actually hold Option so you can see the before and the after. So you see it adds like a lot of like detail to the skin, but it's doing it on kind of like a global basis. I tend not to use structure in that manner because while at times, it can look great on the skin, sometimes on the hair and on the hairline, it looks weird. So I tend not to go do that as a global adjustment. Again, if you double click, it will bring it back to zero. So I'm not gonna do that at that point, I'm gonna leave the clarity there and I'm gonna show you how I do it in Photoshop and Alien Skin instead, 'cause it's a lot more powerful. So here we go, so we have the image, we basically just change the white balance, we up the clarity a tiny bit. Sometimes I will change the levels on the image. And so basically, the way that this works, if I play around with this levels slider here, you could see that it basically will brighten up the shadows a tiny bit if I grab this top slider. See how it kind of washes out a little bit of the blacks in the image or the shadow? If I lift it from here, it deepens the shadows. If I go to the opposite side, it's basically gonna play with the highlights, so here, it's gonna lower the highlights, and here, as you could imagine, it will brighten the highlights. So if there's a certain image where you have some inconsistencies between the highlights and the shadows, you can basically go to your level slider and kinda play and get those to get to a point to where you would like them. Again, I planned this out pretty well with this shot, and so you really don't have to change it, it looks good as is. So at this particular point, what I'm gonna end up doing is, 'cause there's not much else to do to this image in Capture One, I'm gonna right click on this image. And this is my process every time. Usually, I'm in Capture One for maybe five minutes, 'cause if I'm not talking through this process, I can just play with the sliders, get it to look the way I want. I'll right click on the shot, I'll hit Edit With. And these are my settings when I'm going into Photoshop. So if you wanna have like a high quality image to work on in Photoshop, you wanna export it using these settings, and this is my personal settings. Depending on what you're doing, maybe you might choose something different. But I can tell you from experience that these work for me. So I always export these as a TIFF because you get the option to export as a TIFF or JPEG. The TIFF file is bigger, it has more detail. And it's able to withstand more corrections. 'Cause over time, if you're editing a JPEG, the more layers you start to add to the image, it starts to kind of fall apart. So you wanna basically have a lot of latitude, if I wanna add like 50 layers to an image of adjustments, that it doesn't break down. So doing it as a TIFF file is the best way to do it. I will export that in 16 bit format. It is uncompressed. The color profile, I'm using SRGB. We could have debates about color science all day long. I just use SRGB, 'cause for the majority of people that are seeing it in print or on the web, the colors look great, it shows most of the colors that you need, so I call it a day. Resolution, like I did before in Exposure X2, I use 300 pixels. The scale is fixed, which means that it will keep the same perspective when it kicks it out. And you can open it with different programs. So you can use, of course, Photoshop is where we're going with this, but if you wanted to open this image or export it to a different program, you can actually open it up in any of the Alien Skin programs like Exposure or Snap Art or Blow Up, Photomatix. Any other programs that you wanna export the image to, you can choose it at that point. And once you selected it, 'cause we're going to Photoshop, we hit Edit Variant. 'Cause we want to edit the variant, which is the one that has all of the adjustments. You also have the option to edit the original, which basically, after you've made all those adjustments and you edit the original, it doesn't have all of the tweaks that we just did, so you kinda waste your time, it's not fun. So at this point, before I go into the Photoshop part of this, do we have any questions about the process that I did in Capture One?

Class Description

"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.