Visual Appeal: The Art of Model Photography | Stephen Vanasco Aka Van Styles | Skillshare
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8 Lessons (46m)
    • 1. Introduction

      2:22
    • 2. Project Assignment

      0:47
    • 3. Choosing a Model and Location

      2:21
    • 4. Shooting

      15:14
    • 5. Editing Color

      12:21
    • 6. Editing Monochrome

      10:50
    • 7. Conclusion

      1:52
    • 8. Explore Photo Classes on Skillshare

      0:36
45 students are watching this class

About This Class

Create a set of photos that intimately showcases a model with multiple settings. Join me on a photo shoot outside of Los Angeles as I provide lessons in scouting a subject and location, setting up the shot, interacting with the model, and post-processing the images. You will then conduct a photo shoot of your own and upload the results to the student project gallery. I hope this behind the scenes look at my process will inspire everyone from beginners to professionals to create awesome model photography. 

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What You'll Learn

  • Introduction. Not only will you get a basic introduction on how to shoot a great model portrait, but you’ll also get a peek into photographer Stephen Vanasco’s process, and prepare to think about a shoot of your own.
  • Project assignment. Stephen will assign your project, which is to find a model and conduct your own photo shoot. Your challenges will be to reveal your own personality in your photographs and figure out how to turn “just a person standing there” into a piece of art.
  • Choosing a model and location. When photographing people, you’ll learn to choose your model wisely — based not just on looks, but more on their personality, flexibility, and willingness to have fun with the shoot. Stephen will explain why you should avoid looking at other photographers’ shots of the model before your session, and why you should let the model choose their own wardrobe. As for choosing a location, you’ll get an understanding of Stephen’s personal style and learn the advantages of shooting in a place with western-facing windows.
  • Shooting. You’ll learn how to use your space creatively and take advantage of its unique offerings to capture surprising shots. Next, you’ll witness how to reposition not just the model but also yourself to catch poses and create illusions. Stephen will discuss the meaning of the term “bokeh” and teach you how to turn clothing into props. When shooting in monochrome, you’ll learn to see through your own eyes in black and white, which means paying extra attention to shadows. This technique will come in handy when clients look for a variety of color choices and tone value.
  • Editing color. You’ll get a look into Stephen’s post process, where he narrows the hundred or so pictures he takes per session to the top 10 to 15. With Raw photo editing software, you’ll walk through lens correction, white balance, and tone curves. Next, Stephen will import the photograph into Photoshop, where you’ll learn the importance of cropping your photograph and how to adjust it based on overlaying grids. You’ll also watch as Stephen removes minor marks and blemishes from his portrait subject using the Healing Brush tool to match skin tones from different parts of the body.
  • Editing monochrome. You’ll learn never to rush your work as you watch Stephen edit a photograph of a backlit model in black and white. With great attention to detail, you’ll see how he emphasizes shadows after converting the image to an RGB format and eventually removes eye bags and smile lines in Photoshop. In between, you’ll learn the advantages of using Silver Effects plugins to make a flat, monochrome image pop and draw attention to small features.
  • Conclusion. Stephen will remind you that “it’s not about the likes” as he wraps up his lesson. He’ll explain how he shoots what feels natural at the time,  only later deciding if the image will fit best on Instagram or on a T-shirt.

