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Thread started 30 Oct 2010 (Saturday) 20:14
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The Storyteller

 
RafaPolit
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Oct 30, 2010 20:14 |  #1

Friends,

Today we had a pleasant visit for lunch and my nephew insisted that our guest should read him a story from his favorite book (mainly doubling his loved movie stories). One turned into two, and two into three and four. It was a delight and my nephew stood by with devoted attention to the perils and victories of his heroes.

I couldn't resist a shootout, here are some 'dreamy' scenes from today:

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I added some glow as there was a very strong backlight that even forced the session to be shot in Manual, as the sun was shining strongly through the windows. I think the glow adds to the 'magic' of the stories, but those subjective appreciations are often not shared by others, I'd love to hear your input and what you would have done differently.

Thanks for any comments, critique and suggestions,
Rafa.
ps. I doubted about posting under Kids or People, but went with People as the Storyteller is a big part of the images :)

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navydoc
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Oct 30, 2010 21:59 |  #2

I like these a lot, they tell a story nicely. I only wish the gentlemans hand was below his face in the 2nd image.

Could you describe how you added the glow? I like that effect for these images.


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RafaPolit
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Oct 30, 2010 22:26 |  #3

Thanks for the comments... I agree with the hand, I stayed crouched at that spot waiting for some more gestures or faces, but he never really made any more signs after that (I did some video that has some nice footage, it was the pictures that were cut short I'm afraid).

For the glow I make a new layer with a Black and White version of the image, then compress the blacks all the way (with a Levels adjustment layer) so there are only few really white areas (the ones I want glowing) and the rest of the image completely black. I then either Gaussian blur it or I make a selection based on that image (by dragging in Photoshop the RGB channel under the Channels tab to the 'load Channel as selection' button) and then I expand and feather the selection the amount of glow I'm going for. Here is the tricky part to explain, with the selection active I use the Paint Bucket tool with pure white and, after creating a new layer I just click anywhere on the screen. This produces a white section identical to the defined whites of the other image but broader and smoother. I then select screen blend mode for that layer and collapse both the B&W image and the actual glow into one layer. That layer needs to be set into screen blend mode and I adjust the opacity of the layer to achieve different levels of glow... for this images, I used values from 25% to 50%.

This is a very rough and dirty explanation (though that's really all I do), but if you want a more detailed explanation, I'm sure I could put something up tomorrow with more detailed instructions. Let me know if you need it.

Thanks again for the feedback,
Rafa.


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Oct 31, 2010 12:48 |  #4

Very emotive, I'd like to know the thoughts of the little kid in the future when he grows up and remembers this moment looking at the pics, nice job


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RafaPolit
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Oct 31, 2010 20:39 |  #5

Thanks for the kind words! He was completely mesmerized by it, only nodding once in a while and reassuring the teller the character names: that's Phillip... yes he's Flander. His eyes went straight from the teller's eyes to the book pictures. He is not camera-friendly and shies from me every time I bring out the cam... that's why these were so significant to me, as I was able to capture him without ruining the mood by being intrusive and making his expressions and poses all camera-aware.

Thanks again, I'll ask him in a few years! and post back his view :)

Rafa.


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jgrussell
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Oct 31, 2010 21:09 |  #6

LOVE that first shot. The little boy's face is wonderful.


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georgebowman
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Nov 01, 2010 01:12 |  #7

Very well done. The glow really adds to the emotion of these images. Thank you for sharing your images and the details of the your PP.


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RafaPolit
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Nov 01, 2010 14:20 |  #8

Thanks jgrussell and georgebowman,

@jgrussell: For that first shot (which I think was the last taken), I was standing on top of a chair to get that extreme tilt angle. :)

My only wish is that I would have taken that Hornimans box away from the shots, specially the first one, as I believe it is distracting on that corner. The original framing has the full box, but I wanted it to be a bit more intimate than the original framing. If I get some time later, I may try to photoshop it out :)

Thanks again friends for all the comments,
Rafa.


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lindsaytblum
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Nov 01, 2010 15:10 |  #9

These are great. They all show a lot of real emotion. Nice job!


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RafaPolit
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Nov 03, 2010 14:53 |  #10

Thank you Lindsay for your words!

Friends, I have uploaded the video I made for this same day. It's quite harder to achieve the same look on the video as the one I had for the stills, my 'glow' work flow would throw the render times to absurd times, so I went with a toned down version. Also, my WB settings for the video were not ideal, so I had to do some tweaking.

The video is in Spanish, so probably won't make for a good listening to most :) but you can still browse through the 3 different angles available. Unfortunately, on the last angle, I focused quickly and then moved a bit to recompose and I ended up with the focus on the Storyteller's hands instead of on my nephews face. By the way, try watching at 480p or 720p, I uploaded a 720p video.

At any rate, here's the link: http://www.youtube.com​/watch?v=DsP0EwWI4rM (external link)

Thanks again for all the comments!
Rafa.


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