Category Archives Lightroom

Figure 5

Happy Friday everybody! Today I’m going to break down the  simple one-light bridal portrait you see above (camera settings, lighting and post production). Keeping it simple like this is ideal because it lowers the bride’s stress and yours, too. Plus, by just using one simple light you can focus on emotion and expression rather than fussing with a bunch of lights (it’s another one of those “less is more” things).

In this beautiful small church, there was a short hallway leading to an exit door, and some storage closets, but the doors were a vivid red color, and I thought that would contrast beautifully with our bride (who had a white dress and a pinkish bouquet). I thought we’d try posing the bride in that short hallway, but getting a light in there with the bride, without being seen in the shot, would be kind of challenging.

Lighting Gear
I used just one small flash head running an Elinchrom Ranger Quadra kit, which consists of a very lightweight battery pack (I believe it’s about 2-3/4 lbs.) with a strap on it so you can just sling it over your shoulder, and a very small, very lightweight flash head (literally just 10 ounces ). This is one of my “go-to” rigs for location lighting because:

(1) It’s very lightweight and portable — it all fits in a small carrying case that’s smaller than an airline carry-on,

(2) You get studio-quality light and a much brighter, more powerful light than you would with a hot-shoe flash,

(3) It has a built-in wireless trigger and lets me control the power of the strobe from right on my camera (the other matchbox-sized trigger sits on my cameo’s hot shoe mount),

(4) You can use two strobe heads with just this one pack if you decided you did indeed need a second light. And..

(5) …it’s designed so I can use any of my studio softboxes with it, and in this case it was a small 24×24” Elinchrom Rotalux square softbox.

Figure 1

Above: The Hallway with the red door. 

Here’s an over-the-shoulder view of the short hallway with red doors I was talking about. It’s actually much darker in the church that it shows here – this behind-the-scenes production shot was taken in Aperture Priority mode at a high ISO, so these behind-the-scenes shots look properly exposed, but in reality it was quite a bit darker, especially in the hallway, which was lit with just a few harsh overhead floods).

Figure 2

Above: Finding a place to hide the softbox was a challenge in this tight hallway, so we opened a closet door and had our 2nd assistant tuck-himself inside the doorway a bit to keep the soft box from extending into the frame.

If you look at this behind-the-scenes image, you can see me sitting in the pews, quite a-ways back from our bride — that way I could capture either tight or full length shots. The position of the light was pretty standard: at around a 45° angle from the bride, up higher than the bride and aiming down at the bride.

Figure 3-2

Above: Here’s the shot that resulted from me shooting full length from out in the pews. I’m not super-digging it, and it took a lot of post-production to tame the red light spilling everywhere and tinting everything, so the search continues for a better shot. 

GRIP TIP: We normally use a monopod for shoots like this (it’s easier to “run and gun”), rather than a lightstand with legs, but since we started our shoot using a lightstand in the back of the church, we just kind of picked it up and kept shooting. Normally, we’d prefer to have the strobe mounted on a monopod for faster and easier mobility between pews, and in tight situations. The only downside? You have to keep holding a monopod — it doesn’t “set down” very easily (there are no legs and feet) without crunching the soft box, so you wind up leaning it against things, which means you run the risk of it falling over. It’s a tradeoff (like everything, right?).

The Lighting Problem with the Red Door
I wasn’t happy with how the overall color looked because of how the light was reflecting off the red door. So, I thought we’d try one where the bride would be backlit, with just a little of the light spilling over onto her.

Figure 4

Above: Back lighting our bride 

I left the bride in the exact same spot, but I had our 2nd assistant take the strobe and softbox move to the other end of the hallway to position the light behind her and off to the side (so it’s pretty much the same lighting set-up — 45°-ish angle, up high aiming down, etc. it’s just positioned behind the bride this time, as seen above).

I did crank up the power of the light for this backlit shot, because I wanted to make sure it was powerful enough not just to put a rim of light around her shoulders, arms, etc., but that it also spilled over enough so you could see her face. I also made sure to have the bride turn her head and body toward the direction of the light. Had she been looking the other way, we wouldn’t have had enough light spilling on her face or bridal gown.

Camera Settings:
I shot in manual mode, so I could make sure the shutter speed didn’t get past the normal sync speed (this pack lets you do hyper sync, but I shouldn’t need to do that in a dark hallway), so my shutter speed was 1/60 of a second (I normally use 1/125 of a second, so I have to imagine at some point I accidentally hit the dial on the back of my camera). My ISO was set to 100 ISO (the cleanest ISO on my camera), and my f-stop was f/5 in case there was any background visible behind my subject, it will be a little bit soft. Using such a wide-open f/stop meant keeping the power of the flash at less than 1/4 power most of the time.

Post Production:
Light picks up the color of whatever it hits, so when white light hits a red door it reflects red light. Once I saw the color image of her backlit, it looked very red from the reflected light, so I knew right then it was a candidate for being converted into a black and white image.