Transcripts

1. Introduction: Hi there. This is Van Styles. I'm a Photographer, and I'm also the owner and Creative Director of Visual Apparel. When I was like 13, skateboarding was the end-all-be-all. It gave me the sense of freedom and creativity and independence. Photography sparked that again. Well, here was something that I can go do whatever I want however I want and just allow the same elements of freedom. I think from following this pure love and enjoyment, it lead to like opportunities where I can make a living off of this but doing it my way. So, for today's class, I'm going to take you guys on a trip with me. We're going to be going out to a location that I scouted, picked out along with a model who I casted that I thought will be great for this project. You guys will get to see how I work, how I look at things, how I see things through my eyes and through my lens, recognizing textures and putting in environment using natural light, just showcasing like how to take some steps so as to get different shots, and utilize your time and space while you at a location. As far as like equipment and tools, I definitely like the three lenses. No matter what I'll always use will be a 24-millimeter, 35, 50 from wide to portrait. From there, make my selects through bridge. I have to make my selects. Then I will start editing them, tweaking the dynamic range, shadows highlights. Once that's set, I'll upload the image into Photoshop, and from there, my image is pretty much complete. The exciting part to me about all these different types of photography that I have been doing like the model, street, the landscape is not really knowing how it's going to be. I guess there's a great phase learning by doing so. For example, if I shoot a model, I don't go in there with a preconceived concept. I don't do themes. I don't have a mood board where I'm pulling other people's photos like "I want to shoot you to like this." I don't do anything that. I really try to go to a location, an environment with the model. Sometimes the model I've shot before, or sometimes I haven't. It's more or less what can we come up with on our own right here like really off the hip, freestyle, like let's just get what we get. 2. Project Assignment: So, this class that I'm presenting is a project-based class. I would want to see some students go out there, find a model of any type, any color, any shape, anything and do your own photo shoot with it. The key thing that I want to see come across in these shoots is your personality, your image; whether it's wardrobe styling, lighting, framing, the mediums that you're using to create your images. Don't be afraid to exert your own creativity. Don't worry about trying to shoot like someone else. Feel free to, this is what I like and this is how I want to shoot it and I think that's what it's going to be really important at the end of this class. But, I think a big part in the last few years was realizing a whole surrounding. So, seeing symmetry, seeing, if you're shooting with a model, what can make the picture that much more grander versus just a person standing there and now you're capturing this whole setting and creating a bigger mood. 3. Choosing a Model and Location: All right. So, the first step I take when going about to plan a photo shoot is usually two things I need. One is a model, the second being location. I always figure out who I'm shooting with first before I get the location. This is a weird workflow that I've always had and that's just kind of how I like doing it. So, for today's shoot, I want the booking Michele Maturo. She's definitely down to push and figure out something creative to shoot with, versus just falling into a routine and doing the same old same old. I like when you shoot with a model that she brings an attitude and a spirit of sorts sets like, "Let's have fun what can we create today." It's going to be a little bit different than last time. What usually catches my eye about a model or someone I want to shoot with is a look that's theirs. They're not trying to be anyone else, and they are not trying to copy anyone else. It's more or less they're just being them. For me, when I look at pictures, that's what I see. That's makes me say, "hey, I want to shoot with that person." I don't really look at other photographers work of them just because that's how that photographer saw them, and that's how they shot them. I really want to see who they are, so I really kind of look for candy, like friend photos, selfies. I feel like they kind of shine through a little bit more truer in those pictures then someone else styling them up, and doing this conceptual thing that doesn't really represent them. I always have a model bring her own wardrobe. It's an extension of themselves. It's very important for your model to be into or excited about where she's shooting because I'll tell girls, "Bring sweatpants if you want. Bring a baggy T-Shirt. It doesn't have to be this tight form-fitting thing. It could be a baggy hooded sweatshirt, and you could still look just as hot." Whatever maybe, I just think it's the idea that it's relatable that you could have a girlfriend who dressed like that. That's something about her. So, location I have today is a state I've shot at prior. For me, I've always been a fan of shooting with natural light. So, the one really good thing about this location is the amount of windows on both sides. The house, it does have a Western facing view. You try shooting during the golden hour, it's very warm tone. It's very saturated. So, today's shoot is actually a little bit earlier in the morning, where it's a little more evenly cooled. I'm also a big fan of minimalism, so I don't want to shoot at a place that's like totally cluttered with a ton of furniture. I prefer for my shoots concrete hardwood floors, just very, very clean and modern. 