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Photoshop Critique

Lesson 38 from: Fine Art Compositing

Brooke Shaden

Photoshop Critique

Lesson 38 from: Fine Art Compositing

Brooke Shaden

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Lesson Info

38. Photoshop Critique


Class Trailer

Day 1


Class Introduction


Why Composite ?


Logic Checklist


What Not To Do When Compositing


Shooting for Composite


Changing Backgrounds and Light


Shoot: Simple Swaps Part 1


Lesson Info

Photoshop Critique

okay so we have a couple of different images that we're going to look at and uh I have the names of each person here of what we're going to take a look at now I'm not going to be necessarily editing all of these or anything like that but I do want to talk about and look at some different examples of what other people have been working on what might be working for them what might not be working for them and I don't want to ever have to deliver the bad news of you might have to re shoot this but it might happen so I really don't like image critiques I get very uncomfortable doing them so I'm just going to say what maybe I would do a little bit differently if this for my image so this first one that we're looking at this is from angel and this is an image where the subject is hovering above the hole in the ground and we have a couple of different things that I want to talk about here so here is one version of the image and here is another version and I'm going to talk about why one versio...

n works a little bit better and I would say that this one is working a little bit better in the favor of the artist for a couple of reasons one being the color toning so her skin is very yellowish red in this image and the background is also very yellow a shred so that's something that matches with in this picture whereas in this version it doesn't match us well we have a really really blue night sky and a very yellow person which would make sense in one situation where we have a dark sky but a lamp like a street lamp motivating yellow light from somewhere so that's something that could be added into this picture something that could motivate light onto our subject but then we also have the direction of light which at night could be ah lot of different sources so if it's just coming from the stars then maybe the whites overhead if it's coming from a source somewhere else than it's likely to be from the side or behind or coming from a specific direction because we don't tend to send our lights up into the clouds and then light ourselves from there um if it's a natural source of light so I like this image over here there we go I like this image because of the color toning because of the white we've dark in the background down so much that we don't really know where the light's coming from exactly but because of that it's okay because it's possible that there was a light on the subject so what I would do differently about this picture especially if I was going to continue working within this frame as to take some of the yellow away from our subjects all just pulled us into photo shop very quickly I would take some of that yellow away from our subject will duplicate the layer and I would do that you could do it in a number of different ways I would say replace color would be a pretty good option to just select her skin and then take that saturation down a little bit and by taking the saturation down she automatically kind of fits into the scene a little bit better because we don't have that yellow hue happening in her skin but then we could take that one step further and instead of just taking a saturation down we could and if I had this on a separate layer than I would just do this to the wearer of the subject but since she's in here we're working on a j peg I would probably just select all around our subject even her clothes and everything and I would go ahead and make sure that there is a kind of a blue hue cast onto our subject here I don't really want to change your hair that much because maybe she just has really blonde hair but let me go ahead and refine edge on that so then I can feather that selection a little bit taking that feather up about their thirty pixels okay and now I want to go in we'll go in with curves and I want to take away some of the yellow still in her skin so now we're adding this kind of blue hue and then we could add a little bit of science if that was necessary to her skin so we're just doing as much as we can to take away the yellow now from this image so that now she may be looks like she belongs a little bit more and that actually makes the light in my opinion sort of a little bit more believable because we don't see those yellow highlights happening we see it more is just a very neutral image so I think that's really working in the favor here of the subject now the light source because of the vigna makes it seem like it's coming from right behind so because the brightest part of this image in terms of the background is right behind the subject that makes me think that the white should also be coming from behind our subject and lighting her from behind so that's something that we might need to work on either by selecting around the outside edges of our subject which I assume she's actually cut out in this picture so you have her on a separate layer and I might just start to make the edges of her body glow a little bit by feathering not a really good amount just to make it seem like the lights coming from behind so that's what I would do it this picture on and I might even just make an overall color adjustment where on this background uh perhaps I am going to replace color with that blue in the sky take that feather up a lot and take that saturation down a little bit oh you can see where I made it to blue around my subject but it's ok and then I would maybe add some color back in overall on this picture so we can still maintain the blue maybe like that we can't even maintain the yellow a little bit if you want uh maybe a little bit of taking that red away a little bit more like this maybe in the shadow portion and that's just going to allow the colors to come together a little bit more and I think that that's really the main point that I want to make here with this image is that paying attention teo the light and the color and how that's working with each other can really make a really big difference and how well an image flows so it's open up one more over oh here and one is jin sa think got it good perfect fantastic ok so let's open this image up and this is actually a psd file so maybe we can see some of the waiters that went into this image and while that is opening we'll take a look at it in bridge okay so this is a really interesting picture to take a look at for a number of different reasons and I have to say that I really appreciate the angle of this picture I think that it's shot in a really interesting way so I love that about it and they're just a couple things that I want to point out that could make it pop a little bit more and one of those is paying attention to the light that's happening on this globe which is a fascinating concept I have to say I especially love the embers right in this little area here I think that's a really great detail it's really wrapping around the globe in a really fascinating way but I think that the light on the subject could be enhanced a little bit more to make it look like that fires right in front of him because if you guys have ever watched anybody sitting next to a fire it really dances on the skin and makes it really quite a different color temperature from everything else so let's take a look at that in a photo shop and see what we have to work with here okay so if I take this apart we can see that it was shot just like this which I think is beautifully done as faras everything that started happening here and I can see that this light is coming in from the side it sort of sweeping in and the only thing that I would say is not a problem with that but why it doesn't correct the problem of the lighting on the skin is because it's mostly happening on the background whereas this light would not reach the background so let's just take a quick look here at some of these layers so that was a really good start brightening up his face adding that fire which looks beautiful see those embers oh I love it and then moving onto these clouds and I do like those clouds I like how we added you know that we didn't do any of this I like how you added that streak of light I think that it's really a cool picture um and so let's just take a look now at what's happening to darken this image so much and I think that it's thes exposure layers here so you can see when I undo that exposure layer there's a lot more light on his face and same with this curves layer so I would either go in and start to erase on one of these adjustment layers just so that I can get a little bit off of the face or I would just go in and try to select some of the face right through here right in the front part where it would naturally be and I'm going to go over and just mask that out later maybe on the shirt a little bit on the neck right through here would be really believable just like that so I am going to mask out whatever is on the clouds but let's go ahead and refine edge that and when we refined edge on this selection I just want to make sure that it's a pretty big feather here so that there's a really good fall off so I'm not about forty pixels okay and now when I go into a curve which I would prefer curve here so that I can simultaneously make something brighter as well azad color to it then I can start to think okay well maybe I want to add some yellow to those highlights maybe we need a little bit of red in those highlights just to make that glow believable and then on the layer mask we can take our brush size down take that opacity up and start to get rid of whatever we just into those clouds which was not what we wanted to do in the final shot so I'm going to keep just masking that a little bit obviously I am not doing a good job but trying my best here so that would require a little bit of attention to detail through that area so then you don't do what I just did but I think that adding a little bit of glow there is just going to make this image pop even more because I think that this is a really cool picture and then having a little bit of glow on the face might just allow it to pop even more and create that motivated light source

