Dave Clayton has been fascinated with good design since he was a child, but there is much more to Dave than just being a graphic designer. In this in-depth interview with Kalebra Kelby, Dave opens up about his personal side in a way we’ve never seen before. In this interview you’ll hear Dave share stories about how his family, friends, and mentors have opened him up to the opportunities and experiences that have made him who he is today. Plus, you’ll love hearing the story of how he met his wife.
Apart from lights, shadows, and perspective, one of the most challenging tasks in making a great composite is matching colors of the subject with the new background. Although there are a bazillion ways of accomplishing that in Photoshop, today we are going to explore an underutilized feature, hidden inside a “double click,” that will allow you to automatically match colors absolutely non-destructively.
More often than not, this feature produces perfect results. However, sometimes, you might need to perform a little bit of manual adjustment, and even then, this acts as an incredible starting point. In today’s example, we have intentionally chosen a challenging set of images which would require an additional adjustment.
So without any further ado, let’s get started!
Before We Begin:
Use your favorite techniques to cut out the subject and place it on a new background. For this image, I have used the “Select and Mask” feature to create a primary mask. Since masking hair, in this case, was extremely difficult, manually painting some strands of hair on top made more sense.
I have also used “Perspective Warp” to lower the horizon line of the background to match with the position of the subject.
Step 1: Create a Curves Adjustment Layer
Once you have the subject placed on a new background as separate layers (as shown in the image attached), select the topmost “Subject” layer and click on the Adjustment Layer icon in the layers panel, and choose Curves.
Step 2: Create a Clipping Mask
Whatever changes we make in the Curves properties, it will affect the entire image, including the background. We want to limit the effects of Curve only to the “Subject” layer. To do that, create a clipping mask by clicking on the “Clipping mask button” in the Curves properties.
Step 3: Match Colors with Eye-droppers!
We have always used eye droppers in Curves to set the black, white, and gray points, but did you know you could customize them too? Yes! And that’s what we are going to use today.
Learn advanced techniques for processing your landscape photos with Ramtin Kazemi! In this class you’ll discover Ramtin’s workflow, from start to finish, for taking a raw photo from scratch through to being ready to print or share online. Ramtin takes you step-by-step through his techniques for creating vertical panoramas, color adjustments, luminosity masks, selective contrast adjustments, adding atmosphere, and so much more!
The better a photographer you become, the more challenging it becomes to be a better photographer! It’s a cruel reality. We struggle and hope as we learn the basics of exposure, lens, f/stop, etc. that with that knowledge, we can then relax and play. It’s hard to imagine that photography will only be more challenging once we pass those hurdles.
On the bright side, the rewards become greater and the adventures sweeter when the photographic process settles in, and you look at the challenges to not only become better, but also make photography your own. It could be summed up as: style. Because with that style you become the visual storyteller whose photographs can change the world.
This realization and challenge hit me hard and early in my career because, along with everything photographic, I threw being in the photographic business into the mix (just because it wasn’t difficult enough). That actually turned out to be a blessing in disguise though as our survival depended on me pushing through these hurdles. I need that life or death struggle!
Human nature is such that walls tend to slow us down, if not stop us. Photography for most is a hobby, and with the real honest and needed desire to keep it fun (which is essential), often frustration settles in when we hit that wall and the fun fades. Sadly, all too often I’ve seen too many photographers on this path, or take this path, and real talent goes unknown as their passion disappears.
How do we achieve our goals of being better photographers (because there is no end to this race)? Many believe it’s by buying more and better gear (I wish it was that easy). The reason it gets more challenging the better you become is because the investment you need to make is in yourself!
While they are photographically based, pushing yourself to make the finished photograph in the viewfinder when you go click is a b*tch! Throwing away all crutches and embracing failure hurts! And making photographs that reach out and grab heartstrings rather than likes at times is really lonely. Giving yourself a reason to take that next step in getting better and keeping your passion alive is to go beyond the single click. It’s a “simple” formula I’ve used for the last three decades, editorial, and it’s turned out pretty well. Let me explain it to you by introducing you to Gloria.
There has to be a start, right?
It all began with my dear friend, Kathy Porupski. We met years ago through the intimate community that was NAPP and is now KelbyOne. Always a dear friend and supporter and fellow photographer (and friend to my entire family), we did everything from photographing a Black Skimmer colony to model shoots together. I helped her when I could, and she always returned that in spades.
Many years ago, after I dove deep into aviation photography, she told me about a friend of hers whose husband had planes and sent me a picture. Me being me, I thanked her but did nothing about it (you know, that mental wall, they were in Florida and I’m in California). Fast forward the clock a couple of years.