4. Shooting: Do some general little poses, but nothing too crazy. When shooting in this setting, I bounced around a little bit just trying to find different ways to shoot with and to work with her. With these little breaks in the windows worked out really well. Because you had windows in the foreground, her centered, and then some windows after her fading out with the bokeh. A bokeh is when you have a center of focus point and then the background due to being a really wide open aperture, is blurred out. Often, you see these shots or it's like an isolated subject and everything in the background you can't really make out. Try to stand right in the middle of the hallway, with that staggered leg shot, there you go. Nice. Getting a little bit lower enabled me to get a better framing of her reflection in the glass railing over there. Go one step forward a little bit. Perfect, right there. So, that helped a lot, as well as capturing her reflection on the floor, I was able to get that. Again, having her sit down, is just a different way of looking at how to utilize a reflection as well as framing her. Right there, good. Maybe scoot back against the glass. I will say scoot your bottom back just- yeah, perfect that, yeah, you can- perfect. Lower your arm a little so I see more of your face. There you go. Probably just sitting here, just trying to find different angles going from the right side of the hallway to the left side, continually shooting. When I see something through my eye, I just try to immediately translate that through my lens. Look up your shoulder out there, nice. A little bit more, keep running this. So, if I get a look that catches me, I'm going to ask her a couple options, chin up, chin down. Me, personally, I like to see a model's face eye level to my camera. I don't like to see the white through their eyes. Whether the chin is down too much or chin is up too much. I like the eyes to be centered and I think it pulls you in to the photo that much more. Eyes here. Chin up more. Look in to me, chin up a little bit. Got one hand on your right side, just stay there. Right, yeah. One more. Don't move. We had this cool two-storey place. It's a different perspective. You don't get to do that often. It's just one of those things where if you see an opportunity, take it. Maybe it will work and maybe it won't, try variety. She's facing the window in some shots and then the other shots, I had her leaning over the railing, looking down at me. Look here. I liked it how her hair was falling in her face. I bet this came out pretty cool. Okay. Cool. I think that's good with that one. Along with the hallway, there is a staircase. If something catches your eye, make use of it, utilize it. So, we just did a bunch of different things from her laying on top of the stairs, to her standing, her sitting. When shooting up or downstairs, there's really nothing too specific other than the depth to it. If you're shooting downstairs, there's a bunch of clutter, I probably wouldn't want to do it. This case, I thought shooting up the stairs lend itself to be a little bit more favorable just because of the lighting at back of her. A few more shots and we're done with this set Michelle. Sit back here. I want to- yeah, back against the wall, so I want to utilize the depth of the stairs. I switched to a wider lens so I can capture more of the staircase and more of what was going on with the environment. Touch your hair back to me like that. Good, all right. We got that. Yes, there, right there. So, for me, when I know I'm ready to move on from the set, it's just a feeling. I just feel like I've covered enough ground. I've got enough shots and I think that's pretty much it. Some people, it can be five shots, some it can be 500. But I also think it's important to keep the flow going when shooting with a model so she doesn't get too stagnant. Look up to your left. So, for this set, this is where we're touching on the backlighting technique and I opted to shoot with a monochrome. To me, there's a good contrast because with her skin tone, her hair, her outfit, and as bright and white as the setting was, I decided it'll be cool. The fun thing about shooting black and white specifically versus converting it later, is you have to look at it through your eyes as black or white. You have to pay more attention to the shadows. You got to relax shoulder more, right there. Chin up. Perfect. Now, looking down on your body just like that. Right there. Furniture, I think is a property, just gives her something else to work with and to pose with when she's doing her shoots and especially when it's just simple, clean looking furniture like the one from this set. Otherwise, if it's dingy, unless it's a look you're going for, I don't know, it's on your perspective and your purpose too. But furniture always helps. It gives them something else to work with. That again, that same pose, go back to that. Nice. Eyes here. All right. Hold that pose, I'm going to switch the lenses. I think it's always important to have a few focal point options when shooting. Some people can do with one lens and that's pretty cool. I just like to have the availability to switch it up if I need to. So, for this, I threw on a 24 millimeter from my 50 just because what caught my eye was the floor, the ceiling windows in the back, and how wide they were, and I just want to capture all of that with a wider range. I think, especially if you're trying to blend a little bit of the environment with the model, having something like a 24 or 28 millimeter lens can help out a lot with that. Don't move. All right. Cool. Got those. Yeah. Yeah, that's good. [inaudible] Hold that. So, stay off in the middle at first, so with this lens, I'm going to get this whole thing. Also for this set, we had her layer at the top with a loose shirt that again, it's a prop, enables