Saturday, April 17, 2010

Removing a background on Photoshop CS4

Good morning folks!  I can't believe I am blogging at 4:30 a.m., but, I cannot sleep and I am a day late on my blogging....I hope you enjoy this tutorial, in my opinion, and although it may take a bit getting use to, it's the easiest way to remove a background on CS4.  Yes, I know CS5 is now available, but til I get it CS4 is wonderful too.

A few weeks ago we were called by a wonderful local fashion designer to shoot her line.  I had no idea what I was getting into and want to send a much heartfelt thanks to Teresa Reynolds  for her help and guidance, we had so much fun and it was much easier than I thought.

There was a challenge in the space we were using (the fashion designers apartment), but I focused on the lighting and that the TRUE colors of the garments were showcased.  We photographed everything with a less than white background and two strobes.  Again, if you can get the proper white exposure background this is ideal, but if you are in a hurry and cannot control the space you are working in, here is how you can save yourself through PS ... again!

Here is the original image.  As you can see there was fabric instead of a paper background available.

Here's how I removed the background.

1. Open image in PS
2. Create a new layer from background
3. Create a new layer via copy
4. Select the Magic Eraser tool and begin to erase the large parts of the background you wish to remove
(Make sure you are on the correct layer so you can see as you go and remember that as you get to the edges, you will most likely need to decrease the size of your brush)

5. Choose the Eraser Tool to clean up along the edges on what you wish to keep
6. Once done, you will need to duplicate the layer and make sure you open the layer underneath the layer you are working on
7. Select brush and make it large, choose your background color and paint the entire layer (with extracted image on it), I chose white [see photo].

Once you have the image on the white background, zoom in and see if there is any cleaning up you have to do with the Eraser Tool.  When you are done zoom out and look at the image, make sure you clean around the hair, shoes, etc.

Here is the finished image and another cool thing is that you do not have to use only color for a replaced background, you can add an image if you like.  See here the image I borrowed from Jungle Photos ...Have fun, the possibilities are endless in PS!

I LOVE to share and help and if you have any questions, please feel free to ask away OR post a comment, we love those!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

"BOY OH BOY!" Finally a BOY shoot!

Many of you are probably thinking, do they EVER photograph men!? Well, yes actually we do and here is proof!  Meet Nhigel Anderson.  I met Nhigel through a buddy of mine who mentioned that his nephew was interested in modeling.  I took a look at some of the photos he had on his Facebook, and concluded that YES....Nhigel needed a shoot!

I  came up with three looks for Nhigel, a Tommy Bahama look, an Urban look, and a CK look.  From the very beginning I visualized a more edgy type of approach with lighting and I will show you here what was done differently to achieve it.  Trust me it is ALOT easier than you think!

For instance looky here at the difference between each shot.  mind you, we were shooting in the middle of the HOT bright sun and usually this creates flare ups and over blasted skies, which I don't always hate, but on this shoot as mentioned, I was going for here we go.

Notice photo 1 (natural light) shot in manual on my Canon 5D Mark II at 1/400 f7.1 ISO 100 on my Canon 24-70 f 2.8L lens   

Now....notice another photo taken at 1/200 f 11 at ISO are probably saying what's different?  Well, lighting is what is different. 

Here's how I did it.....and mind you this is only because I only had one lighting assistant and one light stick.  Val, my lovely lighting assistant (and if you believe this you are even funnier than me!)  Val stands for Voice Activated Lightstand...LOL!  Anyhow, my assistant is standing to the right of the camera, the light is roughly about 4 feet away from Nhigel, and after 1-2 tries I nailed the shot I wanted.

See the blue sky peeking through the palm trees?  THIS is what I wanted instead of that white sky as you see in photo 1.  Doesn't lighting just change the entire feel?  It gives it that edge and keeping this in mind, you can shoot all day long in that nasty hot blasting sunlight, challenge yourself.  It's ideal to shoot during photographer's twilight time, but why not use the ole brain cells, and make it happen no matter at what time of day you are shooting.

Here are a few of my favorite photos using more or less the same concepts.  ENJOY!  And do ask questions if you have them!