Adobe Photoshop Creativity Seminar with Ben Willmore The last KelbyOne Live seminar of the year is TOMORROW, December 12, in Phoenix with Ben Willmore! If you haven’t signed up yet, there’s still time. And if you want a chance to go for free, leave a comment here this morning, and we’ll pick a winner this afternoon!
DSLR Filmmaking: Camera Motion & Support with Adam Rohrmann Attention aspiring filmmakers! There’s a lot more to camera rigs than just providing support for your camera. In this class our very own filmmaker extraordinaire Adam Rohrmann takes you through the technical how-to aspects of six of the most common camera supports used in DSLR filmmaking, and then brings it all home in a series of lessons designed to give you a camera operator’s-eye view of how each rig can be used to elicit a different emotion in your viewer through the production of a short film scripted for this class. Adam’s practical approach gives you a real world perspective on how to use each rig, how to keep your subject locked in sharp focus, and the importance of using camera motion with attention to the emotional impact it has on your audience.
Moose Peterson Discusses Image Quality And he’s not talking about megapixels. Check out this video where Moose shows a print he had made and talks about how the quality of a picture has less to do with megapixels and more about the craftsmanship behind the making of the image. And if you want to see the behind the scenes from the shoot where he made the image, you can see that right here.
New Fuji X-System eBook from Bill Fortney The Fuji X-System User’s Guide from Bill Fortney is a real guide to getting the most from this system. The guide features over 300 photographs spread over 200 pages with helpful information and tips for getting the most out of the fantastic System. The book also features work from today’s top pros that are using the Fuji X-System! You can find out more and buy your copy right here. Leave a comment for your chance to win a free download!
Greetings everyone! Corey Barker here to share with you my latest holiday project. Once again I collaborated with headshot photographer Peter Hurley and we decided to do another movie poster project. Some of you may remember a little project I did with Peter on recreating the poster for the Chevy Chase movie Vacation using Peter as the main subject and then we also recruited Mia McCormick and Brandon Ford to be part of the fun. We gathered everyone in the studio and we had RC shoot the images I needed. I then took those images that afternoon and created the poster below. I love projects like this where I feel under the gun because under pressure is where I most creative. The result came out so nicely that it ended up being a featured tutorial in my Down & Dirty Tricks Book Vol 2.
Now jump ahead 2 years and it is November 2014 and Peter has once again come to visit our office. This time to work on his new book, which is going to be awesome! So while he was here some of us went to lunch and we started started talking about the Shabang! poster and how much fun that project was. He told me that he was going to be back here in December and that we should do another one. Since it was going to be Christmas time and we wanted to keep the Vacation theme going we decided to do the obvious…Christmas Vacation! I was so excited and yet so bummed because I had to wait another month until we could do it. Though I had plenty to keep me busy in the meantime.
Now it is December and Peter has returned and I cannot wait to get this project started. This time he was here filming a KelbyOne class on headshots and the art of the edit, so he already had the studio set up and ready to go. Of course, while he had it set up I took advantage of that and had Peter take some new headshots of me (see the image above), but then after that it was Peter’s turn in front of the camera. Using the original Christmas Vacation poster as a reference, I wanted Peter to have a similar expression to the Chevy Chase character on the poster. He was doing well but still wasn’t quite there until I told him to act like a cattle prod just got shoved in his bum! That worked and gave me the shot I needed. I only needed the head because I was going to create the rest entirely in Photoshop. Let the fun begin!
The Photoshop Process (Abridged) So now I had the shots of Peter and now I was ready to get started. Again referencing the the original post I noticed that it was originally an illustration and not a photo. Being an illustrator myself I thought I would go ahead and illustrate the whole thing. However two things occurred to me: One thing was time, to illustrate the entire poster would have taken days for me. I had two days at most to do this. The other thing was the teaching aspect. If I had illustrated it and did tutorials on it it would have only appealed to a handful of digital illustrators out there. There are no doubt designers out there that can’t draw so well but really want to achieve this level of design. So I decided to mostly composite the whole poster using stock photos with a few illustrated elements added in. This would make it easier for someone to learn the technique. So I started by building the background. I created the snow and illustrated the rooftop and chimney first. This established the environment and also establishes a reference of scale as I add other elements.
Once I had the background set I was ready to get started on the main subject. Like I said, my original thought was to illustrate this but just had no time. So I went to Fotolia.com and started searching for images of Santa. I obviously could not expect that I would find a Santa image that looked just like the image in the poster, that would be wishful thinking.
