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Dawson City - Lightroom Magic

Hello friends! Gary here,

Well the morning started out a bit rainy, so we thought it'd be a perfect day to talk about some indoor stuff.... like photo processing! 

Ok, so if you have taken our Lightroom work shop you will know that we do about 90% of all our image processing in Adobe Lightroom 5. We do all of our ingesting, keywording, tagging, colour tweaks, spot removal, and even use it to build photobooks for our clients.

In other words, Light room is the sh*t!

SO, I wanted to show you a bit of before and after action of this image from Dawson City, Yukon we took in the beginning of the summer for our stock library.

Out of camera image, no lightroom adjustments..... blah, flat, laaame!

Out of camera image, no lightroom adjustments..... blah, flat, laaame!

Lightroom magic..... boom!

Well how did we do that? Below are the the adjustments we did!

  • Increase Temp - I like my images to be a bit on the warm side
  • Decreased Exposure - image was too bright
  • Increased Contrast - to make highlights brighter, and shadows darker
  • Increased White - One of my fav tricks to brighten the brighter parts of the image
  • Increase Clarity - Love clarity, it adds sweet mid-tone contrast/sharpening 
  • Decrease Vibrance - I like to drop the vibrance of the colour in all of my images
Basic Panel   

Basic Panel

 

  • Green Hue - I upped this a bit to warm up just the green tones in the image
  • Green Luminance - I increased this a bit to make the green tones a bit brighter, to help them radiate a bit
  • Blue Luminance - I think I just forgot to make it zero.... oops.
HSL Panel

HSL Panel

  • I just added a bit of sharpening and a bit of noise reduction to smooth things out a bit.

 

Details Panel

Details Panel

Graduated Filter - These brush tools are the most powerful of the magic of Lightroom:

Graduated Filter

Graduated Filter

Ok its hard to see but I made a selection of just the sky area:

  • Increased Temp - to warm up sky even more
  • Increased Contrast
  • Decreased Highlights - to try to bring back some of my over exposed sky :(
  • Increased Clarity - Love Clarity!
  • Increased Saturation - Add a bit more colour to the sky area.
Graduated Filter Panel

Graduated Filter Panel

Graduated Filter

Graduated Filter

And finally I did another Graduated Filter selection of the lower part of the image:

  • Increased Clarity - Love Clarity :)

 

Graduated Filter Panel

Graduated Filter Panel

And there you have it!  Let me know if you have any questions in the space below and we'll happily reply!

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Outdoor Light-Studio Style...GBP Creative Photography and Video

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Outdoor Light-Studio Style...GBP Creative Photography and Video

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Some of our favourite portraits as of late, we got when we were asked by Up Here Magazine to shoot Claude Vallier, who is one of our premier backcountry skiers.  

(Get their latest issue to check out the article!)

Sweet assignment right??!  Problem was, at the time, there was no snow outside for us to use… and a portrait of Claude in normal clothes standing outside in the dirt seemed like a bit of a waste compared to the graphic elements of an awesome skier in full ski gear and the beauty of soft, snowy light. So... the only choice was to hit the studio and make it look like an epic snowy day...Challenge accepted.

SO have you ever been outside on a bright, snowy winter day? The light is rad… it comes from everywhere…well, I mean, it comes from the sun of course, but then bounces off the ground and the trees and everything else that is covered with snow (think giant white reflectors from every direction) and creates this amazing, soft, beautiful wrapping light….. 

So in order to get that all encompassing light feeling, we had to ask ourselves, how do we create that in the studio??  Turns out it takes a crap load of lights…. or 5... cause that’s what I ended up using, and a whooooooole lotta reflection. 

This was a cool setup because we used the studio "backwards", meaning, instead of having your subject stand in front of the big white backdrop wall, we instead put him at the other side of the room from the big white wall, with the camera's 'back' to the wall instead.  Fortunately our studio is painted flat white which makes it easier because this whole thing involves using the walls to create massive soft white light sources. (See super-detailed and very scientific diagram below)

The main thing to watch out for with this set-up is lens flare, as there is a lot of light going everywhere and it makes it really hard to minimize flare (which will washout and reduce contrast in your image)…. I have found that my 100mm f2.8 macro handles flare way better than any other portrait length lens I have, so it wasn't too much of a problem this time.

So, for you lighting nerds out there (oh how we love you guys...we are kindred spirits), here's a little breakdown of what we did...

A : 1 bare bulb light aimed directly up at the ceiling to create the light coming down from above (this was our key light).

B: 2 barebulb lights aimed back behind me to bounce off the back wall and angled ceiling to make our fill (about 1/2 stop under key)

C: 1 diffused uplight to mimic the light bouncing off the snow/ ground (1 stop under key)

D: 1 light behind subject to make our white background completely white and even glow a bit (about a stop brighter than group B lights)

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After that's set up, you dress up a dude in ski gear and BAM you're shooting beautiful outside snowy light portraits in the comfort of you slippers! 

HUGE thanks to Claude for being so great to work with too...turns out he's crazy talented AND an awesome guy...

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