Join Lindsay Adler in studio for a class all about the extremes of lighting! From low key to high key setups, Lindsay starts you at the beginning where your shoot’s purpose determines the type of lighting you will use and all the choices you make from that point onward. In the first half of the class Lindsay focuses on low key setups, with a look at the characteristics of low key photographs, to the modifiers you can use, to examples of her favorite setups. In the second half of the class Lindsay builds on what you’ve learned about low key lighting to morph into a variety of high key setups. All throughout the class Lindsay shares her perspectives on why and when she uses a particular set up, the gear she uses, the positions of the lights, and so much more. Get ready to have a whole new repertoire of lighting setups to add to your studio offerings. This class is perfect for an intermediate or experienced photographer looking to experiment with extreme light.
It’s a great honor for me to be invited here as a guest blogger. In my early years learning photography, well over ten years ago, the first photography books I purchased were from Scott Kelby’s Digital Photography series.
My love for landscape photography began while I was living on the Southern Oregon Coast for many years. It’s there that I developed my skills as a landscape photographer, on the local beaches and throughout the forests in the Pacific Northwest. Spending time in nature has always been a part of my life since my early childhood years. For these reasons I’m passionate about photographing nature.
During the last four years I’ve been traveling full-time in an RV with my husband. My goal has been to photograph places I’ve never been before in the western states. I’ve spent a lot of time photographing deserts and mountains, but my heart always comes back to the Pacific Northwest where my favorite landscape scenes are.
Spring is right around the corner, so I thought I would write about one of my favorite things in nature to photograph, waterfalls. In this post, I’ll share with you some tips on photographing flowing water during the springtime. The water run off can be pretty intense in the spring so hopefully these ideas will help you get the best images while out in the field.
Don’t Let Bad Weather Stop You
Being from the Pacific Northwest, I’m not afraid of the rain. I love going out to photograph waterfalls on a cloudy, drizzly day. For me, I feel these are the best conditions for photographing flowing water. The foliage around waterfalls most likely will be moist and lush looking. The moss and forest floor will pop with color.
Springtime can also bring foggy conditions. When mixed with a little bit of light, this can create some magical moments.
Be prepared for any kind of conditions by wearing layers, preferably non-cotton. This will work best in moist and still cool conditions. The proper footwear is important too. Bring boots, waders, or neoprene socks for under your boots for getting into the water. When it’s safe to do so, you’ll get much more interesting photos if you are willing to get into the water.
A sturdy tripod is important for getting the sharpest images and slowing down the shutter speed to get some nice long exposure images.
Bring along plenty of lens cloths to wipe away the spray from your lens. Invest in a good camera sleeve to protect your gear from water damage.
Photographing Waterfalls In Iconic Places
Springtime in State or National Parks can be a busy time with lots of tourists. It can make it hard to get the shot you want without people. Sometimes because of my travel schedule, I can’t avoid the crowds because I might have limited time to visit the area. I have found it best to avoid the weekends and definitely holidays. Be patient and allow people their opportunity to take their picture. I try not to take too much time photographing when there are people waiting to get their shot in the same position.
Get Creative With Composition
When I’m out photographing waterfalls, I will usually start with taking both horizontal and vertical shots with my wide-angle lens. Once I am satisfied that I have the images I want, I enjoy wandering around to scout for other possible compositions. Take your time. To me, the exploration is the most enjoyable part of landscape photography. Just being outside and experiencing the sights and sounds of nature has such a calming effect on me.
Change out that wide-angle lens with a telephoto to capture intimate or abstract scenes. Experiment with black and white. The creative possibilities are endless.
Bring Your Filters
Filters are a must for me. I bring my circular polarizing filter and a neutral density filter. The circular polarizing filter will help reduce the glare in the water and on the rocks. Along with your camera settings, the neutral density filter will help to slow down the shutter speed so you can get that beautiful silky look to the flowing water if that is your style and preference.
Experiment with the look you like when using your filters. I often just use the circular polarizing filter for reducing glare and bringing out the colors more. I may even stack both the circular and neutral density filters depending on the situation. My goal in some cases may be just to freeze the motion of the water to show the power of nature. In that case, I might remove the filters.
Enjoy The Adventure
I hope you get a chance to get out this spring and photograph waterfalls. As mentioned, the most enjoyable part of photographing flowing water is getting out in nature. Hiking trails to get to the waterfall and the exploration makes the whole experience even better. Be safe out there and have fun!