Come behind the scenes of "Mini-me"!

Get photoshop nerdy with me!

During Don Giannatti’s Lighting Essentials “Summer School” series in August (2019), I am represented with a (rather nerdy) article with a BTS of sorts for one of my images in my Mini-Me series. A link to the article on Lighting Essentials is here. Below is the article as well.

mini-me_dragon.jpg

How I create Mini-Me images

The start is usually simply an image or idea that forms in my twisted brain. I should really sketch my ideas, but I never do. I do these totally alone and I don’t have a green screen. Shooting in full sun is never optimal, but I like the natural and contrasty look in the final image.

Background Frame

In preparing the scene, I find a vantage point, where I can shoot as straight on as possible. Or I will shoot at a very slight angle. In this shot, I am on the ground shooting at a very slight downward angle. I usually use a 100mm lens on a full-frame camera.

horizon.jpg

In composing the scene, camera angle, depth of focus, etc. I imagine how big Mini-me will be in the scene. I ensure that the depth of focus is deep enough that I can composite Mini-me selfie into the image and have it look natural. Mini-me will be totally in focus.

I check the “Virtual Horizon” in Live View and make a mental note of the position. I will use the same angle when shooting my selfie.

Then I shoot my background frame. In this case I assembled some small rocks in the grass, and had Bob (our bearded dragon) sit on the rocks. I knew Mini-me would be standing in front of Bob and to one side or the other. I positioned Bob in various ways, and used a remote shutter release (cheap Yongnuo triggers) so I didn’t have to be far from him.

Selfie Frame

The hardest part for me to do, is the selfie frame. I hate being in front of the camera…I have a hard time looking natural…and I can’t see how my poses are until I look at the back of the camera. So it takes many, many frames.

I compose my shot so my entire body in frame. I ensure the camera angle is the same as for the Background Frame (referring to my mental image of the Virtual Horizon). My lens is now 50mm so I can get in closer and maintain a good depth of field. Depth of focus should be such that I am entirely in focus. I make sure that my camera is at the same angle to the light as it was in the Background Frame. Often, I will simply stand in the same place as I shot the Background image and move the camera back a bit.

I use a remote shutter release and just move around and shoot. I stop occasionally to check focus and to check that my entire body is in frame. I shoot various hand, arm and head positions so I can composite alternative body parts if needed. I know that I can move my arm slightly in post if I don’t get the perfect angle. I have the background scene and story in my mind - and variations - as I am shooting the selfies.

Compositing

comp_parts.jpg

In my raw converter, I go through and find the images that I think will work together and do my raw editing on those. I usually end up with the background I want and several versions of Mini-me. Then I export them as a PSD (you can also use TIFF, if you prefer).

Once in Photoshop, I do a quick-n-dirty selection of Mini-me images and place them in the background image just to see what works. When I have the Mini-me (and any body parts) that I want to use, I go about extracting. I use various methods for extracting but I won’t get into how to extract in this tutorial.

Once I have my properly extracted Mini-me, it is important to place it “on the ground”. That can be difficult when the ground is grass, so you can’t actually see the surface. I usually place the image, move it around then take a break from the image, look at it again, adjust, take a break, rinse and repeat. Leaving the image occasionally can help you see when things just don’t look right.

Now that Mini-me is in place, it’s time to make it look like it belongs in the image. The first thing I did with this image was to have some of the foreground, like grass and flowers, to appear in front of Mini-me. I do this by putting Mini-me layers in a folder, and masking on the folder to reveal the foreground. This can be very time-consuming. I wanted some, but not all, of the grass. I needed to get the edges perfect, or it would not look natural. I do this with a tiny brush and sometimes zoomed in at pixel level.

foreground.jpg

Then I needed to add a shadow. I study the original selfie image to understand the angle of the shadow. There is a multitude of methods of creating shadows, and creating them would be a tutorial in itself. I am not great creating them. I simply try to match the shadows already present in the image. I study the actual shadows and then try various ways of getting the same brightness, color and tones. Blending modes and layer opacity are usually a big part in the process.

shadow.jpg

Finalizing the image

C1-coloring.png

When the image is finished, I don’t flatten it. There is always something that ends up catching my eye. I can round-trip to Photoshop, edit, and the edits are reflected in Capture One. This is also possible in Lightroom.