Instead I had to shift my gaze and not look at the entire image but rather break it up into parts. Each of these Santa images are obviously from the same series but each one was picked for a specific part of the design. I chose the first because of the legs and torso because they were facing front, the second and third images I chose for the boots, and the fourth one was used for the arm. I needed a straight arm and this was the closest I could find, but no problem with Puppet Warp. So now I had all the parts I needed to create the body, I already had the head shot of Peter so I was ready to go!
I started with the legs by extracting just that part of the image minus the boots and then brought it into the main design then scaled and position them in place. Then I extracted one boot each from the other two images. I needed them to be turned and did not want to use the same boot and duplicate it as that would have been obvious. Next was the torso, once again I extracted just that part and then added it to the image. Though the torso and legs came from the same image I needed them separate so that could manipulate the torso shape without affecting the legs.
Now the arms. I used the one arm of the Santa holding the bell for both arms. I extracted it then used Puppet Warp to straighten it. I erased the hand and bell and filled in the the fur cuff. I then used the Warp tool to basically sculpt the arm to the scene. Then I duplicated it and flipped it to put on the other side. Because of the abstract nature of the fabric and such it easy to make them look different. I then copied a couple little patches of the fabric to fill in the gaps.
Next I added Peter’s head to the scene and then used a strip of fur I got from the Santa hat image and made it a collar around his neck. The last thing of course was the hands. I found a simple open hand stock image and then used it for both hands. However I did use puppet warp again to manipulate the fingers just slightly so they were not obviously the same. Oh and I almost forgot the pillows, in the original he had a couple pillows stuffed in the suit so thought I would add that too. Now the main subject is assembled, but we are far from done.
Once I had all the pieces together I went ahead and merged all those layers together so I could edit the subject as a whole. Did a little bit more cloning and patchwork to make the suit a little more seamless and then did some dodging and burning to make the lighting and shadows consistent.
Now it was time to start with the surrounding elements like lights, flying presents, and such. I started with the lights. I used Illustrator to create the cord for the lights because you get much smoother paths using the Smooth tool. Once that was done I brought that path into Photoshop and then used it to draw not just the cord for the lights, but I also created a brush tip in the shape of the light and painted that along the same path in various colors. Then used some layer styles and some blur effects to get the lights to glow.
Now the lighting effect around the subject I created using a custom lightning brush I created. I then just scatter painted the lightning around the edge of the subject. After that I added an Outer Glow layer style to enhance the effect. Finally there were just the prop elements floating around the subject. In the original they were just presents floating around so I wanted to use that but also add a some Peter touches as well, like a PhaseOne camera and lights. The camera you can see floating in the air and the light is in Santa’ sack. Once I had those elements in place I added lighting effects based in their position in relation to the subject. The very last touch of course was the text. Peter came up with Squinchmas Vacation and I added the Yule Wonder Why! at the top.
In the end this version took about 10 hours over two days. I built it to the dimensions of a full-scale movie poster which is 27 inches wide by 40 inches tall. It is comprised of about 50 layers and the file says weighs in at about 1.5 GB. This project will be broken down in step-by-step video tutorials as part of my Photoshop Master FX Series exclusively at KelbyOne.com in the the next couple months.
A big thanks to Peter Hurley for once again being such a good sport and allowing me to to create this image. I hope you all have a Merry Christmas and watch out for cousin Eddie! LOL
OK, my buddy Jeff Cable (he’s a sports photographer and works with Lexar), does this “Jeff’s Favorite Things” big giveaway every year, and he’s giving away a ton of stuff again this year — everything from a Wacom Intuos Pro tablet to a Canon 70D camera, to a DJI Phantom 2 Drone to a Sigma lens and a whole bunch more (including some of my books).
Anyway, he’s got 36 prizes in all and he’ll draw 36 winners starting on December 12th, so it’s worth checking out. Here’s the link to enter.