Class Materials

bonus material with purchase

Logic Checklist
Must Have Shots
Favorite Photoshop Tools
Lighting Effects
Practice Files - Cutting out Hair from Background
Practice Files - Building a Dress
Practice Files - Swapping Hand
Practice Files - Levitation
Adorama Gear Guide

Ratings and Reviews

Logan Fox

I'm so thrilled to have come across this course and to have been introduced to Brooke Shaden. As a bit of background I do photography as a hobby, and always had an appetite to composite my work. It's only after watching this course that I can finally put a name to a craft that I love, that being 'fine art photography'. Through my own personal journey I've read various books, followed online tutorials both paid and free. When I came across this course I did hesitate. I wondered 'is it going to teach me anything new'... 'would the standard of the course be up to scratch'. Well, I can honestly say with hand on heart that this is by far is one of the best courses I've come across to date. As a solo photographer myself I've found it difficult at times to be both photographer and subject at the same time. From the outset what became clear was that Brooke is just like me in this respect which made the course so 'relevant' to what I do. Brooke shows throughout the course what can be achieved with a little planning and some creative approaches to situations that can be difficult to pull off when on your own. She is such a joy to watch and listen to, I loved her sense of humor and great how the audience were involved in some of the shoots. All I can say is, if you're in to photography and interested in compositing your work, you should give this a go, you wont regret it!


I'd like to show my gratitude and gratefulness to Ms Shaden and other wonderful people at CreativeLIVE for sharing your vast knowledge without making a fuss. Not everybody has a super computer and a top-notch camera, not everyone has a studio to work in and not everyone needs to know everything as perfectly as some instructors and professionals do. I, for one, have gained so much insight and have been intrigued by Ms Shaden's present and past lessons, she makes the most difficult and surreal subjects unfold so easily and effortlessly. Ms Shaden has made me believe no matter where I be and no matter what i have, as long as i have a good story to tell, and the right vision, I should be able to handle it with a working camera and any version of Photoshop. Unlike many other instructors who kill us every 5 minutes to buy their flashes or gear and support this or that company and agency, Ms Shaden has spent the whole time teaching and teaching and teaching and I am sorry I cannot be there to thank you in person, but you, Ms Shaden, are awesome and nobody can unawesome you :)


Brooke has a wonderful way of not only making it all look so easy, but actually be easy. In a plain and down to earth manner, she can make both beginner and advanced pro comfortable with the material covered in this class. From a simple starting point to a polished post-production finished work of art, she takes us on a relaxed and joyous journey. I am a former professional commercial photographer returning to the art after a 30 year absence. When I left, there was no such thing as digital photography. Now, to be able to embrace such concepts and techniques as taught by Brooke, without any difficulty to me, says that this course provides great value and time well spent. Well done Brooke! Well done Creative Live!

Student Work