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Thread started 08 Apr 2014 (Tuesday) 07:53
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Studio Shooting: How do you edit, white background?

 
professorman
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Apr 08, 2014 07:53 |  #1

I have been shooting in my studio about 3 months now, and I have found that I dont really do much editing, really, hardly any at all. I do some cropping, but that's about it. My studio is really small, but it has been working good.

I use white background and have been shooting with the blown out white background a lot. It has been working well, but I am worried that I might not be editing my pictures enough. They look great out the camera, and I have found a global lightroom setting that I apply on import. Most of the time, everything comes out looking good. I am not a big photoshop user, but I am almost a pro at Lightroom.

How do you guys edit when shooting in studio with blown out white background?


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Apr 08, 2014 13:03 |  #2

Are you asking about using Lightroom only, or are you wanting to do more "sophisticated" work on your backgrounds, such as replacing the white with...whatever...?


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professorman
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Apr 08, 2014 14:15 |  #3

tonylong wrote in post #16819128 (external link)
Are you asking about using Lightroom only, or are you wanting to do more "sophisticated" work on your backgrounds, such as replacing the white with...whatever...?

I am not doing background replacements yet. I guess I should... Is that what most people who shoot white do? Replace the background?

In my production line, I have just been shooting, and delivering, but in terms of editing the model themselves, i don't really see much to do. What do you guys do?


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gonzogolf
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Apr 08, 2014 14:19 |  #4

I'm not certain what you are asking, but I'll take a guess. When I shoot a model/person on white in the studio I generally dont have to do a lot of editing in the sense of color correction, contrast etc. because it was done in the camera. So all thats left is skin cleanup, retouching, if needed or merited and then if an image or client merits it, perhaps monochrome, bleach process, or some other custom color treatment.




  
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Apr 08, 2014 14:29 |  #5

gonzogolf wrote in post #16819320 (external link)
I'm not certain what you are asking, but I'll take a guess. When I shoot a model/person on white in the studio I generally dont have to do a lot of editing in the sense of color correction, contrast etc. because it was done in the camera. So all thats left is skin cleanup, retouching, if needed or merited and then if an image or client merits it, perhaps monochrome, bleach process, or some other custom color treatment.

Yes, that is what I am asking. For models, the makeup is generally decent enough where I do not have a lot of skin correction. For regular people, it requires a little more skin correction. I am just wondering if I should be doing more editing with my studio outputs. I shoot, import into lightroom, do my selects, do cropping, do light touch ups, or sometimes variations of black and white, and I am done.

I do like that I do not have to do an extensive amount of work with studio shooting as I do with non-studio shooting. Most of my settings are the same, they work, and mostly I get the same results each time. I know I will need to mix it up, but I am just 3 months in, so this is still fairly fresh to me, so I dont really need to mix it up as yet. I am just wondering if I am short-changing my models. I dont put in as much post-processing work as I normally have to (I love photographing, but drag my feet at editing).

I have not gotten into advanced background replacements. I guess that is where I should aspire towards.


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gonzogolf
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Apr 08, 2014 14:47 |  #6

professorman wrote in post #16819337 (external link)
Yes, that is what I am asking. For models, the makeup is generally decent enough where I do not have a lot of skin correction. For regular people, it requires a little more skin correction. I am just wondering if I should be doing more editing with my studio outputs. I shoot, import into lightroom, do my selects, do cropping, do light touch ups, or sometimes variations of black and white, and I am done.

I do like that I do not have to do an extensive amount of work with studio shooting as I do with non-studio shooting. Most of my settings are the same, they work, and mostly I get the same results each time. I know I will need to mix it up, but I am just 3 months in, so this is still fairly fresh to me, so I dont really need to mix it up as yet. I am just wondering if I am short-changing my models. I dont put in as much post-processing work as I normally have to (I love photographing, but drag my feet at editing).

I have not gotten into advanced background replacements. I guess that is where I should aspire towards.

Only aspire toward background replacement if it truly inspires you or provides you with a product you can sell. The joy of studio photography with big soft lights is that you can get so much right in the camera that a lot of the same editing that you might have to do to other images is less of an issue. Take wrinkles for example, take a person in their 40/50s and shoot them outside on a sunny day or perhaps using a small softbox and then compare the output from a 30x40 studio softbox with good fill. It takes a lot more softening to correct the hard light image. As for beauty treatments, you sort of have to decide for yourself where the limits are. I've seen youtube videos that take the editing to extremes with the liquify tool and lengthening limbs. So bite off as much as you want to chew in that regard.




  
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Apr 08, 2014 15:17 |  #7

gonzogolf wrote in post #16819375 (external link)
Only aspire toward background replacement if it truly inspires you or provides you with a product you can sell. The joy of studio photography with big soft lights is that you can get so much right in the camera that a lot of the same editing that you might have to do to other images is less of an issue. Take wrinkles for example, take a person in their 40/50s and shoot them outside on a sunny day or perhaps using a small softbox and then compare the output from a 30x40 studio softbox with good fill. It takes a lot more softening to correct the hard light image. As for beauty treatments, you sort of have to decide for yourself where the limits are. I've seen youtube videos that take the editing to extremes with the liquify tool and lengthening limbs. So bite off as much as you want to chew in that regard.

Awesome. Thanks. You have put me at ease. I do love my results. I am not into transforming people digitally, but I will correct slight imperfections. I have seen some awesome digital artists. I am not a digital artist. I enjoy capturing it correctly in the camera.

