Category Archives Photoshop

Above: Here’s the last set from my shoot at Fight Factory, and that’s Mo (you remember Mo from Monday and Tuesday’s posts) doing some curls. When he was done, he handed the dumbell to me, and I was pinned to the floor for 40 minutes.


Above: Here’s the production shot (photo by Brad Moore). Pretty simple set-up, but it’s the only one where we actually used all three flashes. The main light is to the left of me, and that’s powered by the Ranger RX pack. The kicker light behind him is a bare bulb flash with a metal Grid attached to the front to focus the beam. Then, on the floor right behind Mo, you see the third flash, positioned down low, aiming upward to light the white seamless paper. But, there’s a problem. And I caused it.

Above: When I first got there, I did a few test shots using just the available light in the gym, so I set my f/stop to around f/4. But then when we set up the strobes, I never switched back to an f/stop that would give me focus throughout the image, like f/8 or f/11. Of course, I didn’t realize this until I opened the images hours later in Photoshop and realized that only part of each image was in focus. Uggh!

Above: In this shot, the dumbell is out of focus, but his body is in focus. Although I hate having to use Photoshop to fix mistakes I should have gotten right in the camera, in this case I was thrilled to be able to use Photoshop to fix my mistake. My plan was to combine the in-focus parts of the two images, into one image where everything was in focus.

Photoshop To The Rescue!
I used the Pen tool to select the in-focus version of the dumbells, and dragged it over to the photo where Mo’s body was in focus, and positioned it over the out-of-focus dumbells. It took all of two minutes to get the size right (they were taken at different focal lengths) and the proper position, but it worked and created the shot you see at the top of this post. Whew! That was a close one.

MY LOCATION LIGHTING GEAR
I had some questions after Monday and Tuesdays post about my location lighting gear, and I posted some photos of it packed up in its travel case so you can see how small it all breaks down to. Those images are on my Facebook page at facebook.com/skelby

Above: Here’s another shot of Mo on the rings. I showed the production photo of this shot on Tuesday (link), but I noted that the flash with the softbox was turned off—that other shot was just lit with the bare flash and reflector with grid. Here’s what it looks like when the softbox is on, adding a little fill light.

B&W Conversion
I converted this to Black & White using Nik Software’s just released Silver Efex Pro 2.0, which I have to say is absolutely amazing. Every pro I know was already using Silver Efex Pro 1.0—but 2.0 kicks so much @#$, I can’t imagine they all won’t upgrade as soon as they try it. Seriously great upgrade. Way to go Nik! BTW: I just used one of their built-in presets. Also, you can download a 15-day free trail copy of the plug-in right here.

Above: The gym arranged to have Dallas, a model and friend of the gym, do a few shots inside the boxing ring that’s the center piece of the gym (real fighters train here, too). They wanted a shot where Dallas looked exhausted between rounds, with her arms “on the ropes” and I got the capture you see here.


Above: Here’s the production shot for that image (thanks Brad) and I’m just using two lights: The main light up right and to my left, and the same bare bulb flash with a metal grid that we’ve been using all day coming in behind Dallas and to the right. We had to put the stand up on some workout pads to get it up high enough. I’m shooting with a 70-200mm f/2.8 lens.

Now, when you look at the production image versus the final image, you might be wondering why my final image is so dark. I intentionally underexposed the shot by at least two stops, so my subject would be mostly lit with the just the strobe, and not the flat even boring ambient light in the gym. If I hadn’t, the shots would pretty much look like the production shots you see above (no offense to Brad whatsoever—the production shots looks exactly as they should—they’re exposed for the ambient light).

Above: Here’s another shot, but this time I’m outside the ring, down low shooting upward (as seen below).

Above: Here’s the production shot for that image. Same two lights, same modifiers, positioned the same way (each facing each other diagonally), we’re just shooting from a different position. You can clearly see the workout mats we stacked up to get the main light high enough.

Above: Here’s Mo again (he had quite a workout that day) in a dramatic lighting look, as he gets ready to sprint. I added the text (at the client’s request). The large faded text in the background is the font Futura Extra Bold and the smaller text is Helvetica Condensed Bold Oblique (Oblique is a type geek word for “Italic”).

Above: This is just a one-light shoot–the light on the left side isn’t turned on. That’s the Ranger Quadra, with one bare-bulb flash and a reflector, aiming straight at Mo. You can see how small the Quadra battery pack is in this shot—that’s it hanging on the light stand.

That wraps up this shoot. A funny thing just happened: as I’m writing this, a commercial for Fight Factory: Tampa just came on TV. Too cool!




I’ll be in Boston a week from this Thursday (March 24th) kicking off my new “Light it, Shoot it, Retouch It Live!” tour. Hundreds of photographers are already signed up and I want to make sure you’re there, so go snag a seat right now (here’s the link), and spend the day with me seeing the entire process—from the lighting to the shooting, to all the post processing and portrait retouching in Photoshop. You see it all, unfolding live, and I don’t leave anything out.

You get a detailed workbook (shown above) covering all the stuff I’m showing in class (in the same order I’m doing it, so you can follow right along), plus, we offer a 100% money back guarantee if for any reason you think it doesn’t totally kick butt and make you want to run home and try all these new techniques yourself (which by the way, puts a ton of pressure on me, but that’s OK—I’ll have Brad there to create a diversion).

