Guitar: Compositing Lights in Photoshop


Tabletop Product Photography


Lesson Info

Guitar: Compositing Lights in Photoshop

I'm thinking about this questions uh yeah daniel brazil is wondering for this shot that you just took will an umbrella do the same job as the soft box would never use an umbrella on a shiny object because we're going to see the umbrella in the object you see the spines you're going to see the ragged edge of the umbrella you'll see that uh if I was using umbrella toe light up the card yeah I could do that I could use a uh balance umbrella toe like the card up toe like that the the guitar but I wouldn't I would not necessarily I would not use his umbrella on the guitar itself great thank you questions waste because it's there's a camera okay um john maybe you could describe how this lighting was set up people were asking about the background and then the name of the little soft box again okay well the background is two four by eight sheets of phone core tape together into the flat we've often used the white side of it toe like peoples in this side we're just using the black and we've got...

it in a v shape to give akane cave shapes at all kind of trapped the light back there behind the guitar I think that's a gammy light I'm not too familiar with the jammy jammy light so it looks like it's maybe twelve by twelve soft box er and then a sheet of twenty by twenty eight inch from court was a reflector on the other side down another question from jesus hidalgo is who's a regular here does it look professional not to have an assistant if you can't afford one or if you're used to working by yourself so does it look more purpose having an assistant make you look more or less professional um to client wow you know sometimes clients are are are totally happy not to pay for an assistant you know so yeah yeah you do not have tohave an assistant teo do this stuff doesn't make you look more professional depends on if you bid the assistant into the job you know uh I would say that uh that if you're working by yourself and you khun justify the the expense to the client than do that do it as they do it as a is a cost effective thing if you want to have an assistant they get to pay for it some san so makes sense who was that from hidalgo jesus hidalgo yes is this you get an assistant when you need one don't get an assistant because gosh I'm not going to say that that's that's wrong we used to take dom perignon bottles of champagne and studio and fill him up of cold duck so the art directors could you would you like some champagne it would pour him cold duck from the no one ever said wait a minute you know um so sometimes perception is israel tow them so yeah uh if you think you need it that's fine I would use these days I wouldn't use an assistant if I didn't need an assistant I just wouldn't so I hope that that makes sense to don't do it just because you think it's cool okay next one hawkins beat is from newton new jersey is wondering can you explain the layer work you are doing right now it looks awesome and I've never done that wow okay what I did here and thanks for that celeste that was absolutely absolute right what I did here as you can see there the first guitar is kind of boring on the right side while the second guitar we added that edge so I took the second guitar put it on on top of the first one and then using a layer mask and black on another layer mass that I don't know anything about everyone get rid of that guy thank you um in black and then just revealed this guitar here without touching the edge of the second guitar you see what I'm saying this is the second layer this little ej and I just kind of painted back my other guitar as I said earlier everybody has their own way of doing this this is the way I started doing it and I'm stuck with it now we can also cut in drag and all those kinds of things but this works for me because I've got control of the white mask and the black mask and I concur take it down john is this how you do it pretty much same way of multiple layers and mass between them s so now I'm going to mask this layer would create a mask right down here remember which layer on turn the eye on that layer thank you and put a mask right down here and I'm going paying out everything literally everything except right in this area here okay so I'm just going to come back in here paying everything out again where's my my guitar coming back up not gonna worry about these things on the edges folks we're gonna fix that last and playing on somebody else's photo shot machine is all right there we go let's get rid of thes lines in here with that shadow wass right and you just see that saw there that I got a little sloppy went over into I didn't need to go so I just reversed the color toe white and make my brush very small amusing the brackett keys to make my brush small and I'll paint my highlight back in here you can get very exact with this there's my highlight back on this right there all right so the guitar is looking better now right got a nice little look to the whole thing here looks like I've got to get my make my brush a little bit larger that's why don't paint with white one black get up in here and get that original guitar that I had in here into it backto white back to black andi I'm revealing my little light the line I had they remember the line wait I like those shadows better than the other ones all right so let's go back out with the guitar will go back to the very first guitar where we are now next layer up by the way all the stuff that I'm not going to use in this layer right here that I'm not going to use we get rid of it right to about they're gone we don't need it just gets in the way go up to this next guitar right here turn the light on and all this stuff down below this guitar right about here I don't need that sorry there yes lorraine I'm still pcm over here control x control x what's wrong with it that's a no then I'm not the only piece yeah no you're not all right so that's looking pretty good that next looking pretty good in their eyes will get