her to be able to work with it, play around with it. It just helps us share I think sometimes when you give the model an activity to do, it definitely helps out a lot. So, something as simple as clothing removal can help you capture a cool image. Here, let's even do this so, let's start from here, if you want. I just want to see you walk across. Sometimes it can be so simple as just asking her to walk across the room. For me, I like to shoot as much as I can as they're in the motion as they're doing this and then once it's done, you look and see what you got, sometimes you get some cool stuff. Take your time, nice little walks and go. Nicely done. Hold still with that. Hold still with that. Keep going. All right. So, stay right there. Let's utilize that because I'm going to try to get as much as I can with this. So, one thing I think is pretty important, if I'm going to do multiple sets, I do like the idea of each set has this different feel to it, and it can be wardrobe, it can be where you decide the shoot. She brought her wardrobe and this dress caught my eye, and also she mentioned that she really wanted to shoot in it. So, it's one of the things where a model says, "Hey, I really want to wear this and shoot it." As long as it's something that you're into, I definitely would say go for it. I think if you were to see the photo set from this, you could see that she was comfortable and cool doing all this. Do that over here actually, just on this side. There you go. This area of the house that I was in, I liked it a lot because it has these three pillars. I don't know how wide-open you'll be shooting. I was probably about two five, two eight here. So, when I was shooting, I want to make sure that I use the structure to my advantage. Stare at that rotation lens. Sometimes where you're standing could be a great spot and all you have to do is look down to to realize it. So, whether it's wood flooring or linoleum or carpet, it's not always on the walls, sometimes it's right below you. Yeah it's really cool. Making your model comfortable is another thing that I strongly encourage and how you do that, being a little bit personable. But I think the biggest thing is earning their trust. Never asking them to do something that they're not into. Even if they're not into it let them know, let's try it if you don't like it then we won't do it. Swing your body through this more, this was centered angled. But I strongly suggest never asked them to do anything that they, you get off the bat that they're iffy about. Because if you do that and if they try to take the pictures, chances are they're not going to turn out well. So, after you build up a good trusting relationship with a model, I think you'll get better photos because she's believing in you, she's trusting in you to capture her the best you can. Okay, cool. Now, swing this way so the floorboards- yeah, so the floorboards are vertical on the back of you. So, here again with the wood floor, just to switch it up a little bit, I shot it's horizontal and back at her and now the planks are going vertical and back at her. It's just something to try and see how it worked out and just to give me options. Swing your body this way put your legs like lined up with center with one of these lines. There you go. Is that it? Yeah, I like that. Just look up here at me, that's actually a really cool. Just as an experiment to see how the shots would look, I thought the lines leading up from the floor to her could be pretty interesting. I think my lens might have been a little too wide for it. It was a little bit exaggerated but again, it was just something I wanted to try to do and see what I can get. Never not try something, that's what's going to open your eyes up to different things is when you try. So, a little bit of the reversal from what I talked about earlier and can try to continue using the floor as a backdrop. I took advantage of being on the second floor and shooting down to her and again, just trying something that I think could be different. Right there. Right there, don't move turn up, hold that. I like these. Look up. One leg in front of each other for this. Thank you. Right there, I like I don't move. One hold up. All right, face me, and it's like hands in your hair, chin up to me, yeah. Come closer, right there, perfect. Good. Watch you as you as you run your hands through your hair. Cool. Now, after getting some of those shots, I went back to these pillars because to get a variety I have her standing, facing, turned away from my lens and I just want to get some sitting shots. Just to have that option, sometimes you might repeat a few things per set but I think that's a good thing. Better to have it and not need it than the reversal. Do that again. Right there, drop a little bit with that. Sit facing me. Cool, let's see that quick change and it will just be like quick approaches in front of these few paintings. So, keeping up with trying to keep an eye out for textures, to be in places is like so wide, our location is so minimal. Something like this can definitely help out and give you a few different looks for yourself. So, there's a couple of these canvases that we shot on. When shooting portraits, especially in this case, it was more about her. When shooting wide whether, it was the floor to ceiling windows or the pillars, that's me trying to capture the environment that she's in versus this is more capturing her as a strong focal point and using these backdrops just as something that break up the emptiness on the white wall. Again, she doesn't always have to face forward, turning left, turning right. These are subtle options that sometimes get overlooked when people are photographing. This was another cool texture that I liked was just this door had these vertical lines on the glass. So again, just jumping in and getting some shots, while we're there. The sun was coming in pretty good, so I had a great source of natural lighting for her and it was just something to grab. Just hands back against the door facing me. Let your arms hang loose, very chill. There you go. There it is. Set aside. All right, cool. We stepped outside for a quick second just because that I shot at this location a few times but I'd never really noticed this brick wall outside. So again, this with her outfit and her features I thought would work well in front of it. It's one that you'll probably notice there's a little bit of movement or more movement than you might consider, that's because I like to photograph how people move. You usually get this technique with a few different models, you're going to get different results because everyone has their own way of moving about. 