Are you bored shooting on the same background? Here’s how to create a unique look using a combination of posing, lighting, a BLOWiT fan and a special pegboard as a background. Let’s Start with the Background The background is nothing more than a 4’ x 8’ brown pegboard from Lowe's. You can pick it up for about $15. I decided to paint it flat black after the shoot to compliment the blue gel I planned on using. Knowing now that I love the blue background, I'm considering painting it blue. BLOWiT Fan To give Sydney a windblown look and add … [Read more...] about Using a Pegboard to Shoot Creative Portraits
Currently he is teaching workshops, writing for Photofocus and creating tutorials for various plug-in companies and for the Vanelli and Friends series.
You can find out more about Vanelli at www.VanelliandFriends.com
After a long couple of days of teaching at Photoshop World, my good friends Ray and Kim insisted I join them for dinner and a quick shoot. Exhausted, I tried every excuse not to go but they are the type of friends you can't say no to—and I'm glad I didn't. Here's what went through my mind when we created the Sports Grit Look using a cross-light setup with continuous light. Not My Normal Lighting Gear Normally I use a 3-light setup using studio strobes or speedlights attached to strip boxes and a beauty dish. For this setup, I had one … [Read more...] about No Excuses! Making Photos No Matter What
A workflow needs to be creative and efficient. The creative part most photographers do very well, however, it’s the efficient part I see my colleagues struggle with. To help shed light on how to develop a workflow, I created the “Complete Portrait Workflow” as an example. This workflow can be used with ANY image editing software that incorporates the use of Layers. I chose to use Skylum’s Luminar for three main reasons. Here’s why. Reason 1: Intuitive Layers Photoshop is amazing at many things, but being intuitive isn’t one of them. It takes … [Read more...] about A Complete Portrait Workflow
Replacing a background of an image can be a challenge. The trick is to find the right background that has similar colors, tones, lighting and looks like it belongs with the main image. Here’s how to use Luminar’s Image Layer to add a night sky to an image. Start with a Killer Image Open your image inside Luminar. Make your usual adjustments Add an Image Layer From the Layers toolbar, click the + icon and select Add New Image Layer. Browse for your image and click Open. The background image will hide the main image. We can add a Layer … [Read more...] about Changing a Background with an Image Overlay in Luminar 2018
https://soundcloud.com/photofocus/infocus-interview-show-june-1-2018-with-lou-freeman/s-L39kn In this episode: Sophisticated Wedding Portrait and Glamour Photographer Lou Freeman shares her insight on portrait photography. Topics: How her commercial and portrait work has influence one another Photographing people, it’s all about finding their essence How to purposefully find specific types of clients How People are attracted by what they see How to build a portfolio The power of printed pictures over digital a … [Read more...] about The InFocus Interview Show with Lou Freeman | Photofocus Podcast June 1, 2018
Part two of this three-part series on Portrait retouching with Luminar showed how to smooth skin, sculpture the face and remove blemishes. Read Part one here. The third part of this series shows how to add the finishing touches to the image. To start, I will apply a preset that adds a combination of four filters: Structure, Details Enhancer, Top and Bottom Lighting, and Vignette. This gives the image a modified version of my sports grit look style. Next, I'll desaturate the image then adjust highlights and shadows to complete the … [Read more...] about Portrait Retouch Part 3 of 3: Adding a Finishing Touch with Luminar 2018
Elizabeth Kite posted in Photoshop and Photography — looking for recommendations. She asked. "Can someone recommend a good digital camera that is reasonably priced??? Under $500." My reply. Wait.. has anyone asked Elizabeth what she needs the camera for (other than automatic exposure and the like?) Imagine if she said she needs a reasonably priced car under $1500.00. If it's a second car for her child, that's reasonable. But if she said she wants it to be a daily drive or– let’s take this to an extreme--she wants to enter it into a race, now … [Read more...] about How to Give Advice on Buying a Camera
