Available also in Video: Improve Photography Podcast Episode 162
Questions of the Week:
- Are there any Linux/Ubuntu photographers out there? Any good resources/tutorials for Darktable (edit) or Rawtherapee?
- Kathy Page – How do I know what settings to choose when using a manual flash?
- Anthony Fuccella – Best audio options for recording an interview at a swim meet?
Jim: Is the DJI Phantom a suitable pro photography tool?
- Jim hasn’t loved the image quality from the DJI phantom at all and is considering returning it and getting the DJI Inspire 1 instead.
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Jeff: Hobbyist/beginner tip: Faking a studio
- Recently heard feedback on the Improve Photography Facebook group that the listeners want to hear a lot more perspective from a hobbyist/beginner that doesn’t have all the fancy gear.
- Recently had a shoot go south. Girls hired me to shoot their sweethearts dance group. Apparently the “in” thing to do now here in Utah. Supposed to meet at a lake here an hour before sunset, girls weren’t ready until after sunset. Really cold. Had to improvise.
- Gear needed (not pro gear, just enough)
- 1,2, or 3 off camera flashes (depending on the size of the group). YN560-III ($65) are great. Get a little fancier, saves time so you don’t have to walk over to flashes, get the YN560-TX ($40)
- silver umbrella ($10-$15 a piece)
- light stands ($30 for 2)
- flash & umbrella holder for top of light stand ($5 a piece)
- white background – muslin ($40)
- Can do more of course, but total cost: $345 (pays for itself after 1 or 2 shoots)
- Put the two silver umbrellas with the flashes on both sides of the group, 1 flash in back of the group pointing at the white background. I had all the flashes at full power. Pose the people take the shot.
- Import the photos in Lightroom and make all the adjustments you want to the people, don’t worry about the background
- Command-E/Ctrl-E to take the photo over to Ps
- Duplicate the background so you can get back to the original if needed
- Do spot healing on skin
- Use the quick selection to to select the person off of the background – very easy to do if the flash in the back of the group highlights the edges of the person
- Use refine edge with the quick selection tool around the hair or anywhere an edge looks too sharp. Needs to sort of melt into the background
- Make a mask of the selection, the background will disappear
- Bring in a digital background (found several for free online) as a new layer. Size it to fill the background. Add some Guassian blur to that layer if it is too detailed and distracting.
- Touch up the masking by painting black or white on the mask where it doesn’t look good.
- Save as photoshop file rather than just hitting the “x” in the corner of the tab so that you can make more adjustments using the layers you have created. Close the tab and the .psd will show up in Lightroom and you can even do more edits.
Doodads of the Week!