Color-grading is an additional way of helping to make the image appear more like one image and not a composite. I will sometimes do this in Photoshop, but often I will do the color in Capture One. I prefer my base image (my finished composited PSD) to be ‘natural’ in the color, contrast, etc. In Capture One, I can use layers to do color grading with the Color Editor or I sometimes start with a preset. I can create several “Variants” (same as “Virtual Copy” in Lightroom) with different styles or looks. At the very end, I will often add a tiny bit of grain. 

Then I crop and export as needed! 

Åh, disse minder...

Du kender det nok godt. Ungerne bygger, maler, klipper, klistrer fra børnehavetiden og hele vejen igennem de mindste klasser. En endeløs strøm af ting lavet af gamle flasker, trylledej, æggebakker, sten og papmaché. Og der står de pænt på reolen, i chatollet eller på skrivebordet…i hvert fald i et stykke tid. Så bliver de, med lidt vemod, nænsomt pakket ned, og man ser på dem nok ikke mere.

Eller hvad med den kludedukke fra fra da du var barn, som du har gemt alle disse år. Pakket væk for ikke at blive støvet og ødelagt.

Den der gamle GameBoy fra din ældste? Den er retro-cool nu!

Bedstefars gamle bog fra sin studietid er faktisk ret flot…med patina og det hele.

Dine skatte, børnenes ‘kunst’ og andre ting, der bringer minder og smilet frem - pakket væk for at de ikke bliver støvet, skadet, bleget af sollys eller ødelagt.

Bare man kunne få daglig glæde af dem på en eller anden måde!

Det er her, hvor JEG kommer ind i billedet - bogstavelig talt.

Lad mig fotografere de skattede genstande og lave unik kunst til væggen til jer. Plakater, prints til indramning, canvas prints…

Jeg fotograferer tingene i den samme kvalitet, som når jeg fotograferer produkter til reklame. Fuldt professionel kvalitet med fokus på detaljer, belysning og et rent look. Og selvfølgelig professionel printkvalitet på kvalitetspapir.

Som udgangspunkt fotograferer jeg på hvidt, men der er altid plads til specielle ønsker.

Kontakt mig, hvis du er interesseret, så finder vi ud af noget!

Vælg et print i 30 x 40 på kvalitetspapir og print med lang holdbarhed.


How I created a 'winning edit' in Capture One

I follow AlexOnRaw and admire his work and his the work he has put into teaching people how to use the raw converter, Capture One. He also has some great Capture One styles and presets that I can recommend. I moved to Capture One from Lightroom more than a year ago, and haven’t looked back. I have become pretty proficient in using Capture One and really appreciate the speed, stable tethering and excellent color editing possibilities.

Anyhow, Alex had posted his monthly challenge on his blog: Editing an image using only Capture One.

The first prize was some very cool and useful presets from The Image Alchemist and Phase One sponsored a very nice jacket! That’s me on the right in my new Phase One jacket! ;)

Voting is usually open for anyone. But for the February Challenge there was a panel of three very competent photographers, all of whom are guest photographers for Phase One’s, Capture One blog:

Paul Steunebrink
Cameron Davidson
Alexander Svet

I like a good challenge, so I downloaded the raw image and had a go at it!

IMG_2548.jpg

Unedited image. (click to enlarge)

The raw image…

The unedited, raw image for the challenge was supplied by Alex Svet and can be seen here to the left. This is not my image. If you would like to follow along in Capture One, you can download the EIP file that I (and the other winners) supplied. The EIP files contain the Capture One edits including the layers.

You can also access just a copy of just the raw image here if you would like to try your own editing. 

The first thing I did was to simply look at the image. What stood out to me first? (aside from the fact that the model has a killer body!). I noticed the lines and angles, the rough texture of the wall against the smooth texture of the model’s skin as well as the contrast of light. These are very dominant. So I decided that I wanted the textures, contrast and lines to be emphasised. The best way to do that would be to create a black’n’white image.

I also noted that the image is leaning slightly to the left.

Before I start the actual editing process, I usually play around with adjustments and sliders, seeing which colors there are, seeing if any of the details are lost in the highlights or shadows.

That gives me an idea of what I need to keep in mind and what I have to work with. There was detail in the shadows and only a tiny bit of detail lost in the highligt on the model’s left hand (the one that is raised).

Now, editing isn’t a linear process. By that I mean that I don’t go step-by-step and adjust exposure, then contrast, then color, etc. I go back and forth to adjustments. More often than not, making one adjustment means going back and correcting previous adjustments. Or maybe I change my mind. Or I get new ideas. Therefore, this will be an overview of the final adjustments that I made on the image…not the winding road that I followed to get to them. It is also worth noting that I only used a fraction of Capture One’s “super powers”.