https://soundcloud.com/photofocus/infocus-interview-show-may-25-2018-with-scott-kelby In this episode: Photographer and Photoshop Guru Scott Kelby shares his insight on the value of formal education verses self taught. Topics: YouTube as a great resource for reference material How he learned about lighting The value of online education courses: Kelby One, Creative Live, LinkedIn Learning / Lyndia.com and ThinkTapLearn Conferences such as Photoshop World, Shutterfest, WPPI, PPE Hands on workshops and … [Read more...] about The InFocus Interview Show with Scott Kelby | Photofocus Podcast May 25, 2018
Part one of this three-part series on Portrait retouching with Luminar showed how to enhance eyes and facial features. The second part of this series is showing how to smooth skin, sculpture the face and remove blemishes. To smooth a subject’s skin, we are going to add the Orton Effect filter. This filter is unique to Luminar. It applies enhancements to an image that includes glow and focus which produces photos that are sharp and blurry at the same time. Sharp and blurry at the same time? Yup, think of it as the sweet and sour sauce we all … [Read more...] about Portrait Retouch Part 2 of 3: Smoothing Skin, Sculpting the Face and Removing Blemishes
To enhance eyes and facial features, we are going to add Structure, Brightness and Contrast filters to the entire image, then—using a filter mask—selectively apply the effect to just the eyes, eyebrows, nostrils and lips. The Structure filter will add clarity and micro-contrast. The downside: this filter usually darkens the image. To bring back brightness, we will use the Brightness and Contrast filter. Let’s get started! Basic Development Before we tackle enhancing the eyes and facial features, let’s begin processing the image using the … [Read more...] about Portrait Retouch Part 1 of 3: Enhancing Eyes and Facial Features
https://soundcloud.com/photofocus/infocus-interview-show-photofocus-podcast-may-4-2018 In this episode: Photojournalist Rick Friedman talks about how he uses the Rogue Lighting System--along with speedlights--to create a portable lighting studio. He also shares how he uses gels to add a special look to his lighting. Total time 22m:10s starting at 1m:50s In the second half of the show, commercial photographer Eddie Tapp shares his experience with his first drone, tips on how you can get started with drone photography, how to control a … [Read more...] about The InFocus Interview Show | Photofocus Podcast May 4, 2018
In this video, I'll show you the power of using a grid to further modify the light on a softbox. It creates mood and makes it simple to control the light completely. From the course: Improving Your Photography and Portraits with Lighting Modifiers Modifying a softbox with a grid from Improving Your Photography and Portraits with Lighting Modifiers by Robert Vanelli Course transcript So now what we want to do here is modify the light a little bit further to where we're just using a beam of light. And this next shot's going to be a … [Read more...] about How and Why to Use a Grid on a Softbox
Luminar 2018’s masking feature allows you to selectively paint with a brush to control where a filter’s results are shown or hidden. There are two types of masking brushes, Filter and Layer Brushes. Here’s the difference between these two brushes and when to use them in your editing workflow. Layer Brush A Layer Brush applies a mask on all filters that are added to the layer. Use this brush when you want to selectively show or hide the combination of all filters on the layer. This saves time by not having to mask all filters … [Read more...] about Understanding the Difference Between Layer and Filter Brushes in Luminar 2018
From the course: Improving Your Photography and Portraits with Lighting Modifiers Shooting with a beauty dish from Improving Your Photography and Portraits with Lighting Modifiers by Robert Vanelli Course transcript Once we start to really understand light modifiers, we can have a lot of fun with it. For this set here, we have the beautiful Erin, and she's going to play the assassin. To get this shot, if you think about what an assassin is, they're rugged, they're rough. Even though she's beautiful, we want her to have a … [Read more...] about Shooting with a Beauty Dish
https://soundcloud.com/photofocus/the-infocus-interview-show-photofocus-podcast-april-6-2018/s-FwwbO Remember to check out our great sponsors including TruLife acrylic, MPB.com, ThinkTapLearn In this episode: Rick Friedman Photojournalist Rick Friedman talks about: His career that involved photographing every US Presidential campaign since Jimmy Carter How his Photojournalist days influence his portrait sessions. How to nail your exposure. Pitfalls of “Chimping”. Tips to control overshooting How to expose for the … [Read more...] about The InFocus Interview Show | Photofocus Podcast April 6, 2018
