Behind the Scenes: Spriggan Mist Band Photo Shoot & Retouch

Written by: Glyn Dewis

Published: December 19, 2012

Category: General

Hey Everyone,

Hope all is good with you.

Today I’ve put together a walk through of the photo shoot I had with UK Band, Spriggan Mist plus an overview of the retouching that was involved.

I’ll be recording a couple of video tutorials showing some of the Photoshop techniques soon, but as for showing every step involved, that’ll be appearing in a future issue of Practical Photoshop magazine.

On Location
Ok as for the initial brief, the final picture was to have an overall feel of being dark and atmospheric with the feel of being from an era when Highwayman were around.

Weather in the UK this past year has seen its fair share of rain, rain and a bit more rain but strangely on the day of the shoot we ended up with bright sunshine.

Knowing the the final image was going to be made to look like it was shot at night ideally I would have preferred to have some powerful outdoor location lighting such as an Elinchrom Ranger. However the only light available to me at the time was the less powerful Quadra; a great piece of kit but not powerful enough to overpower the sun on a day like it was.

The option of shooting later in the day wasn’t an option so…as the sun was certainly beating down us on, the band were positioned with it behind and to one side in such a way as it would behave like adding in a rim light. The Quadra, with two heads, was then used to light the subjects…without even attempting to darken down the background as that was something that could be done later in post production.

As well as looking to see how the light from the Quadra was hitting the members of the band, one thing I was making sure of was that there was still detail in the shadows. I was doing this using the histogram in my D800 and the reason was that later, during the retouching, I knew I’d be enhancing detail in those areas and if I’d let them go completely black then there would have been no detail to bring out.

Here’s a wide version of the shot that was actually used where you can see how the lights were positioned and from which direction the sunlight was coming in:

As for the retouching, here’s a look through some of the stages the out of camera shot went through to end up with the final image:

I’ll keep you posted as to when the full tutorial is out and also the couple of videos I’ll record too.

For me this whole shoot was another prime example of why I love using Photoshop as having a good idea of what can be done in post later can really help out at a shoot and certainly relieve any stresses.

Of course, as is always the case, doing the best you can do with what you have at the time is essential, and then once you have a good starting point Photoshop comes into a world of it’s own with how you can create the final look.

Ok that’s all from me for today so as always if you have any questions or comments then please feel to make use of the comments section below, but in the mean time have a good one and I’ll catch you back here tomorrow,


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