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Shoot: Creating a Dress

Lesson 28 from: Fine Art Compositing

Brooke Shaden

Shoot: Creating a Dress

Lesson 28 from: Fine Art Compositing

Brooke Shaden

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Lesson Info

28. Shoot: Creating a Dress

Next Lesson: Levitation Examples


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

Shoot: Creating a Dress

which color fabric do you guys think we should use the red and a blue well I don't know who said what but we're just going to this one and we'll change it tomorrow if we need teo okay so I'm gonna throw that over there or do we just trying to be modest here and so you can just wrap that around if you could pull the straps down on your tank top that would be great if that can they come down or is it too tight okay good so what we're going to do here is figure out how to build a dress from a single piece of fabric I have some images that I've done like this and I've actually received e mails from people saying oh my gosh let dress must have been a thousand dollars where did you get it and the fact is that it was two dollars and I didn't do anything but composites of images together so that is exactly what I want to do here I want to create a dress that looks I don't know what's the word luxurious words that would make sense here I want to create a dress that looks vibrant that looks like...

it has great motion and it's really big because I can't afford big dresses I can't afford to do that and if I could I probably still wouldn't because this is more fun to me so I really enjoy just creating from nothing creating from this little piece of fabric and seeing what can come of that you can come in uh can somebody throw me the tape because we're doing this guerilla style um kelsey could you just toss the yeah that's great thank you so what we're going to do is taped her up here and at this point all I want to do is create a nice shape of address so I'm going to see what we've got to work with here this looks pretty good I'm just gonna talk this down show a little bit of cleavage and we actually don't even really need to tape it because this was wrapped really nicely so what I want to do is now I'm just going to cinch the waste in because this is where the where I really want to define the upper body the rest is just going to flow so I don't care what this is doing I'm just going to make sure that I sort of tuck it in there so then we have some definition so I'm going teo I should really have sam doing this because I mean you're like what the master of draping fabric and I am not but we're gonna try this nonetheless so I'm just taping her up in the back and I mean we'll see if this holds I don't usually just use tape but you know if we work quickly that should be fine yeah good okay so I'm going to get set up and I'm going to go through the same process here of I'm going to pick where my camera is and I'm not going to move it the only difference here is that because the shot will not just be what we see here it's going to be moving out here and wherever the fabric needs to go I'm actually going to shoot this pulled back a lot further than I normally would so instead of just cropping it in as close as I can you look beautiful like this by the way and just kept saying so instead of doing that than I would move my camera way back so I see a lot more of the space so that when I start to move this fabric around to create more of a dress I don't have to move my camera to accommodate that it's all just in the same frame so I'm going to move this back here far back as I can to get as much as I can in this shot and I think that actually looks very nice so let's go ahead and see how this looks okay I'm going to focus on my subject maybe there we go okay I'm going to get my focus there I can't even tell what's in focus anymore we're going to say that isn't focus okay so I'm in focus fish and what I want to do now is I want to take my main shot remember how we were talking about main shot detail shots stuff like that this is the main shop the one that we're going to build everything on top of because I think what's so confusing about compositing is the fact that we very often don't know where to start so if we know what to build off of then we are in a much better place this is our main shot and we just need something for her to do so let's pretend like she is the queen of the mountain top we'll just pretend like we're going to composite her to a mountaintop okay so she's the queen of the mountain top and she's going to pose like this yep and then looking up and then a little bit towards the light great okay yeah I like this okay good your skin is glowing they love that so we've got our main shot so now you can head over there and hand me the fabric back so I know where she is I know where she was standing it was just right here I've got that spot mark now and we have this main shop now what we need to dio is photograph that fabric but we can't photograph the fabric if it's on her body so I'm having or take the fabric off and then I'm going to take that fabric and figure out where I want the fabric of the dress to start moving from and this is what we call the anchor point here so the anchor point is maybe I want the fabric to come from here maybe I want it to come from down here maybe down here is it going to be a mermaid dress is it going to come from her waist and be a princess dress how are we going to do this I'm going to that based on her height so I know that she is definitely taller than I am so if I stand here in my waist is right here than hers is probably write up here about how I'm going to do this you could just toss that right away thank you so now what I want to dio is we'll see how this first one goes but I'm basically going to stand here and I'm going to be the model as a stand in and I'm just gonna do this and so I'm going to toss it and then pull it into my waist and toss it