From the Course: Improving Your Photography and Portraits with Lighting Modifiers The technical benefits of lighting modifiers from Improving Your Photography and Portraits with Lighting Modifiers by Robert Vanelli Benefits of Using Light Modifiers There are many benefits of using light modifiers. We can take a small light source such as the speedlight and make it large. With the right modifier and positioning of the light, we can shape the light to make a heavier person appear slimmer, or the opposite, add a little volume to a slimmer … [Read more...] about The Technical Benefits of Lighting Modifiers
World Backup Day is set aside as a reminder to backup your files, even if it’s once a year! Unfortunately, most people don’t think to backup their files until they face a hard drive crash--and yes even solid-state drives will eventually fail–or they simply don’t know how. I’ve already made you aware to backup your files, now here’s how. Follow the 3-2-1 Backup Plan The 3-2-1 Backup concept--three copies of your files, two stored on different media and one backup copy offsite--has been around for years. It’s foolproof if you follow the simple … [Read more...] about World Backup Day | March 31, 2018
https://soundcloud.com/photofocus/infocus-interview-show-photofocus-podcast-march-30-2018/s-uuin1 Remember to check out our great sponsors including TruLife acrylic, MPB.com, ThinkTapLearn In this episode: Eddie Tapp I had a chance to sit down with Commercial Photographer Eddie Tapp while he was in Florida giving a lecture to The Camera Club of Brevard Florida. Eddie talks about Learning to see the delicacy of light, The 4 Qualities of light--Spectacular Highlights, Diffused Highlights, Diffused Shadows, and Hard Shadows– and he gives a … [Read more...] about The InFocus Interview Show | Photofocus Podcast March 30, 2018
From the course: Improving Your Photography and Portraits with Lighting Modifiers on LinkedIn Learning What is a softbox? from Improving Your Photography and Portraits with Lighting Modifiers by Robert Vanelli What is a Softbox? A softbox is a term that describes an enclosure that surrounds a light source on all sides and diffuses the light that escapes from it. Now, when you open up or you pull back the diffuser, you'll look inside and you'll notice there's a silver reflector on the inside. What this is going to do, is take harsh light, … [Read more...] about What is a Softbox?
What is a Layer? Layers are a powerful way to “build up” your images. They allow you to add filters--or stack several filters together--to apply corrections or enhancements. Changing blending modes, adding a layer mask and adjusting the overall opacity (revealing or hiding the layer below) will give you the freedom to experiment until you achieve exactly the look you’d like for your image. Base Layer Luminar creates a base layer when an image is first opened. Think of this as the background layer. Since there isn’t a layer beneath it, you … [Read more...] about Tips and Tricks for Using Layers
(Editor's note: The following article is part of a class Photofocus authors will be teaching--sponsored by Skylum, makers of Luminar--at ShutterFest April 3-4, 2018. Each day we will post helpful tips and tricks plus share some of our behind the scenes videos. Be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter or check back here. Remember to also follow Skylum!) Creating a photo series isn’t as complicated as it sounds. Norman Rockwell—an American author, painter, and illustrator—is famous for creating a series of paintings reflecting American … [Read more...] about How to Create a Photo Series: Learn How Live at ShutterFest 2018
Our friends at Skylum--makers of Luminar--are sending Photofocus authors Levi Sim and Vanelli (that’s me) along with portrait photographer/Skylum Educator Abba Shapiro to St. Louis, MO to teach at ShutterFest on April 3 & 4, 2018! The team has put together a fun hands-on shooting station equipped with models and lighting. You bring your camera and we have everything else plus we will show you how to take your images into Luminar for a quick photo edit. I even created a new Sports Grit preset to share with you. If you can’t make it this … [Read more...] about Who’s Going to ShutterFest 2018?