rid of all this crap on the site here that I don't need on this one this one way could go back and see this little burn these little areas right in here that are coming in we're going to fix those later he's going to make the whole back of it the whole thing of it blacks let's turn that off nice blend of the neck right and up to this one where we got the middle of the neck so I have to decide whether I want that or not I'm going to decide I don't I like it a little bit dark here a bit brighter up here I'm gonna do something else with the photo shop at the top saw I'm gonna take this layer and we're thrilled that I like that one away we don't need it and we get up to the top to here and that's that side of it uh castle okay so in this particular layer here all I wants this top right someone draw a line right like that gonna go to select inverse and I'm going to kill it x paddocks all right so we got a better frame up top and we'll do the same thing too this side I'm taken right here everything else we want command x sorry got attorney I own here we go command ex hoops what I do you didn't bert huh you didn't thank you and command ex alright so that we've gotta blend this one with the one below it so I added a layer mask to it so I'm gonna blend those two top ones to the ones below by using laywer mask and black and would come in here and just paint this away right around it and since this one is the right side I know that I can reveal the left side by painting with black and just letting the left side come in so now I've got my I got my uh tuners going up here looks like a little and lynn wait up here in this one here we go all right now I gotta blend those two right there right that was this layer this mask I've gotto blend these where these next the two next are one of them is a little bit darker than the other so you come in here and I'm going to turn my opacity down to about thirty percent liketo work at thirty because like like to tap it in on my own the right one here here black come in at thirty I just tap it in and bring it all into the same spot right so we have the guitar looking pretty good for shooting with one light we have a little bit of a dark area down here that I'm not carrying for and I need to add some highlights on the guitar to make it look better so I'm gonna adding new layer to the top let's not so the top down we go to the top there there we go right here and I'm gonna tell new layer on the top what I'm gonna do now I do for every shot that I do I'm a big believer in highlights and shadows and the whole thing so the first thing I'm going to do up here is turned that layer two overlay then I use white and black over here and use the white and we use a brush at ten percent for nine percent and I'm gonna come in here envelope open up this neck here smooth it out there so I got the next nice now you see this little highlight over here I like that highlight gonna brighten it up a little bit give the guitar a little bit more snap bring this curve up just a little bit down here and bring that edge up just in here a little bit okay I want to get tarred it looked pretty good I want to add a little black sea that little natural black to it here it's just dark in that in here and to sweep it down so the guitar has a little more of a feeling of real too and I'm gonna burn it right along the edge here so one edge a little bit darker than the other here we go that doesn't look like it did a lot until I turned it off it is also all my pictures I'm not a realist I like I think I think light for the shadows on the highlights thank you now I'm going to fix it gonna make a mind now see this highlights up here aren't very bright right up in this area I want to bring him up a little bit something go back to that layer backto white back to my brush uh wrong brush down there we go my practice down and light seal I will bring those highlights upsy but just like how many of you guys remember the zone system and if tigers in here did his own system I know john somewhere with his hand up in here um you khun burn I'm so you khun bring these highlights out about twenty percent before you ever infect the black ones below okay black is black you're adding some density to the white areas before you ever get those black ones to start moving up you could put a lot of white on there so I could be a little sloppy up here and it doesn't show in the black part of the of the top of the guitar doesn't show all but it does bring up the highlights when you say all right so other questions yeah yeah there's questions okay so first a question from julie perez photo is this the type of photo shop work that you would charge a client for uh do you think that pricing out your finish up work would give the impression that your client isn't going to get finalized images unless they pay for it and I have seen a question earlier that yes no this is what this is why I want them to use me for the farm shop I'm going to do all this to it if they want to take it in get what they get that's fine that does two things it probably means it's never going into my portfolio and it means I have to do less work for the paycheck I may get paid commercial photographer I'm not a fine artist on this stuff the clan is the boss good for you let's rock and roll you know I'm okay with that then take the money going to something else with it but yes absolutely if I'm going to do the photo shop I'm gonna tweak the heck out of the picture because I have a chance for my photograph to be shown somewhere if they're going to take it they can and that doesn't mean by the way I've worked with some really good art directors who are very good in photo shop who have a very nice job with it yeah but this is a kind of a catalogue shot yes this shot this way with one line that's the choice you made in your studio you do the compositing as part of that shot don't charge your client with then you're charging if you tweaked it putting the shot together would be on you because you made the choice to use the one line yes oh yeah I'm gonna get my photo like my client