Before I start a b/w image, I usually start by editing the image in color. Because I want to bring out textures, I edited the image to be extra contrasty. I know that I will be readjusting them, but this is just a starting point.

In this instance, pretty much everything ended up not being changed that much. Most of the contrast was actually achieved in the b/w conversion.

Black & White conversion

In the Black & White menu, you can see that I have pushed and pulled all of the sliders to see which colors effect the image the most.

It turns out there were only Reds and Yellows in the image.

I thought there might have been some Blues or Cyans from what appears to be window lights. You can often get blue’ish colors from windows due to the sky outside.

I adjusted the Reds and Yellows to increase the contrast and help bring out textures. I over did it slightly, as I knew that I would be editing the models skin separately on an adjustment layer

That is basically all I did for the ‘base’ adjustments. Then I added layers to adjust individual parts of the image. Keep in mind, that as I use adjustment layers, I will also often go back to the Background layer and other layers and tweak things. I will therefor simply explain the reason for the layers starting from the bottom layer.

This shows the graduated mask that I added to darken the shadow.

Layer: “dark clothes”

When I added contrast, I lost detail in the model’s clothes and hair. But I knew the detail was there and that I could bring them back separately on a layer. I adjusted Exposure, Shadow recovery and Curves and brushed the adjustment on her clothes and some of her hair.

Layer: “skin highlights”

This is very subtle. A slight curves adjustment has been brushed on to some of the skin highlights on the model to enhance and smooth them out. I used “Luma Range” to keep the adjustment within the highlights.

Layer: “grad left”

I wanted to darken the shadows in the upper left-hand corner to resemble the dark shadow at the bottom right. I pulled a gradient down the corner and erased the grad from the models head and arm.

This shows the mask (in pink) around the model in order to keep my edits to the wall off of the model

Layer: “texture”

The wall needed more texture (can’t have too much texture!), so I punched up the clarity. But I didn’t want more texture on the model’s skin. I meticulously masked out the model and the podium. Refine mask was a great help, but I did need to zoom in and use a very small brush in some places. Luma Range is no help here, because the tones of the wall and skin are very similar.

Layer: “Repair Layer 1”

I softened the hole between her face and hand using the Healing tool. For consistency, I didn’t want to remove it totally, but to simply tone it down a bit using the Opacity slider.

Layer: “Repair Layer 2”

When I was as finished as I felt I could be with the image, I corrected the crooked lines. I used Keystone and Rotation. Because I was almost loosing her feet, I ticked the “Crop Outside Image” box in Crop. This meant that there would be some transparent areas near the bottom of the image. Using the Clone tool, I ‘added pixels’ to the transparent areas, trying to be careful not to create too much ‘pattern repetition’ (looking at the image now, I see that I wasn’t totally successful - sigh).


Finally, I added a light vignette.

So that was an explanation of how I ended up with ‘The Winning Edit’. Below is a Before/After of my the edits that I made.

In the announcement of winners, I received the comment, “Tammy's image was the only editing which each of jurors picked as the favorite and this obviously brings Tammy the first prize!

Yay, me!

If you have any questions or want to know anything about Capture One you can write me using the contact form or add a comment below. I also highly recommend checking out the Capture One Learning Hub as well as Alex’s and Paul’s websites for excellent in-depth information on Capture One. 


All 80 submitted images can be seen here.

 
 

Husk profilbilleder, når I alligevel er samlet

Interne konferencer, årlige town-hall møder, møder hvor der er mange fra firmaet til stede. For en sjælden gangs skyld har man samlet det meste af firmaet eller måske bare hele ledelsen. Det er det perfekte tidpunkt til at få opdateret alle profilbillederne til firmaets billedbibliotek, intranet, præsentationer eller LinkedIn.

Nu hvor I er samlet, skal jeg så ikke møde op hos jer eller på konferencestedet for at lave gode headshots?

Copy of handsome-man

Det kraver selvfølgelig en hvis forberedelse, så jeg skal gerne have så god tid, som muligt til at være klar til dagen.

Forberedende besøg på lokationen

Jeg besøger helst stedet på forhånd, for at jeg kan danne mig et overblik over stedet. Jeg vil forsøge at undgå overraskelser mht. adgangsforhold, pladsforhold og strømudtag for bare at nævne et par ting.