Figure 6

Above: Converting to Black & White in Silver Efex Pro 2

I used Nik Software’s Silver Efex Pro 2 plug-in to convert the image to black and white (I used use one of their built-in presets — my three favorite preset choices are (in no particular order): (1) Full Spectrum (2) Fine Art Process and (3) High Structure Smooth, so I usually wind up choosing one of these three.

Figure 7

Above: Adding the Duotone look in Lightroom CC

Once I converted the image to black and white in Silver Efex Pro 2, I added a Duotone look in Lightroom using the Split Toning panel, but then only moving the Shadow controls; putting the Hue at 25 and the Saturation slider amount at 21. Don’t touch the Highlight settings up top or the balance slider — this is all done just using the Shadows Hue and Saturation sliders, so leave the other stuff untouched. It works wonders (and prints beautifully, by the way).

Figure 5

Above: Here’s the final image with the Duotone look applied in Lightroom (same as the opening shot).

Hope you found that helpful, and I hope your Tuesday is already off to great start! . :)

Best,

-Scott

P.S. I’m up in Boston with my seminar on Wednesday, March 30th — just a few weeks from now. Hope I see you there.  

Happy Friday everybody! Here’s what’s up:

slimming4a

Are you into Lightroom?
I have a free tutorial today over at LightroomKillerTips.com on how to do a retouching technique that we used to have to jump over to Photoshop for. In fact, not only can you now do it in Lightroom — it’s even faster and easier there now than it is in Photoshop. Here’s the link.

Also, while you’re there, earlier in the week I showed what to do when you turn on a Len Correction Profile and nothing happens. Here’s that link. 

https://youtu.be/tuoW3v9f4jk

Wedding Album Design Tutorial
A couple of weeks ago I posted a trailer for my class on Wedding Album design in Lightroom CC, and I’m sharing a tutorial here (above) from the class that really gives you an idea of the emphasis on the design and layout of the pages. The feedback from viewers of the class has been phenomenal – here’s the link to the full class.

New York by night. Brooklyn Bridge, Lower Manhattan – Black an

Next Thursday, I’m teaching a seminar in New York City
It’s Part 2 of my “Shoot Like a Pro” seminar – it’s all new from the ground up, and I’ll be at the Javits center next Thursday. It’s just $99 for the full day, and you can use this code right now to get $10 off [ code: KONY10 ]. Here’s the link – hope I’ll get to meet you there next week (and until then, please enjoy the stock image above).

One last thing…
Looking for a great online class to watch this weekend? Check out our new “Trailers” page – they’re like movie trailers, but for online classes. Here’s the link.

Hope you all have a great weekend!

Best,

-Scott

scottstage

Mornin’ everybody – here’s what’s up:

New Tour Dates and Cities for My Seminar
We just added a bunch of new cities and dates for my full-day “Shoot Like a Pro: Part 2 (Reloaded) Seminar” [photo above by Kevin Newsome]— they are:

> March 3 – New York, NY – View
> March 30 – Boston, MA – View
> April 26 – Seattle, WA – View
> April 29 – Portland, OR – View
> May 12 – San Diego, CA – View
> June 7 – Orlando, FL – View
> June 9 – Ft. Lauderdale, FL – View
> July – Nashville, TN (exact date in July TBA)
> August – Indianapolis, IN (exact date in Aug TBA)
> August – Columbus, OH (exact date in Aug TBA)
> September. 21 – Minneapolis, MN
> September 23 – Milwaukee, WI
> October – Arlington, TX  (exact date in Oct TBA)
> October  – Sacramento, CA (exact date in Oct TBA)
> November 14 – Denver, CO
> November 16 – Las Vegas, Nevada
> December, Charlotte, NC (exact date TBA)
> Plus a few more cities yet to be announced.

Hope I’ll see you in one of these cities (you can find out more details here).

 

psw2016

Photoshop World Registration Opens Next Week
I can’t wait to tell you what we have in store this year for the Photoshop World Conference (including some awesome new instructors we’ve added to the roster, some fun new events, cool new classes, and lots more). Registration opens next week for this year’s conference in Las Vegas. Awwwwyeah!

I’ll post a link here when registration goes live next week, but you can start planning now because the official dates are July 19-21, 2016 (at the beautiful Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino). It’s going to be (wait for it…wait for it…) epic!  :-)

memonly

Rebroadcast of our Canon Total Gear Head Live Q&A
On Wednesday afternoon we did a special live Q&A exclusively for KelbyOne members featuring two of the super genius tech guys at Canon (Rudy Winston – DSLR tech guru seen above right, and Brent Ramsey -DSLR Video guru seen above left).  They were there to answer questions about the newly announced Canon EOS 1D X Mark II, and we have the rebroadcast now available and the questions were just pouring in.

The feedback we have received has just been phenomenal, if you’re a KelbyOne member, you can watch the rebroadcast right now at this link. (if you’re not a member, you can take the free 10-day trial and watch it that way, along with all the rest of our classes). Thanks to our friends at Canon for lending us Rudy and Brent – they totally rocked it!

 

weddingbook

New Online Classes
Yesterday, we mentioned my new KelbyOne online class on Designing Beautiful Wedding Albums in Lightroom, but I thought it was important to let you know about what makes this class different than my existing online class on creating Photo Books in Lightroom.