six layers of photo shops are far shots and say no no no I'm going to give him the final shot that's absolutely true if I choose to do it this way I'm going to give him a final shot yes but if I've chosen to do it this way because I've told my client I want to do it this way to get the best shot then that's part of the shoot fate if I did it this way because I didn't want my client and I only have one light you know my other lights were taken from me by knifepoint at a taco stand somewhere sorry um I may do it and not even tell him that I did it yes good question okay uh so when you're doing a shoot uh quote you say that you're going to do basic edits and a basic adit is basically color correction or whatever you know I don't do that that's a good that's a good thing I don't do basic at its I either do my shot or I give him the files uh for me a basic and it would be I'll take him out of raw and put him in a tiff that would be a basic at it from a yes yeah um when I think of basic at its I think more of like wedding portrait consumer work really pay for it but in this work I either give him the raw file because they have someone on staff that's going to stick it into their in design saying and maybe tweak the colors so it fits their design or they're looking to me for the final product so no middle of the road that might go hand in hand with what kelly tremble branson is asking do not give all the layers of the clan for them to work on because you're trying to maintain artistic control or is it a business reason for business reasons they would hate me if I did that if they weren't expecting me to give them that or say your typical client somewhere just you know a magazine and you walk in and you say here's the guitar and seven layers they don't know how to do what I just did that would be a terrible terrible thing to do that would be awful thing to do I got to remember to do it I guess the other question let's see question from marrying costa rica I'm not sure if this is too specific but we're using a fifty percent gray filled layer on the highlight shadow overlay layer make a difference in your outcome or do you just usedto not it get used to not not in a photo shop after cs four I believe before cs for I'd make a fifty percent layer but fill it with fifty percent gray making an overlay and painted in uh now when you make the overlay it's automatic incas wondering um and when you said you worked with art directors with photoshopped knowledge does this mean you give them the raw file or it depends on what they asked for because I want and what they asked for and what they need it for sometimes if it's a new client I'll really ask him why do you want the raw file they may say look all of our files for our magazine all of our files our output through capture one we have we do that to maintain the quality control at our digital output so we would like all of stars give us raw we convert him to a specific set point and then sunday mountain had photographer once told me I'm never going to send out raw files I understand that I totally get that and I said well you're working with this magazine he said yes I said well would you give them the files what do you give them for pre press and he said what I saw where do you put your dot game what okay so if you don't know what dot gain is and you don't know how to set it up for pre press you don't know what you're doing given the raw file you know you think it's all about the screen it's all about print for them there's they have a press they're gonna have dot game do you know what dot gain is on which I'm gonna answer it before it comes up thank you dot game I renos is that you have from zero to one hundred percent of the type of ink right you can either lay down no ink or one hundred percent one hundred percent black is black right but the problem is you're using little screens of dots to go into your make the ink passed through to the paper guess what there's no ninety nine percent ache it's not gonna get through no ninety eight percent egg right dot game what do you normally I just I know only do like seven percent ten percent knowing the printer that means your brightest gray it's going ninety two percent the other eight percent that's dot game that means the brightest part of your image is really ninety two not one hundred so what does that do to your image just kind of stretched the dynamic range dona he lost that other eight percent now your highest is really ninety two you expected it to be ninety nine nine two and not the bottom is you don't ever want to have a piece of paper that you're printing have one hundred percent ink on it that's that's a lot of pain so you find that if you put ninety six percent ink down there that's black so you have this sort of thing that happens in pre press if you don't know what it is and you're giving them images that are not set up for dot game they have they have to fix it so my point with the diver is know what you're doing before you look like an idiot there's many many reasons why clients might want raw files but there's also just as many reasons why they would want you because of your style to do the images so we're back to style if the type of work you do is going to get you the job right then they're probably gonna want to give you the pre press we can think of a number of photographers out there give you the setup number of photographers look I'm not mention names but we all know really great photographers part of the post is part of the process right you gotta hang on to that art directors not silly they're not going to hire someone bob someone so who's whose whole post things a little bit hdr on a little bit of blending of this and a little bit of composite they're going to sell giving your raw files will do it they hired you to do your shot so I guess we're back to the point when I said the very first day of second a where you've got to make sure that the pictures you do are the pictures that only you could do in this whole argument goes away catalog what the heck it's catalog we're done you know should