Can’t believe it’s a week already passed since The Photography Show at the NEC in Birmingham when my brother Liam joined me on stage, so I thought in this post I’d share the result and also give you a look at what went into making it…
Below you can see a Behind the Scenes picture showing the set up for this picture of Liam; a simple one light set up with white reflector to add a bit of fill light on the opposite side of Liam to the main light source…
You can check out links to my kit at the top of the screen but here’s a list of what I used for this particular photo shoot…
- Sony A7R II
- Sony 85mm f/1.4 G Master
- Manfrotto MT055CXPRO4 Carbon Fiber Tripod
- Manfrotto MHXPRO-BHQ2 XPRO Ball Head with 200PL Quick-Release System
- Manfrotto Q2 L Bracket
- Elinchrom D-Lite RX One (Flash)
- Elinchrom Rotalux 100cm (39″) Deep Octa
- Tether Tools Cable and Jerk Stopper into Capture One
- Gravity Backdrops Canvas Background
- Manfrotto Avenger Boom (for supporting canvas background)
- Lastolite Tri Grip Reflector
If you’ve read my earlier post you’ll know that this was my Brother Liam’s first time not only seeing me presenting on stage, but the first time he’d ever modelled for me. It was such an incredible feeling sharing the stage together with around 400 people in the audience…we’ll certainly never forget it!
Fitting everything into a 30 minute presentation was always going to be tight: explaining the concept, how I source props, going through the kit, setting up and finally the photo shoot but we did it and I’m so happy with the final image.
Now, talking of the final image…
During the short amount of time we had for the photo shoot, I initially photographed Liam sat on a wooden stool posed with the cap on his leg as in Picture 1 (below) and this, at the time, I was really happy with it however when initially editing the picture I found I was constantly drawn to his hand resting on his leg.
My Best Mate Dave Clayton who was also managing the LIVE Stage made a fake cigarette by rolling up some paper and white tape and handed it to me immediately before we started the presentation to give me the option of an alternative picture and this is what I used to photograph Liam in Picture 2 (below)
Combining Pictures aka Compositing
Compositing (combining parts of several pictures to make one final image) is something I used to do a lot of a few years ago. It’s something I do less and less these days however I’m so glad that I developed the skills of making good selections and masking because they certainly come in handy from time to time…
I could have settled with Picture 1 as the one I would edit and post online, but as I was constantly being drawn to Liam’s hand that alone was telling me it wasn’t 100% how I wanted it to look. So, looking at the pictures above you can probably see now that I have used elements of both Picture 1 and Picture 2 to give me the final image; namely the right side of Liam from Picture 2 (his arm and hand position) blended into the main content of Picture 1. Doing this took Liam’s hand off his leg and hid it behind the cap, which for me, gave a much more natural looking pose.
Not normally something I would do, but this is definitely one of those situations where knowing how to use Photoshop saved the day and in all honestly it was incredibly simple to do using Layer Masks.The main thing was that the lighting was how I wanted it; with that, making alterations to the composition was so much easier.
I’ll be including a step by step of this as part of the Layer Masks chapter in my new book The Photoshop Toolbox published later in the year.
Oh and one last thing…
Some folks are interested in settings so here they are: 85mm, ISO 100, 1/125sec, f/4.0
Catch you next time and thanks again if you happened to be one of the many people in the audience when Liam and myself were on stage together.