Curry Club: Photo Shoot Walk-Through & Editing

Written by: Glyn Dewis

Published: July 15, 2011

Category: General

Carrying on from Wednesday’s post about the 1st #curryclub studio day I thought I’d follow up with a run through of some of the lighting set ups used and editing in both Lightroom and Photoshop…

Set Up 1:
The first set up was one that I use during my workshop [Link] … a 3 light set up made of of 2 strip lights (2 x Profoto 1000’s) to the side and slightly behind the subject and a Beauty Dish to the front and above. I tend to favour using the honeycomb grid with the Beauty Dish because of the added direction and softness it gives to the light plus the ‘drop’ off is so much more subtle.

When I’m setting up this kind of lighting I’ll always go about it the same way…

First of all I’ll turn on the strip boxes and using the modelling lights will check to see that the light is hitting the model in the right areas. Once positioned correctly I’ll stick some Gaffer Tape to the floor right next to the model/subjects’s feet so they know exactly where to stand and then it’s just a case of how much light I want hitting them; generally I want the light from the strip boxes to be brighter than the light that’s going to be coming out of the Beauty Dish (1 – 2 stops difference is usually the ball park figure I’m aiming for).

Below is the Before (Out of Camera) image of one of our models for the day Elan, along with the After (Final edit) and to give you an idea this took around 15-20 minutes of editing time in Photoshop using the following steps:

  • White Balance check in Lightroom
  • Triple RAW Conversion
  • Enhance Eyes
  • General Clean Up (Dust Spots, Blemishes etc…)
  • Skin Contrast using a Luminosity Mask
  • Dodging & Burning
  • Dodging & Burning (Cheat Technique)
  • Add Skin Texture
  • Increase Contrast using Unsharp Mask Filter
  • Cut Out & Add in new background

For the picture of Loula, the lighting set up was exactly the same as that above but following the initial edit, it then took on a completely different direction…

  • White Balance check in Lightroom
  • Triple RAW Conversion
  • General Clean Up (Dust Spots, Blemishes etc…)
  • Enhance Eyes
  • Skin Contrast using a Luminosity Mask
  • Smooth Skin (more than normal) using High Pass Filter
  • Skin Tone/Colouring using 3 x Colour Balance Adjustment Layers
  • Add in new background including light in top left
  • Add fake smoke/mist
Once at this stage it was then a case of experimenting by adding a few texture layers and playing around with Blend Modes, finally finishing off by adding a Colour Balance Adjustment Layer for the overall tone/colour…

Set Up 2:
Real simple this one…

One large softbox positioned to the front of Elan but roughly in the 2 o’clock position if we take his nose as being at 12 o’clock … does that make sense? As you can see from the lighting diagram I did have another large softbox positioned behind Elan to add just a little bit of separation for the shots when I went for a much darker background.

With regards to editing time we’re talking just a couple minutes on each of the images in this series, with most of that time being spent in Lightroom…

  • White Balance Check
  • Double RAW Conversion
  • Tidy Up (Dust Spots etc…)
  • Skin Contrast using Luminosity Mask
  • Increase overall contrast using Unsharp Mask Filter
  • Desaturation layer
  • Sharpening

Set Up 3:
The 3rd and final set up made us of just the one light which in this case was a Profoto 1000 and Medium Octa…

Again editing was quick and simple with the following steps…

  • White Balance Check
  • Double RAW Conversion
  • Tidy Up (Dust Spots etc…)
  • Skin Contrast using Luminosity Mask
  • Skin Softening using High Pass Filter (Far right image only)
  • Increase overall contrast using Unsharp Mask Filter
  • Desaturation layer
  • Sharpening
For the picture of Elan and Rhianne together on the far right, the background was originally grey as in the full length shot but I found this quite distracting so opted to burn it down to black …

So there you have it…3 simple lighting set ups and a run through of the editing involved. As always if you have any questions/comments then please feel free to make use of the comments section below. Also if there’s any particular part of the editing you’d like covered, then again just shout it out in the comments section; if it’s not a technique that I’ve got on my YouTube Page [Link] I’ll look at recording a video run through of it in the near future.

Right, must dash so have a great weekend and I’ll catch you back here in a few days when I’ll be kicking off with a review and a competition for your chance to win an incredible new book by Alan Hess [Link].

Enjoy 🙂

•     •     •

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7 Comments

  1. Konfral

    I’m devastated to see the hand-drawn, organic lighting diagrams, replaced by some soulless app-generated ones 😉

    Reply
    • Glyn

      lol…I’ll make a point of dropping in the occasional ‘hand drawn’ one just for you at some point 😉

      Reply
  2. Jim_T

    Cheers Glyn! Quick question.. what is this double and triple RAW conversion of which you speak? Is it worth doing when your camera can only produce a jpeg? Thanks for your tutorials!

    Reply
    • Glyn

      Hi Jim. Yeah the double and triple RAW conversions are great for getting details and can be done with a jpeg; have you downloaded and installed Russell Brown’s script for CS5 to enable you to take an layer back into Camera RAW at all? If not, let me know and I’ll post the link.

      Cheers,
      Glyn

      Reply
  3. ANTONIO BIGGIO

    Hello Glyn, i’ve the Russel’s script, but i also use to edit my photo with the smart objet from lightroom to Ps. I’m interesting to know what is your tecnique for merge the different exposure: you use the brush, gradient or luminosity mask?.

    Thank you

    Antonio

    Reply
  4. DaveT

    As usual, comprehensive, informative, and packed full of tips – thank you Glyn.

    As for future techniques, I’d really like to see you cover more on the ‘cutting out’ feature combined with refine edges feature of CS5 – I’m struggling with it and must be doing something wrong. Your cut out has worked really well around Elan’s hair.

    Reply
  5. Cary

    Please post more information on the double and triple RAW conversions. I’m going to go in search of Russell Brown’s script.

    Reply

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