This class is really about the design of the book – the layout, and creating beautiful looking photo books – that’s the focus of the book — not learning all the Lightroom photo book features (even through you wind up learning those, too). Check out the preview here. 

Also, here’s a peek at some of our other upcoming online classes already taped and in post production:

> Get Up To Speed Fast on the Sony a7R II
> Photo Recipes: Dramatic Lighting
> Using the Canon 600EX RT Hot Shoe Flash
> Design Basics for Adobe InDesign
> Adobe InDesign for Photographers
> Light Painting & Photographing The Stars
> DIY Photography Gear Solutions

Next month we’re taping new KelbyOne online classes with Moose Peterson, along with new classes from Photoshop Retouching Shark Kristina Sherk, and Adobe’s own Bryan O’Neal Hughes on using Adobe’s latest mobile apps, PLUS I have a few new classes I’m taping as well — one on my own simple system for organizing your images, and 10 Things Every DSLR User Should Know. 

Just a quick look at what’s coming your way — hope you all have an awesome weekend (hate to see that football season has ended), and we’ll see ya here next week.

Best,

-Scott

P.S. Houston, Texas — I’ll be there a week from today. Come on out!

Hi Gang: It’s 1:28 am at night here in Atlanta – I’ve got a class to teach all day tomorrow, so I’ll make this short and sweet.

Adobe released a free update to Lightroom CC (bringing it to version 2015.4) and it includes a new feature to help you deal with those white gaps left in the corner of panos that you’d normally have to jump over to Photoshop for and manually fix it one way or another. It’s called Boundary Warp and you can see it in action below:

bw_ani_1000x400

Pretty amazing right?

Other stuff (Lightroom 6 users get this stuff, too, but not Boundary Warp above – that’s just for CC subscribers):
They fixed the issue Nikon users have been having (not being able to tether into Mac OS El Capitan)

Plus, this stuff listed on Adobe’s official Lightroom Blog:

  • Nikon 1 J4 Camera Matching Profile added
  • The panorama merging process should complete roughly twice as fast as Lightroom 6.3
  • Improved quality when applying Auto Straighten and Upright “Level” mode
  • A preference was added to the Mac to prevent accidental “speed swiping”
  • Metadata is added to merged panoramas to support Photoshop’s Adaptive Wide Angle filter
  • Customers can now set the location of where photos are stored when downloaded from Lightroom mobile or Lightroom web in the preference panel or contextually in the folder panel
  • Thumbnails update much quicker when copying and pasting settings in the grid view
  • Images load faster in the Library module when you are zoomed in and navigating images
  • Tethered support added for the Nikon D5500 and Nikon D7200

Here’s the link for the full list of new features, cameras, lens and fixes.

That’s it – gotta hit the sack-a-roonie.

Best,

-Scott

Moire1a

So, Brad had set up and taken this photo of my gear (for use on Social Media), and when I opened it in Photoshop I noticed something “funky” when I zoomed in on the camera bag on the right…

Moire2a

Above: I zoomed in so you can see it — it’s a “moire” pattern, which is an unwanted repeating color pattern that appears over part of your image, probably most often on clothing (when you least expect it, and sometimes on objects where you’d least expect it, like a camera bag). In this case, it’s that blue and gold series of zebra stripes covering the entire front of the camera bag.

Luckily, this is such a common occurrence that both Lightroom and Photoshop’s Camera Raw have a feature dedicated to fixing it.

Moire3a

Above: In Lightroom’s Develop Module (or Photoshop’s Camera Raw, which is what I’m showing here), go to the Adjustment Brush, and in the the Brush controls you’ll see a slider for “Moire Reduction” (shown circled here in red). I started by getting the amount at +50 to see how it would do.

Moire4a

Above: I set my brush to a large size and started painting over the bag and…voila! The Moire is gone! Well, at a setting of 50% it was mostly gone, but I could still see a bit, so I dragged the slider to the right to +65 and then it was gone.

Moire5a

Above: Here’s a before and after, where you can see the blue and gold on the left, and on the right in the “after” view, you can see it’s pretty much gone.

The first part is beginning to recognize the signs of a moire pattern, because after all, if you don’t know what it looks like, you won’t realize it needs correcting. At least now, if you do run across a moire, you know how to quickly and easily fix it. :)

Ahhhhh, that’s a moire! (sorry, I couldn’t help myself).

Hope you have a great Tuesday!

Best,

-Scott

P.S. If you entered my giveaway (over on my Facebook page) for a free ticket to my seminar next week in Richmond and Atlanta, I posted the winner’s names this morning. 

On my current tour, only one session of the entire day is about post processing. It’s called “Scott’s 7-Point System for Lightroom” and before I start that session, I always ask the crowd for a show of hands to let me know who is already using Lightroom. Doesn’t matter which city, or which country, nearly every single hand goes up in the room. So I then ask, “OK, who is NOT using Lightroom?” and it’s literally just a handful of people out of 300 or 400 photographers in the room.

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