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Old 10th of September 2006 (Sun)   #1
Mike T.M.
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Default Want to learn more..

I want to learn more about applying effects to pictures on PS. I know what most of the tools do and I can make a bad photo (in raw) look pretty good, but I would like to know how the pros make wedding pictures...any picture just really pop out. I'm not just talking about the curves or levels...in PS I mean the skin looking smooth, colors looking very viberant. For exapmle, http://www.tjweddings.com/ his stuff is great. And not even wedding there are a lot of Sr. Photographers out there that do great work, and I'm just tried of my work. Is there/are there a lot of software that allows you to get that kind of look or is it all in the post production of it? Does this even make any sense?
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Old 10th of September 2006 (Sun)   #2
ssim
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Default Re: Want to learn more..

There are allot of third party add ons to Photoshop that will help you create this effect. Of course it can be done without them inside of photoshop but you have to be relatively good with it. Two that come to mind are Nik Color Efex and Digital Film Tools 55mm. They are both pricey but can do the job very well. There are also allot of actions that are free that can do some of the same, you just have to hunt them down on the net. Buying the expensive add ons is not always the answer. I always like to learn to do new things on my own. I spend allot of time with my good friend google to find the ways to do that.

There are also a vast number of books on the subject. I kind of like the books done by Scott Kelby. He brings the writing down to the normal person level so that it is easy to understand and clearly illustrated.

Try searching the stickies here. There are a great many links that provide valuable information on how to do many of the things that you are looking for. Some of these funky things that one does to the images takes some getting used to but my approach is just practice and then practice some more.
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Old 10th of September 2006 (Sun)   #3
LBaldwin
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Default Re: Want to learn more..

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike T.M.
I want to learn more about applying effects to pictures on PS. I know what most of the tools do and I can make a bad photo (in raw) look pretty good, but I would like to know how the pros make wedding pictures...any picture just really pop out. I'm not just talking about the curves or levels...in PS I mean the skin looking smooth, colors looking very viberant. For exapmle, http://www.tjweddings.com/ his stuff is great. And not even wedding there are a lot of Sr. Photographers out there that do great work, and I'm just tried of my work. Is there/are there a lot of software that allows you to get that kind of look or is it all in the post production of it? Does this even make any sense?
I have a better idea. Instead of assuming that you get it done with PS, why not shoot it that way? You really need to STUDY the way light moves. You have probably sat next to early morning light streaming through a window on a beautiful day, yes?

Next time that happens take a simple piece of white notebook paper and use it as a small reflector on your hand. Study HOW the light moves, fades, brightens, etc. No digi BS. No camera just your minds eye as the camera and pure sunlight to experiment with. Have a friend, GF or family member sit in that light and use the paper to paint their face. Place on the shadow side as a reflector place on the specular side and use it as a diffuser. Put it under the chin, eyes, nose and mouth to see how it reflects onto the surface planes of the subject. And the eyes always the eyes...

If you can use one sheet of vellum for a diffuser and another as a reflector than why do you need PS to make skin creamy? Use a simple plastic mirror to back light the hair.

I just shot a major ad campaign for a large high end desert restaurant, and it paid very well. Big whoop. I used a simple green grass background a white lace table cloth and a TV dinner tray. Put the pastry on the antique plate and shoot it. Oh yea, the 'fancy lighting the AD raved about? Sunlight through a 1 stop difuser and reflected off of a silver reflector.

All the fancy equipment in the world won;t make you a better photographer, study the light, all the answers are there.

Keep truckin,

Les Baldwin

"Photography is painting with light" is not just a cliche
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