Kontaktperson, også på lokationen

Udover at have en kontaktperson hos kunden er det også vigtigt, at jeg har en kontakt på lokationen (f.eks. på hotellet eller konferencecentret), som jeg kan henvende mig til før og under opgaven. Man ved aldrig, hvad der kan dukke op af udfordringer, der ikke kan klares af fotografen alene.

Forberedelse af opsætning(er) til lokationen

Når jeg ved, hvilke muligheder jeg har for opsætning på lokationen, er det vigtigt at sikre, at jeg har ALT, hvad jeg skal bruge af grej. Fra kamera og lysstativer til stole og forlængerledninger. 

Navneliste på deltagerne

Når der er mange personer og meget lidt tid per person, er det vigtigt for mig, at jeg på forhånd har fået en liste med deltagernavne. Med listen kan jeg forberede mit billedsoftware til dagen. Det betyder både, at jeg nemmere kan holde styr på, hvem jeg har fotograferet, og at jeg kan levere billederne med navne i stedet for tilfældige filnumre.

set-up.jpg

Eksempel på et

 lokation Setup

 

Grej og backup grej

Jeg forsøger så vidt muligt at have en backupplan for næsten alt. Jeg kan ikke gardere mig mod alt, men jeg sikrer mig så godt, jeg kan.

Lille pladsbehov

Min opsætning kan begrænses til at fylde et forholdsvis lille område. Som det kan ses på billedet her, kan jeg lave gode headshots på hvid baggrund i et forholdsvis lille lokale eller område.

Anlæg, Byggeprojekter og mere

Har du et bygge- eller andet anlægsprojekt, der skal dokumenteres?

Disse billeder var lavet til Brøndum A/S til bl.a reference blade, brochurer, osv. Kontakt mig for fotografering af større og mindre anlægs- og byggeprojekter. Skarpe, klare billeder i højt opløsning til reference blade, dokumentation, brochure, osv.

Profilbillede. Er du tilfreds med dit?

Tammy Bøgestrand

Fotograf

Du har garanteret mindst ét profilbillede.

Der er et profilbillede på din LinkedIn eller Facebook profil, din ERFA gruppe, din lokale klub, din hjemmeside eller nogle af de mange andre steder, hvor dit ansigt pryder indgangen til din profil.

Men er det et billede, der viser dig fra din bedste side? Eller er det bare et mere eller mindre tilfældigt foto? Gyser du en lille smule indeni, når du ser billedet?

Hvis du kan nikke genkendende til et af disse scenarier, er jeg den, der kan hjælpe dig.

 

 

Du undskylder måske dit billede med en kommentar som:

Det blev taget inden min første kop kaffe!

 

 

 

Dit billede er taget ude på badeværelset med din telefons “selfie-kamera”.

Det er vidvinkelkameraet på forsiden af telefonen, der fremhæver næsen, kinderne og tandsættet.

Og - oops - glemte du lige at tjekke baggrunden?

 

Måske er det det billede, en af dine venner tog af dig til sidste års nytårsfest.

"Jamen, der er bare ikke mange billeder af mig. Jeg hader at blive fotograferet!"

 

Klippede et billede af dig selv ud af et screenshot af et gruppefoto?

"Jeg ser da nogenlunde naturlig ud. Og det var en sjov dag!

Hvis ikke du vil gøre det for dig selv, så gør det for dine venner - og specielt for dem, der endnu ikke kender dig! Synes du ikke, at de fortjener at se et flot profilbillede af dig?

Det er derfor, jeg er her. Jeg elsker at få det bedste ud af folk. Alle kan se godt ud på billeder. Også dig!!

Nogle headshots, som jeg har taget for Roche Innovation Center Copenhagen.

En professionel fotosession hos mig betyder, at jeg sørger for, at du ser godt ud, i skarp fokus og velbelyst. Et headshot (hoved og skuldre) hos mig koster kr. 1.000 inkl. moms og inkluderer:

  • 30-45 minutter fotografering og udvælgelse,
  • To profilfotos redigeret (og lettere retoucheret, om nødvendigt) i højt opløsning, samt i et format som passer til LinkedIn (kvadratisk på 500 px)
  • Billederne leveres digitalt
  • I løbet af din session bør der være tid til et hurtigt "tøjskift", så du evt. kan få to billeder i lidt forskellig stil. Evt. et udendørs foto lidt udenfor studiet.

Ekstra fotos eller prints kan tilkøbes.

Kontakt mig for en uforpligtende samtale, om hvad DU har brug for. Jeg glæder mig, til at høre fra dig!