I hope I get to meet you in person in Boston in just 10 days! I am totally psyched!!!! See you there!

It’s official: The Grid, our brand new LIVE talk show about Photography, Photoshop, and anything else remotely related is launching next week.

You’re invited:

When: Monday, March 7th, at 12:30 pm EST
Where: KelbyTV.com/thegrid
Cost: Absolutely Free. Every week.
Rebroadcast: Free, and available whenever you’d like to watch.

Please feel free to bring a guest. Or two thousand. ;-)

We want you to be a part of the discussion, and share your thoughts live on the air via Twitter and our direct online chat.

Also, each week we’ll have an in-studio guest, as well as some friends chiming in on the topics via live video feeds. I can’t wait.

I hope you will join us on Monday, and in the meantime I would love it if you would help us spread the word about the new show on Facebook, Twitter, your Blogs, and wherever you can. :-)

See you Monday on “The Grid”

Boston is the first stop on my nationwide “Light it, Shoot it, Retouch it, Live!” tour, and I really want you to be there.

If you’ve got one minute and 20 seconds, could you take a moment and watch the quick video clip above where I tell you about the tour, what you’ll be learning, and why you’ve gotta be there.

Here’s the link for the full class schedule, and how to sign up. It’s only $99 for the full day, (including a detailed workbook), or just $79 for NAPP members.

Hope to see you in Boston. We’re going to have a blast.

P.S. One more thing. If you come and don’t think it was totally worth it, and your head isn’t spinning with loads of new techniques, we will gladly refund your full tuition, so can’t lose. See you there!

This are just some of the dates from the first leg of my new nationwide “Light it, Shoot it, Retouch It” tour, but since we have these dates already locked down, I thought I’d share them.

·  Boston, MA – Thursday, March 24th
·  Minneapolis, MN – Monday, April 4th
·  Indianapolis, IN – Wednesday, April 6th
·  Chicago, IL – Thursday, April 7th

Here’s how each session is structured
(1) I start each session with an empty stage and then I build the lighting set-up for a particular kind of lighting look from scratch, explaining everything as I go, all step-by-step.

(2) Then, I actually do a portrait shoot live in each class, sharing all the camera settings, lighting settings, and exactly what you need to do to nail that type of look.

(3) Finally, I take those images into Photoshop to show you how to do all the post processing, including editing the Raw image, all the portrait retouching techniques, and the finishing effects, so you see the entire process, from beginning to end, with nothing left out.

Not only will you be able to nail all these exact same looks, (using a simple, inexpensive studio lighting set-up), but best of all you’ll learn all the post processing techniques as well.

This all takes place in every class session, all day long—–the lighting set-up, then the shooting, and then all the post processing for every set-up, and every look.

I hope you’ll join me in one of these cities. It’s only $99 for the full day of training (or $79 for NAPP members), and includes a detailed, step-by-step workbook that follows along exactly with what I’m doing in the class.

As soon as the rest of cities and dates are locked down, I’ll announce those here too. I am super psyched about this tour, and I can’t wait to get there with you guys. Here’s the link to the full class schedule, or to sign up. I hope I get to see you in person soon. :)

I mentioned earlier this week that back on Monday we invited some NAPP members to come to our headquarters (just outside Tampa, Florida), and be a part of a full dress rehearsal/dry run for my upcoming “Light It, Shoot it, Retouch It Live!” nationwide tour (inspired by my series of classes with the same name on Kelby Training Online). Well, I got some images from Brad and I thought I’d share them here with you guys on the blog.

The idea of this day was to get in front of a live audience, do the entire seminar from start to finish (with all the lighting set-ups, shooting, and then retouching, editing, and finishing of the photos in Photoshop), and then get live, on the spot feedback from the attendees about anything they wanted added, addressed in more detail, and generally anything I could do to make the day more valuable to them. Well, I’m happy to say, the experiment worked even better than I had hoped (and the tour will be that much better because of it).

OK, that’s me goofing off above while Brad was taking production shots (Nothing is more handsome than having a wire hanging off your face, eh?) Anyway, the audience was absolutely fantastic—I couldn’t have asked for a better group. They were totally into it, and a HUGE help with lots of insights, great questions, and requests that I was able to add directly to the detailed seminar workbook before it goes to press. By the way; you’d think I would have retouched that funky dent in my hair on the top left side, but after seeing this shot, I actually took it a step further and went and got my hair cut today. :)

Here I am doing bunny ears. It was that kind of day. We had three different professional models working with us during the day (two women and a man), and we went through different lighting set-ups for different looks, then we did the full portrait retouches, and ended each segment with finishing off the photos, and adding portrait effects and some fun Photoshop tricks (including a whole segment on compositing).

I really want this tour to be something that will help a lot of people by showing the complete process from empty room to finished image, and I owe a debt of thanks to everyone who came that day to help make the tour the best it can be. Thanks for all your feedback, great input, and for being such a great crowd to present to. You guys rocked it! :-)

This was, hands down, one of the most fun seminars I’ve ever taught, because we covered so much ground in so little time, and everything happened in real time. I’ll have cities and dates coming next week (the tour kicks off in just a few weeks), so stay tuned.

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