Although this shot isn’t an accurate representation of a backlit portrait with OCF, I just wanted to show you how I set it up.
This excellent post from Christine Neutgens (see the above photo) details how she took that portrait using OCF. I participated in a unique experience recently in the tropical conservatory at the Butterfly Pavilion, Westminster, CO. I set my camera exposure for the available lighting, but used a Canon ring flash for fill light. If you’re in the Denver area, the Butterfly Pavilion is a must-see attraction for the whole family. One of the most popular tasks in photoshop is removing something from its background, extracting, masking, floating, whatever you choose to call it. If you move the opacity slider, you can choose a balance between the original image and the current selection. Check on the black and white mask (K key) to make sure you haven’t left any bits out.
Choose a radius and see if it helps clean up the selection, Test it against Black (A key) and white (T key) and see if it looks good. If you are working with fine detail like hair, you will probably see that fringing around the edges, you know, when it’s too light or dark. Choose your output method, New Layer with Layer Mask is my favorite (because you can continue to work in the mask later, if you desire). Smooth: This reduces the ragged edges and smooths them out, just like rubbing sandpaper over rough wood to create a smooth finish. Contrast: This will cause semi-transparent areas to be forced to a solid opaque or transparent. All the Adobe information and more is available as a PDF magazine called the CS6 Superguide. Colin SmithColin Smith is founder of the #1 PhotoshopCAFE online community which has received over 30 million visitors. I am Colin, something strange is going on, just had to reboot to get the transparency slider to work, even quitting PS and reloading the image made no difference although the icon image of the view selector was working. Seems to be working fine for initial selections, but using it to refine a mask is hit and miss, often introducing a lot of bleed from the eliminated background. PhotoshopCAFE LISTAdobe Photoshop Tips, tricks, discounts and announcement from PhotoshopCAFE.
Popular Posts Drawing Paths with the Pen tool in Photoshop Tutorial Lightroom crash course. To the point, you're busy and need to learn FAST, so we don't ramble, you watch, you learn! With the heat of August, I thought that nothing will beat making a small beach set photo in the chill studio.
The key light is positioned to the left of the frame, slightly behind the main subject and is quite hard.
In this case the main light is simulating the sun, so it makes sense for it to very hard shadows. With only the key light the shadows are so dark that you lose quite a bit of details of the shadowed areas.


Aside the slide, I also placed a blue gel inside the slide mount to make the projected image have a stronger color.
I did a small modification to the white balance when I imported the RAW (to make it a bit warmer), and gave it a bit more contrast and saturation.
To see more of his work please visit his studio website blurMEDIAphotography, or follow him on Twitter, 500px, Google Plus or YouTube.
Stefan Kohler is a conceptual photographer, specialized in mixing science, technology and photography.
When he isn't waking up at 4am to take photos of nature, he stays awake until 4am taking photos of the night skies or time lapses.
Today in my shooting backlit series, I’m talking about using flash in your backlit photography.
Like with all photography, I’m sure there are plenty of rules out there for metering, measuring and otherwise sucking the fun out of the experimentation. I am at the point in my photography where I really want to learn OCF and take my my work to the net level.
With tripods and cameras in hand, we photographers were allowed access to the tropical rainforest one hour before the doors opened to the public. The ring flash allowed me to get in close with my 100mm macro and it provided the right intensity of flash without producing harsh shadows.
Up until now,  the quick select brush and refine edge have been the tools of choice for most of the work. This tool allows you to quickly make selections based on similar colors and textures as well as detecting the edges of objects.
The more you refine the selection, the smarter it gets and the whole edge begins to look better.
This is good for when there is a halo around the edge, you can choke (or shrink) the mask to bypass those edges. In this product shot, I am going to use three lights to simulate outdoor sunlight for a small scale product octopus attack shot. Given this similarity I decided to make a light hearted photo using an action figure I own.
The reason for positioning the strobe on the left side is to help bring out the 3d nature of the model.
In the first photograph it was a bit too close to the scene and casted a small shadow (see bottom left) obstructing the key light. But  it’s so very important that you master the rules before you break them so that you can break them successfully. It gives a major deer-caught-in-headlights look, sucks the ambiance right out of a room and causes mega disgusting shadows. The left shot was beautifully backlit and could have benefitted greatly from a little reflected light instead of pop-up flash.
Most obvious are studio lights and although you can get battery packs for your strobes {very heavy, very expensive}, you can also use your Speedlite off camera if you have a couple small accessories. The 7,200 square-foot tropical rainforest conservatory was filled with over a thousand free-flying tropical butterflies.
You can begin with the Quick Select brush, like you always have, or, you can start in Select and Mask, by choosing a selection tool and clicking Select and Mask from the tool options bar.


I say, was, because now, all you need to do it click on Decontaminate Colors (It’s actually works on more than just green screen spill now).
BTW, I’m very interested in learning how to make the skin effect like the one from the model of this tutorial.
The light is almost perfectly aligned on axis with the lens and it provides a very soft light.
Sadly, in this photograph, adding the panel did very little to light the subject and the difference is almost unnoticeable.
As far as the action figure goes, I made her skin pink, increased contrast on the eyes, and removed the joints in the legs. I am constantly turning the power up and down and where I shoot often with a lens like a 50mm and I like tight shots, I’m usually pretty close to my subjects which means a flash at full power would blast them to pieces. The less-than-sunny weather turned out to be advantageous: the overcast sky created a giant soft box that produced even lighting and the previously rainy conditions had a calming effect on the awakening butterflies, and created an ideal portrait session with the little invertebrates.
Only use this if you need to and if you do, keep the amount low, or it will look very fake. When I see a photo taken with pop-up flash, it immediately reminds me that there was a photographer present in the equation. This is a post I wrote with instructions for how to make this work with a 430ex and Canon 7D. He’s been featured in almost every major imaging magazine, and is in high demand as a speaker at major industry events including Flash Forward and WPPI .
I believe that good photography puts the viewer and the subject together -it builds their connection- and leaves the photographer out of the mix. A trick to this is that you may need to make sure that your flash unit is slightly infront of your shooting position because it needs to be able to see the pop-up flash in order to work.
A drawback from using your speedlite on-camera is that you can see the tell-tale flecks in the eyes.
If you have a camera that doesn’t have a pop-up flash, you can either have one Speedlite on-camera pointing to the Speedlite off camera or you can buy a radio trigger or transmitter. However, if I’d thought about it more carefully beforehand I would have spent slightly more and just bought a second Speedlite and used it as described above.
It’s your camera equipment making an appearance in your photos which can take the wonder out of it for the viewer. When using off-camera, you can either leave the flash unit bare or add an umbrella or softbox. However, most non-photography-obsessed viewers won’t think twice about it but I notice it every time.
Umbrellas are pretty easy to travel with, but it took me a while to locate a truly portable and effective Speedlite softbox.
This is my fave and I even use it in my small studio setups for schools so I can shoot wirelessly.



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