Bonus: Finishing Touches in Photoshop
Okay, here we are in Photoshop. I'm gonna use this image from a recent client shoot with the Turner twins for Breitling, the watch company. I think it's a good example because we put a lot of time and effort into pre-pro, pre-production for this job in terms of aligning props and styling with the product. So the product is this watch this it's a 1940s inspired Breitling premier watch. So I wanted everything else to fall in line with it and source these fantastic flight jackets and role necks and work with bell staff who kindly loaned us this gear and also this amazing 1927 Bentley motor car. So, you know, if you've watched the, my workshop, you know that I like to align all of the props with the story. So everything sort of feels nice and works together. We also had a special effects guy on set for this shoot and he was laying down a lot of Atmos smoke to sort of generate that sort of moody vibe but it was a really windy day and the smoke was blowing out of the frame quite rapidly. So ...
I love the interaction that's going on in this scene, you know, with Hugo looking down the road, Ross looking forwards. I don't know, it feels like there's something going on but it feels a bit flat. If I'm honest, it just feels a bit flat. And we didn't actually use this in the final set of images, but I really like it. So I'm just gonna run through the method I might take to rescue this image to sort of introduce the atmosphere smoke grade and yeah just some, just some little Photoshop tricks that you might find useful. So here's, here's the sort of straight image out of like the room had already sort of simple color grade applied to it. And if I click this. This is going to show you where we're gonna end up. You can see some quite radical color shifting going on down here in the cyan. Hugo's face is popping out of the scene. Something's going on up here. You might notice. And also something's disappearing down here. So if I reveal the layers, you can see there's quite a lot going on and I've labeled each one to show you what I've done. So let's turn them all off and run through, recreate what I've done so you can get an idea. So let's duplicate first of all. My first job would be to clean up the frame and this little leather strap down here is simply distracting. So let's select it with the Marquee tool, edit, fill, content aware, fill. That's gonna look at this surrounding area and fill what was in this Marquee with the same texture and color. So that deals with that really quickly. Next I'm gonna use an action. Actually, no, let's not do the action. We'll work through the entire process. So you got an idea of it called auto curves. Select a curves layer and see this little button up here. Hold down the option key on your Mac. I'm not sure what it is on PC but if you look it up you, you'll be able to find it on Google. Hold on option, click it. That's gonna pop up this panel which is gonna give you some presets preset curve, curve presets. I tend to just use this enhanced brightness and contrast because it just pops the image but I'll always run through them to see if they add anything. Oh no. Enhance brightness. There you go. One off, one off. So it just pops Hugo's face. Enhances the contrast. Always label and your layers. So you know what's going on. Auto curve. Okay, next thing I'm gonna do is shift the color a little bit. So add more grade and I'm gonna enhance the sort of cyan color, which is like a really light blue of this back hood. I really like this sort of balance. This color grade between blue and orange. You can always, you can see what we've got here already, always work with what you've got with what you have in the scene to keep it feeling natural but enhance it. That's, I think that's the key when it comes to grading. Don't put sort of random color, color grades across an image. Enhance what you've got in the scene and it will look it'll look more natural. So what I'm gonna do here is create a new layer. A new hue and saturation layer. Click this little thing here, this little hand image. Now this is gonna give you a dropper. I only want to affect the highlights in this hood area. So I'm gonna click that and you can see automatically up here it's selected cyan for me. I'm gonna drag this slide a little bit that way you can see it just bringing it into green a little bit and maybe we'll lighten it. And increase the saturation of touch. We'll call that cyan shift. And then I'm gonna do another one. But this time for the reds in the background. Again, increase saturation. So I'm watching this sort of foliage in the background but I'm also watching the skin tones because they're quite close to each other. So you need to be a little bit careful that I don't make Hugo's face look really weird and unnatural. I can boost that a bit more. So what that's doing by using this little selectors it's only making changes to parts of the image. What we could do, if I just want to affect the Bracken, the foliage, is click here in this little, in the white square, choose the brush tool. Choose black then paint over Hugo's face. And what that's gonna do is like, mask his face. So he won't be affected by any of the color shifting that I'm doing at all here. But I don't wanna do that cause I quite like the way his face is popping out the scene. Okay, so let's call that Redshift fog. As I said, our special effects guy was having a bit of trouble with the wind. So what I'm gonna do is cheat. This is just a, I got it for a stock website, I think. And I'm gonna drop that in here. Change that blending mode to screen which is gonna knock out the black and leave the fog behind. That just looks really fake and weird. So let's reduce the opacity. Say 30%. I don't want it to look fake. I just want to bring some texture back that was missing that would have been introduced had it not been so windy by my SFX guy. Okay. I do that. And the reason why I'm adding this fog is, fog looks amazing when you shine light through it. And so what I want to do is play with the color wheels again. I got this nice sort of blue foreground. If I shine a sort of orangey light through this fog, I think it'll look cool. So let's label that layer fog, create a new layer, fill it with black, blending mode again to screen to knock out the black and then use one of Photoshop's inbuilt filters, render lighting effects, spotlight. See that. Adds a little orange glow to the top right hand corner of the screen. What else does it need? Maybe a vignette cause the edges of the frame are sort of brighter than the center of the frame. So your, your eyes wandering a little bit. So what we can do is create a new layer. This is probably easier to do in light room than Photoshop actually but since we are in Photoshop I'm gonna show you how I do it. Use the gradient tool, circular gradient up here. Make sure foreground is running from black to transparent. Second one along. Click, drag, hold. That's too much on the center of the frame. So let's undo that. I highlight Hugo's face, click, drag, hold. Yeah, that feels better, but obviously it's too severe so we just drop the opacity again. 30%. Still a bit aggressive. So let's go back to 20. Okay. I forgot to label these. So lighting effect. Vignette. What else did I do up here? Okay. Boosted saturation. One more layer. Just boost the overall saturation. 10% too much. Let's go 5%. And then the last layer looks like I boosted brightness and contrast. Feels a little bit dark. Okay. So I just did that on the fly again repeating the steps that I made before I'd hit record. So that's cool, that take two. That was our starting point. That's where we've ended up. Looks better I think. So yeah, that's it. Quick finishing touches you can make in Photoshop to bring your image to life in a more sort of selective way than you can work in a light room. Thanks guys, have a great Christmas.