I know I used to do a lot of eyes highlighting/popping, teeth whitening, and such. Recently, i haven't really done those. What sort of facial touch-ups are in your normal workflow?


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Apr 08, 2014 15:43 |  #8

professorman wrote in post #16819464 (external link)
Awesome. Thanks. You have put me at ease. I do love my results. I am not into transforming people digitally, but I will correct slight imperfections. I have seen some awesome digital artists. I am not a digital artist. I enjoy capturing it correctly in the camera.

I know I used to do a lot of eyes highlighting/popping, teeth whitening, and such. Recently, i haven't really done those. What sort of facial touch-ups are in your normal workflow?



For studio shots with the white drop. I just do a lot skin cleanup. I'm been doing some glam stuff for dancers. So they are showing a bit more skin than most and there are scars, tattoos they regret or are too personal, and blemishes to clean up. I dont have to do much with eyes as the big catchlight makes them plenty bright and shiny. I do some work with the liquify tool to tighten up some tummy sag or thighs. I dont do a total reshape but I'll tweak here and there. I might do a teeth whitening if needed, but really its just going through and healing the blemishes and then a skin smoothing on the whole body. I've been using chip springers skinfix action for smoothing, but tweaking its opacity to my own taste. I should say that I'm probably pretty mediocre at it compared to the guys on the GN forum here, but the images are used on a power point display in the club and on social media so its better than an un-retouched shot.




  
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Apr 08, 2014 16:03 |  #9

gonzogolf wrote in post #16819533 (external link)
For studio shots with the white drop. I just do a lot skin cleanup. I'm been doing some glam stuff for dancers. So they are showing a bit more skin than most and there are scars, tattoos they regret or are too personal, and blemishes to clean up. I dont have to do much with eyes as the big catchlight makes them plenty bright and shiny. I do some work with the liquify tool to tighten up some tummy sag or thighs. I dont do a total reshape but I'll tweak here and there. I might do a teeth whitening if needed, but really its just going through and healing the blemishes and then a skin smoothing on the whole body. I've been using chip springers skinfix action for smoothing, but tweaking its opacity to my own taste. I should say that I'm probably pretty mediocre at it compared to the guys on the GN forum here, but the images are used on a power point display in the club and on social media so its better than an un-retouched shot.

How long does it take you to remove a tatoo? I tried removing some with Lightroom and didnt like the result, and it took about 1/2 hr to do a few.

Do you do heavy photoshop work? Out of a session, how many shots would you edit in photoshop?


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Apr 08, 2014 16:37 |  #10

professorman wrote in post #16819584 (external link)
How long does it take you to remove a tatoo? I tried removing some with Lightroom and didnt like the result, and it took about 1/2 hr to do a few.

Do you do heavy photoshop work? Out of a session, how many shots would you edit in photoshop?

It depends on the tattoo, I'm not removing great big shoulder pieces but smaller stuff, usually kids names, or poorly done street/jail tats. It only takes a few minutes using the clone and healing tool in photoshop cs3. I only recently got lightroom and I'm not sure I love the heal/clone brush for that sort of work. I'm not saying it wont work, I'm just not all that comfortable with it yet. They arent looking for a great deal of output from a session so I'm probably only doing a half dozen clean shots from a session. Some more, some less so. To be honest in the case of these its more of a matter of how interested I am in the model. Some get the minimum treatment number, but often require more work because of flaws. Others interest me and I do more images simply because I enjoy the subject. As long as I'm delivering good work the club manager I am working with doesnt worry about volume.




  
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Apr 09, 2014 09:46 |  #11

Great advice by gonzogolf, as usual. Your level of post-processing should vary based on the expected final usage of the image. Generally, most projects shouldn't require you to spend hours processing each image... you can sit there and nitpick and second-guess yourself all day, way past the point of diminishing returns - but unless you're genuinely improving, or learning something new, then it's better to wrap it up and move on to the next image or next set.

When I shoot in a blown-white background, I generally adjust solely in Lightroom: Add some global contrast, saturation, then move on to local adjustments. For people, I'll do a quick portrait retouch: Spot healing on major skin blemishes, judiciously use the Skin Smoothing preset on the adjustment brush (though I usually pull it down to about -50clarity and +12sharpening), maybe a quick swipe with Iris Enhance and Teeth Whitening presets, and maybe a little bit of dodge & burn, especially to lift and lighten dark circles under eyes or reduce the appearance of a pudgy jawline. I have an adjustment brush preset for Tattoo Enhance; I'll often use that too - most of my clients don't want their tattoos removed.

It's rare that I'll send something to Photoshop for retouching - most of the work I'm currently doing simply doesn't demand it. (though, I really need to get out of this comfort zone)

Of course, this is assuming that most of it is already correct in the camera. As mentioned above, with proper model prep and decent lighting, the eyes should already be bright, the hair will already be shiny, and the makeup should already look pretty good. And of course, your white balance should already be correct, based on in-camera white balance, or a custom profile from a ColorChecker if you're doing something color-sensitive like products or food.

If you're expecting to do background replacement, generally you don't want to do a blown-white background. First figure out the background you want to use, then light the subject so that they match that background. Let the studio backdrop fall to neutral gray; that'll be much easier to select and mask.


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Apr 09, 2014 10:13 |  #12

nathancarter wrote in post #16821153 (external link)
Great advice by gonzogolf, as usual. Your level of post-processing should vary based on the expected final usage of the image. Generally, most projects shouldn't require you to spend hours processing each image...

Awesome! Thanks! I feel much better. I love the speedier workflow. Thanks for explaining your processing technique. That is pretty much what I do.


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