it we're done people were asking about dropping pops what does it mean I don't show you how simple it can be to dio good catch thank you any more questions on the guitar shot sure we're going that set this up a couple of questions regarding giving the client the raw image um from hem hem dic k and jennifer first uh both are wondering if you give the raw image to your client and they don't process it correctly your name is on that welcome to the world of commercial photography let me warn you many times the was put it this way the bigger the client the less that's gonna happen the bigger the client there more they're hiring you for your style but when we were first starting out magazine says we want you to go to the marathon that was yesterday right there's a marathon yesterday we want you on american marathon and shoot the marathon when you come back we want to see all the pictures they're going to pick him so you have to be very careful that when you're going through magazines you don't look at a shot in the magazine and think why did he shoot that I could have done a better shot than that yeah he probably did they just didn't pick it welcome to commercial photography if you think that you go into the magazine with the shot that you thought would be really cool you're wrong that's not how it works they want to see a lot of the pictures you see most of them so there that that's ah that's a belief system and I think that that comes about from not knowing the business when you're shooting for magazine when you're shooting for an ad agency could do a lot of shots the ad agency could pick the shot you think why would they pick that one I like that one that's not your call riley irene's shaking her head she's she's a designer she's been on the other side right that if there's absolutely something I don't want them to use I won't show it that's very true if it's really garbage take it out that that goes back to it doesn't leave my studio if I you know I don't like it but if I go do a magazine if I went and shot the marathon and I came back and I gave them a picture here's your shot I'm never working for that magazine again they want it they want to see what I did my job is to get many many shots the redundant ones I don't take in the ones they're our focus I don't take in the ones that you know just I thought I'd try something that doesn't work I don't take in but all the ones that are good they get to say and they pick not make way don't have that we're just not there you know maybe on the upper upper echelons yes but I even read where chris bach was talking about client he worked for and they were picking the image is not him and he wished they'd picked other images there's a big name that's life so continuing on that from larry g from tucson went outsourcing your editing is the or maybe if the client gets it too is the final product then still considered yours what if it's an artistic composite using your photograph and the rest of the images digitally drawn what better have been in your contract before you shot for it I mean I would say that just because you're given the raw file doesn't mean think do anything they want with it and it's your contract is my contract is they can't digitally alter the photograph more than you know propping it color correcting stuff like that if they're off creating something new about it then they should have told me at the beginning and then I'm fine with it's just in the contract you know sometimes were out shooting a bunch of stuff and it ends up in a magazine and way don't even recognize it maybe I mean that's happened many times you give him something and you didn't great job shooting this person and you let the background really nice and you get in there and they've cut it out no person is now sitting on whiteners type over okay check cleared right good uh katie m iss wanting if the client is not happy with the shot do you ever in charge of reshoots for do a ratio for free or you charge your friends on why the client doesn't like the shot uh my contract reads if I go and do it on my own you bought it if you want to come over with me to make sure it's exactly what you want you're more than welcome to but if you give me the will perfume bottle and say shoot it and I take it back and I shoot it like you come back and you say that's not what I want well this is not a kindergarten I'm sorry you said shoot it I shot it this is how I did it I did the best you know you want art directed you come over there you can't aren't direct from from somewhere else if you can't see it and these days there's no excuse for it I mean I'll just I can shoot it right onto my ipad email a j peg to her within thirty seconds of it being shot is this what you want yes have I done reshoots because my client's client changed their mind yes my client said let's shoot it on black we shoot it on black it's lovely on black and then their client says all we really think it might be better on white what have I not done I haven't taken set down have I not been approved my client comes to me goes they wanted on white that's my client I can eat I can say what you tell them it's gonna cost him another five hundred dollars and irene has to go back to my timer says that my client sure we'll get it done you know if it takes twenty minutes to shoot on white if it takes me six hours to go back up to flagstaff or something yeah it's a reshoot fate it's just gotta be just gotta just really think it through you know I don't put my client in a bad light if I don't have to but at the same time not gonna drive flagstaff do it again for nothing

Class Description

Don Giannatti returns for a special workshop on tabletop product photography. Don starts with an introduction to tabletop lighting - tools, scrims, DIY gear - and how to organize your shoot around a tabletop to bring everyone up to speed. Then Don will teach you the basic concepts of Tabletop Product Photography. Finally Don will ramp up to more advanced topics adding extras such as kicker lights, snoots, and grids that can bring your work up a notch.