https://soundcloud.com/photofocus/the-infocus-interview-show-photofocus-podcast-march-23-2018 Remember to check out our great sponsors including TruLife acrylic, MPB.com, ThinkTapLearn In this episode: Kevin Ames talks with MPB founder Matt Barker. Kevin and Matt talk about how buyers and sellers of used photo equipment use MPB to purchase and sell their gear and the many benefits of MPB. In the second half of the episode, Vanelli talks with Wedding Photographer Iris Acevedo. They talk about how she kept up with her business while … [Read more...] about The Infocus Interview Show | Photofocus Podcast March 23, 2018
(Vanelli's note: Michèle Grenier, a talented sports photographer based out of Quebec City, Canada, needed 75 hours of mentoring before she could complete her degree in photography. After meeting her at Photoshop World a year earlier, she called to ask me if I could be her mentor—I’m based out of the East Coast of Florida. Honored, I said yes and, when she arrived, we dove into a 13-hour day of learning and shooting. To help reinforce her learning, I asked her to gather her thoughts and write a few “How I Got the Shot:" articles. Here’s what she … [Read more...] about A Lesson I Learned About Seeing Opportunities
(Vanelli's note: Michèle Grenier, a talented sports photographer based out of Quebec City, Canada, needed 75 hours of mentoring before she could complete her degree in photography. After meeting her at Photoshop World a year earlier, she called to ask me if I could be her mentor—I’m based out of the East Coast of Florida. Honored, I said yes and, when she arrived, we dove into a 13-hour day of learning and shooting. To help reinforce her learning, I asked her to gather her thoughts and write a few “How I Got the Shot:" articles. Here’s what she … [Read more...] about How I Got the Shot: My First Studio Portrait Lesson
From the course: Improving Your Photography and Portraits with Lighting Modifiers on LinkedIn Learning What is a lighting modifier? from Improving Your Photography and Portraits with Lighting Modifiers by Robert Vanelli Course transcript A modifier makes partial or minor changes to something. As photographers, we want to add modifiers to our light source to alter and shape the output of light. Light modifiers don't have to be store-bought. Remember, a modifier is anything that alters light. There are many do-it-yourself alternatives. … [Read more...] about What is a Lighting Modifier?
Adobe’s added a new “Select Subject” feature to their newest Photoshop release. They claim the machine learning feature will make basic and time-consuming masking quicker and more accurate than ever before. We’ve heard this before, but this time they hit a home run! Instead of writing about it, I created a video to show you how to use the new Select Subject Tool to quickly extract both a simple and complicated subject to create a composite. As a bonus, I also show how to use the tool in your general … [Read more...] about Photoshop’s New Subject Select Tool…WOW!
From the course: Portrait Photography: Business Portraits on LinkedIn Learning When to use studio strobe lighting from Portrait Photography: Business Portraits by Robert Vanelli Lighting is extremely unpredictable—especially going into a corporate environment. So that's why we decided to shoot with studio strobes. Studio strobes give us the extra power that we could use to light our set. I'd rather go into the environment with too much light and then dialing it down, than going in and not having enough light to get the shot. There are … [Read more...] about When to Use Studio Strobe Lighting
From the course: Portrait Photography: Business Portraits on LinkedIn Learning Shooting on a tripod or off from Portrait Photography: Business Portraits by Robert Vanelli Course transcript Shooting with a tripod has many benefits, especially if you're new to photography. What it does is help you minimize camera shake. Now camera shake is when you take that photo and the eyes look blurry. But you know you're focused right on the eyes, you're at the dead center. But for some reason, it looks too blurry. Usually, that's because you're … [Read more...] about When to Use a Tripod for Portraits
From the course: Portrait Photography: Sports Portraits on LinkedIn Learning Finding the best location from Portrait Photography: Sports Portraits by Robert Vanelli Course transcript Now it's extremely important to find the best location to shoot in—and you have to feel comfortable in that location. Personally, one of my favorite locations is a huge gymnasium. That’s where I can set my lights up in the background, I can have people moving around, and we have so much room in there, I'm not worried about them interfering with my shot. I … [Read more...] about Choosing the Best Locations for Large-Group Portraits