Here’s a list of what Jeff is giving away this year:
DJI Phantom 2 Vision+ Drone
Canon 70D DSLR camera with 18-135mm IS STM lens
Canon PIXMA Pro-1 Printer
Wacom Intuos Pro Medium
32GB Lexar Professional 1066x CF Card or 32GB 600x Lexar Professional SD card (2 prizes)
Sigma 50mm 1.4 lens
Lexar HR-1 Workflow Solution w/ 2 Readers
Gitzo GM5561T 6x Carbon Fiber Monopod
Photo Mechanic software (2 prizes)
One year subscriptions to Zenfolio (2 prizes)
Scott Kelby Autographed Books – “The Digital Photography Book, Part 5: Photo Recipes” (5 prizes) and “Lightroom 5 book” (2 prizes)
KelbyOne: One year full memberships (2 prizes)
LowePro ProRunner 450AW Backpack
JOBY Suction Cup (2 prizes)
Epson R2000 printer with Velvet Fine Art paper (8×10), 5×7 pack and 4×6 pack of photo glossy paper
FotoFusion Extreme software (2 prizes)
B&H $100 gift certificates (2 prizes)
Acratech GP Ball Head with lever clamp and a Swift Clamp
M&M Photo Tours – $750 credit on one of their International photo trips
P.S.Where’s that field report? I know, I know. I’ve been heads down on so much end-of-year work stuff, and taping new classes and on and on. Field reports like that take a ton of time to put together and I’m trying out a new format and blah, blah I’m just way behind on literally everything. Hope to have it very soon — thanks for your patience.
Good mornin’ everybody! OK, so I had planned on posting my field report on the Canon 100-400mm today, but I haven’t finished it (it’s been a really busy week), and now I’m off to tape some classes at the studio, and blah, blah, blah — it’s not done. Totally my fault (it’s the old “too much on my plate thing”).
However, since I’ve taken over the reins at LightroomKillerTips, I’ve been posting daily Lightroom tutorials and tips over there and my latest post is “Why Are There Three Different Places to Sharpen in Lightroom?” So, if you’ve got a minute to bop over there and check it out, here’s the link. (while you’re there feel free to check out my other posts; enjoy the new car smell; and please stand clear of the doors (Por favor manténganse alejado de las puertas).
My plan is to run the field report tomorrow, but of course that was the plan for today, so I’m just keeping my fingers crossed that I’ll get everything done I need to get done, to finish it up. Now, if you come here tomorrow and you see something entirely different, then you know how that went down. ;-)
Hope you all have a spectacular Monday (there’s an oxymoron to start your week — “spectacular monday”) and we’ll see you here tomorrow come rain or come shine (I have no idea why I just wrote that last part).
I am thrilled to announce that Jay Maisel’s “Light, Gesture & Color,” a book I believe will go down as one of the greatest, most important photography books ever written, is now shipping. I could go on and on and tell you why, but I believe Ellis D Vener , one of the first reviewers on Amazon, said it best in this one sentence from his review:
“There’s more smart-ass, hard earned wisdom about what it takes to be a photographer, and maybe even how to learn to see and and cherish what is actually around you, in this slim book than in a thousand photographic how to manuals and monographs.”
That description totally nailed it. There is only one Jay Maisel — a true living legend of photography — and Jay makes you think and feel in a way few photographers on this planet can. The book kind of reminds me of Joe McNally’s groundbreaking “The Moment it Clicks” in the way the frank, genuine, and insightful stories and lessons are surrounded by some really extraordinary photography.
Please take a moment to watch the short trailer (above) where Jay tells us in his own words about the book (that’s our own Mia McCormick with Jay — we were honored to be able to work with Jay to produce his book, which is published by our publishing partner Peachpit Press).
Have a great weekend everybody, and we’ll see you here Monday for my field report on the new Canon 100-400mm f/4.5 – f/5.6 lens (I had planned on having it ready today, but fell behind on…well…pretty much everything).
Creative Speed Lighting for Fashion, Glamour, and Beauty with Lou Freeman There’s more to speedlights than just portability. Join the amazingly talented Lou Freeman as she shares the wisdom gained from three decades worth of fashion, glamour, and beauty photography to show you how creative you can get with speedlights on location and in the studio. From the basics of setting up your lights to her favorite accessories, Lou talks through all of the settings and gear she uses throughout the class. You’ll see Lou work in a variety of locations from the soft light of a fine interior to the harsh light of the beach, before heading into the studio, and all along the way Lou shares her tips, techniques, and tricks for using speedlights in ways that will really make your images stand out from the rest.
The Business of Fashion Photography with Lindsay Adler Looking for your big break in fashion photography? Sorry, there isn’t going to be one, but with the right business skills, photographic talent, persistence, and hard work you can build yourself a career doing something you love. Join Lindsay Adler as she breaks down what life is like as a fashion photographer, and then lays out the foundation for you how you can get on the path to success. From planning your shoots to getting your work published, Lindsay steps through the key points you need to consider to avoid common mistakes, to move forward with intention, and to build yourself a business for years to come.