THere are some courses in CL i think of as not covering a to z but covering -z to z. THis is one of those courses. The value proposition is over the top. The instricutor: Don Giannatti is so experienced he's a relaxed in his knowledge and practiced in cutting to the chase to provide answers to really good questions about set ups for product photos (vs. art/ still-life). The topics: complete workflow from first principles in order to understand what we're trying to achieve with table top work, Don Giannatti makes it clear that we're using light deliberately to give shape to an object. Example insight: using a white card (or black) reflector is not the same as using a silver/gold reflector. The latter create a new light source; the former shape the light that's there. Can imagine the arguments but the demo brings the points home. Or how about NOT using umbrellas for product shots. Or for "drop and pop" product shots, how to do that without umbrellas and tents "that's 50 dollars a shot right there" says Giannatti. Example tool demo: one of the joys of this course is that such an expert does most of the class using readily makable tools like scrims from shower curtains and baking paper. The specialist tools like a modifier on a flash is well within the range of an aspiring commerial table top photographer. And Meaningful Demos LIGHTING/composition what are some of the most challenging and compelling things to shoot when building a portfolio/photographic experience? Can you shoot shiny stuff - like bottles and jewlery. PHOTOSHOP making photoshop unpretencious and accessible, Giannatti presents examples of how to fix bits of a shot, as well as - and this one is worth the price of admission - how to put together a composite of a guitar product shot if you only have one limited sized light to light the whole thing. We also see where highlights can be added - and how. Some basic knowledge of Photoshop layering, masking and brushes would be good to have, but one can work back from seeing it applied into those basic skills. BUSINESS We start with light giving shape to objects as a demonstrable principle, move into how to use light structurally for bringing out something fantastic about that product - that as Giannatti points out - puts bread on someone's table, so respect. From these demos we go from light and camera to post to produce the finished image. Now what? or how have a product that needs shooting? That's the business of product photography. In these excellent sections on Business, Giannatti details the heuristics of hard graft to get gigs: where to look for contacts, frequency of approach, engaging with social media (you don't have to, he says, but effectively, it's gonna cost ya). "Doing just these few things you're already way ahead of your competition." I can believe it: they are many of them tedious, but can also well believe they are what pay off. COURSE BONUSES JUST FOR SIGNING UP - for those who subscribed to a live broadcast, all the slides were provided in advance (you can see this offer on class materials) Now that's classy. What other CL courses have done that: given something to participants who just show an interest to sign up? (It's that gift thing kevin kubota talks about in his workshop on photography business - makes one want to work with that person: pay them for the value they create, eh?) TRUST/VALUE Instructor Personality Throughout each part what's delightful is just the EXPERIENCE of this instructor. He's put together a thoughtful course from light to lighting to parts to gear to post to business. There's immediate trust: plainly this man has made a living from what he's talking about, and has addressed almost any immaginable scenario. There's a great demo towards the end of the course of working with students to take shots. The value to folks watching is to see how he helps us all think about how to problem solve (the mantra for the course) to find the shot - to use light card after lightcard to wrap the light to bring out the countours of the material. Even when he says "that's just not working" - there's not a sense of the people shooting having failed - but an opportunity to think about what's been learned - to keep working the problem. There's a whole lot of HOW in that interaction that is highly valuable. Thanks to the participants in the workshop to be so willing too to do that work. This is the kind of course you leave feeling like ok, i can do this - or at least i have the tools and some knowhow now about them to start to work these problems, to start to create value in these kinds of shots. I am already just from being here a better photographer now. Related CL Course: This course feels like a terrific complement to Andrew Scrivani's Food Photography. And no wonder: both take place in small areas and use light in similar ways. A contrast is that in editorial food photography - scrivani's domain - there's a focus on skills to work with what's there; in table top/product, one can enhane - knowing how to do that effectively/believably is where the skills - learning to see that - come in for this kind of work in partiular . If tabletop/product photography is a space you wish to explore, or you just want to be able to practice working with light in the small, and see how to bring you will be delighted with this -z to z deep dive introduction.