A Run Through

I had a conversation with someone recently about creative careers and the work that goes into each. It's been a topic that has come up a few times recently and as most people know, for photography, it is more than just Point, Shoot, Deliver. So I thought I'd show off one of my pics and what goes into making it.

This is a shot (shown below) from a shoot with the band Toxicon. This is one of my more involved shots as their is a bit of compositing work.

The Idea:

Toxicon came up with the idea to run with the theme of their new album (Purge) we spoke through about 4 or 5 different ways of linking the themes until we came up with the final, worked out wardrobe, props, makeup and a rough idea of the final product.

The shoot:

This photo was taken in a shed, on the hottest day of last year, we had a make up girl (Michelle Hardy) applying dabs every second shots to keep sweat to a minimum. There is a grey paper background, 1 Large key light (profoto B1 w/ Large Octobox) off to the left and 1 Rim light (Profoto B1 with Beauty Dish) off to the right and slightly behind the subject (Wayne). Shot on my Canon 5d3 with the Canon 70-200mm 2.8II lens. Shoot took around 3-4 hours including Set up, makeup, shooting and clean up.

Images selected

1.  Flatten image (contrast down, even out highlights, shadows etc (this is what you see on the left) - Done in RAW editor (now done in lightroom) and Photoshop

2. Add flat grey colour layer + 3 different layers of smoke (varying from blurred to focused) to create a background(shot previously in studio using a smoke machine, black background and studio lights)

3. Mask the subject on a layer above the background

4. Spot and blemish removal on Masked layer

5. Add vibrance and saturation to coloured tattoos

6. Add Easter eggs (Hidden design elements)

7. Add 2 layers of smoke in front of subject (more focused than background smoke and masked to display image)

8. Flatten image to send into third party plugin software (Nik Software) where a Silver effects adjustment is applied (adding more intense shadows, altering midtones, highlights and contrast as well as sharpening selected areas)

9. Using Nik Software, add a Colour Effects adjustment layer (adding a Bleached wash with contrast, selected areas of skin smoothing and a Cross balance of Tungsten to Daylight)

10. Add colour blended layer on top and painted a light blue colour into the eye's iris' to fit the theme of the shoot.

This process was repeated 5 times, once in even more detail to create a full band image which took 5 hours in total to edit. Each individual shot varied from 45mins - 1.5 hours to edit each.

Andrew BassoComment