and put it into my waist that way there is an anchor point where the fabric is hitting and yet the fabric is still moving in an outward direction so that I can catch that so one moment while I adjust my camera and it's okay if you're camera moves a little for something like this because we're going to be cutting out these pieces of fabric but in general just try to keep it kind of steady I met one fiftieth of a second I might need to change that I might need to change that because that might be too much motion blur but I'm not too worried about that I was talking too much for that image eso if that's the case if I do need to change it and I'll just take a look as a test shot here I actually think that won't be too much motion blur couldn't be cool so let's go ahead and shoot this again and I'll try to do a better job I'm gonna take a corner of this actually okay bad we'll see how it likes hopefully it's up against my stomach and hopefully it is moving outward so that's good so now we have some motion but now I need to cover the board and when I think cover the board I mean like literally shoot it at every single space that I possibly can so what I want to do is click find a corner I like to find a corner of the fabric that way the rest of it moves out and billows as much as possible uh uh kind of wimpy I was trying to get it to flow a little bit more let's see how that looks so yeah it wasn't for good I wanted to really move out from my waist so we're just going to a couple more like this so the really the only important thing here is that the lightest staying consistent that my anchor point is staying consistent and that I know where I'm trying to move that fabric so I guess they don't need to keep walking over here real quick but let's see how that wass okay so we've got some fabric moving up now the thing is that it can we compare that that shot in the shop right before something about these two images is that if I were to use each of them there might still be a gap in the fabric so that just depends so you can see how they're still like you would see the light stand under there and stuff like that and that's actually okay because we can work this fabric to be a little bit bigger stretch it where we need it to go free transform it to make it a little bit bigger if we need teo to make these pizza pieces match so it's not so much about absolutely covering every single space but if you can and you can in this case we can't because I have to stop in two minutes so we're going to keep going so I'm going teo do the other side now okay no but I do appreciate it ok here we go we'll do one more big one out to the side well see we will see that I do one right in front of me do you remember okay we'll do one right in front now this is another point where we definitely have to stay on that manual focus because if your focus is searching if you're why do I have to talk and do this s o if that's the case where your focus yeah that is the winner so if you have to focus and try to do this and your camera's going to either be really confused or you're gonna have multiple focal points throughout the images and we just don't want that I think that wasn't very good dealer okay well rene can push my camera I give in okay well you know let's do it now the reason why I say let's do it and not just leave that camera's little rocky watch out is because the fabric is coming up and there's no connection point so we need that anchor point visible in the image the anchor point being where it's touching my torso okay you ready I'm just want to check out just watch it okay you got it I just felt that it felt good didn't it yeah I was moving a lot think I think it was gonna drive bottom sorry oh no it's fine ok so good enough for now we'll shoot it later for tomorrow I'll make sure that I get it good but I know that I am now one minute past so um yeah any questions on your uh how do you feel about this I mean now this is is this pretty typical for kind of how this sort of shoot goes for you every single shoot looks just like that for me you're like yeah uh yeah it's uh it's just a matter of paying attention to the light keeping my camera locked down and then doing a lots of weird stuff in front of my camera I love it on dh for the folks at home the fabric I mean do you have certain types of fabrics that you like because of movement interaction with light that's cheap kind I try to find a kind of fabric that has motion to it that has a little bit of weight to it so that it will move and it will billow and it will fall like something like tool is going to be to see through and it's gonna float in the air too much and something that's too stiff isn't going to move very nicely so that's all not very good but something that I didn't point out here is this piece of fabric that I also brought to show exactly what not to dio the problem with this is that it's kind of stiff and it has a pattern and the reason why this is going to work in a photo shop is because it doesn't have a pattern what we're using is just solid so we can blend any piece into any other peace if we were to work with this then I'm going to be moving in and that's all fine and good and maybe that would look all right but then I would have to make sure that I match up every single flower I couldn't have like one flower cutting across another flower and that becomes really really messy so if you're going to go with the pattern make sure it's kind of neutral make sure that you can't see it too much something like this so I tried to pick the most obnoxious piece of fabric I could find and this was it so despite it only being like a dollar I still don't recommend using something like this but it can be done and it can be done based on the warp tool based on just moving the flowers where they need to be and I have done this with patterns before and it's eventually worked out but it can be a little bit tricky

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