Jun 20, 2013

Environmental Portrait Of A Musician, Pt. 2

Check out a behind the scenes video of this shoot here

Coloring An Environmental Portrait In Photoshop

Yesterday we took you behind the scenes and showed you the lighting that went into this image. Today we’re going to clean it up in photoshop and make the colors really pop. Before doing any color work, it’s always important to clean up distractions in the photo. These are usually small things, like bright little spots of light and the electrical boxes on the wall. Small distractions like these can easily be taken care of with the clone stamp tool. A tip when using the clone stamp – try to cover things up in one continuous brush stroke, rather than sampling over and over again. This will give you a more seamless cover-up.

Creating a Glow Around The Match

Let’s say we want to make the match that’s lighting our subject’s face even brighter. We can do this quite easily by creating a curves adjustment layer and pulling up both the Red and RGB channels. Pulling up the RGB makes the image brighter, while pulling up the Red Channel increases the reds in the photo. You could even pull the Blue Channel down to add more yellows, as blue is the opposite of yellow. Now that we have our curves layer looking the way we want it, we can make a selection on the layer mask that only affects the area that that match is in. Adding a gaussian blur to the mask gets rid of the sharp edge and makes it appear to be natural. Not only does this create a cool effect, but it also helps draw attention to the subject’s face.

Pumping Up The Colors

Here’s a really cool way to add color to your shadows. Start by creating a color fill adjustment layer. Right click on the layer and select blending options. By moving the underlying layer sliders, we can get the color to only show up in the shadows. Not only does this add color, but it also eliminates some detail in the shadows. This helps to make the image less distracting and draws our eye more to our subject’s face. We can also use a combination of curves and levels adjustment layers to add more blues and oranges to the image, giving it a more cinematic feel.

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  • user image
    angie p

    I look forward to the footage at the end just as much as I do the tutorial itself… haha! 🙂

    Keep up the awesomeness!

  • user image

    Nice! I am just wondering, at 2:19 you fired up that small red masking circle(diameter hardness opacity) and able to adjust that diameter? How did you activate that? Or is it a wacom feature?

    • user image

      Hold alt+right mouse click, moving up and down changes hardness, and moving left and right changes diameter.

      • user image

        Thanks, I fiddled earlier and figured it out but how did he show out the info tips as well? (diameter hardness opacity) I am on CS5, so just wondering if its a CS6 feature only?

  • user image

    Sweet results Aaron! I just did a fire shoot where we burned the models dress. I’ll have to keep these editing techniques in mind for the next one! I also like the warm and cool tones…it has that cinema feel to it.