howto_MG_1861-Edit

A few people asked about this shot, so I thought I'd add the unretouched/out of the camera shot and a quick snap of the layers used.

  • Jason Fung 5y

    I did a few things in this shot to reach the final effect:

    I'll try to simplify the explanation as best as I can!

    The key to dramatic images is a compressed dynamic range, similar to an hdr. Natural images are usually vivid and bright. When we compress the overall dynamic range of the image by bring the highlights and shadows closer together, the general mood of the shot changes. We complement that by also toning the overall image so that the color range of the image is also narrower. When you add any other elements to the image, those elements must fit in that tonal range so that the viewer believes that it is part of the image.

    I use curves and selective color frequently, as these give me maximum control over the tonal and color range. I don't use plug-ins much because I approach each shot a bit differently. Plug-ins and templates are great for volume work, but doing it manually allows you to develop your own sense of style.

    On Location

    a) Lighting

    I wanted the sky a bit darker so I could recover a decent amount of detail in post, so I lit the shot at f/13. I think the meter came back with f9 or so if I wanted enough natural light on the subject, but that would've blown the sky out, so f13 it was. The Quadras then came out to light the subject to balance it out.

    Photoshop Post-Processing

    a) Hue/Sat - Overall Desaturation

    I took a bit of color out of the entire shot first

    b) Ground and Sky

    The sky was masked out and then a curve was applied to bring out the hidden detail. The basic goal is to tweak the curve so that the highlights get a bump upwards and the shadows get a nudge downwards. Then a selective color was applied to keep the overall colors of the image balanced.

    The grass needed a bit of special handling because it has yellow tones, but so does skin. So the grass was masked out without including the sky or subject. Then a desaturation was applied and a selective color.

    c) Model

    The subject was masked out and given its own curve adjustment. Subsequent desaturation and selective color was applied. The subject had to be handled this way because if I treated them using the same adjustment layers as the ground/sky, it would be unnatural because by the time enough yellow was removed from the grass, the subject would almost be b&w!

    d) Birds

    Birds were brought into the shot in post, using a combination of blending layers to remove the background and a quick touch up using a layer mask. Quick desat and selective color to bring them into context.

    e) Final

    Some skin softening/watermarking is done, and the shot is ready to go!
  • Jason Fung 5y

    _MG_1861-Edit-2 by jayphotoworks


    This was the after shot!
  • ★WaiWai★ 5y

    great job dude
  • Severin Sadjina 5y

    Fantastic, thanks so much for sharing. Highly appreciated!
  • James Hays 5y

    thanks for posting this!
  • http://www.junmadayagphotography.smugmug.com 5y

    thanks for sharing!
  • Z E R O 5y

    Great image and wonderful skill!
  • Iwan Wolkow 5y

    Thanks for sharing on this one, and very nice shots overall.
  • Tauseef Ahmad 5y

    very well done. Thanks for sharing.
  • Michael Zahra 5y

    great, and thanks for sharing !
  • http://www.junmadayagphotography.smugmug.com 5y

    where did you get your bird background? i have been looking for resource myselft but having a hard time to find one.
  • Easa Shamih 4y

    nice :)
  • mrksaari 4y

    thanks for sharing!
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13 comments
Taken on August 14, 2010
  • EF24-105mm f/4L IS USM
  • ƒ/13.0
  • 24.0 mm
  • 1/200
  • 100
  • Flash (off, did not fire)
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