5. Editing Color: So, back in my current office studio space right now, got done having a fun shoot with Michelle, and I'm going to take you guys through my post process. Before anything, I import catalog, my shoot that day. So, I went easy to find, label it correctly, so I know what I'm looking for. Then from there, making my selects to bridge. After a full day of shooting with a model, my selects, usually it can be between hundreds and hundreds of pictures. I usually narrow it down to the top 10-15 that really grab my eye. Then, I will start editing them and the other process goes from Camera Raw, where I'm able to digitally develop my photo, tweaking the dynamic range, shadows, highlights, a little bit of coloring maybe. Then from there, once that's set, especially since I'm doing the model work, I pull the image in the Photoshop, where I might do some minimal skin adjustments, taking out any bruises, any blemishes, I just feel like are unflattering to the image. From there, my image is pretty much complete. Yeah. So, let's strike these slides and get into this. Made some more quick selects out of all the other ones that I made. I want to showcase each set that we did, and also to go over just some of the elements I was explaining during the shoot. So, we're going to start this off for the first set. Again, Michelle in the jersey with the white chucks on. So, I'm going to click on this from bridge. It's going to bring me into, that's my hard drive kicking, it's going to bring me the Camera Raw. There we go. All right. So here we are on Camera Raw. I know a lot of you use Lightroom. It's a great photographer's tool. I get asked a lot, why do you use Raw? Like what's better about Raw? What makes it different? It really isn't that much different than Lightroom. I've just been working on Photoshop for so long that it was before Lightroom. So, this is just a workflow that I am accustomed to, but it does all the same things. If you for use. VSCO, your VSCO plug-ins are there. It's really all the same when it comes down to it. Again, it's just a matter of preference, that is my workflow. So usually, one of the first things I do when I go into this is the lens correction. Lucky for me, it's already enabled automatically with this camera. This is shots taken with the Leica S, here is my info and my lens et cetera. Usually, after that, I'll go back to just the basic details such as white balance, and I'll go to As Shot, Auto. Usually, it's auto correction or As Shot. In this essence, I like it on auto. It's a little bit more of a warmer real tone to it. So, one of the things I really like about this shot is the reflective services I got. Because you have the floor which is weird and wobbly-looking. You have her on the glass railing and it's a sexy pose, I think she's really relaxed, it's not too crazy. Then, the lighting. I like the way the lights falling. I like these two light patches right here. So, that's really what drew me into this. So, we're going to keep going. Once I get the white balance set, and I think what I like, the next thing I'll try to step to is auto. So, if you can see in this, I go back to default. You could see, it's a little, not as contrasting, but when you hit auto, it really brings in the darks and the highlights. Now normally, I know a lot of people use VSCO. I will have to say this, one of the reasons why I love shooting with the AS-system is that it's probably one of the only camera systems that I've shot where I don't feel a need for VSCO. The way it renders colors, and skin tones, and everything, I just don't see the use for having to do more to it. After I get my auto balance settings going, I'll go in and tweak. I usually start with the highlights. Highlights usually control anything that might be blown out. So you can see, as I'm starting left to right, the upper area goes from darker to lighter. I will use the histogram to help out with that. Sometimes with the highlights, I'll pull them down a bit. Because again, going to what I was talking about earlier in the class about dynamic range. When you understand your camera's dynamic range a lot better, you can produce photos a little bit differently. Once you understand how much you could pull from your highlights and your shadows, it's like a whole new world. So, usually after highlights, I will go to the shadows next. You can see again, see how everything goes darker around her face, wherever the shadow is pretty much, it figures it out. So, usually the shadows, I will bump up to about 50. So usually, highlights and shadows are a little bit opposite each other, pretty close, not too much contrast. I like a rich color to my photos sometimes. So, depending on the image, like this one I'll leave it around 25. Exposure might just a tad, open up a tad or not. Again, when I'm doing this, it's going back. So if I expose a little bit more, I'll pull the highlights down. You find that good setting that makes the image good to you. So, I'd probably say right about there. It's looking good and I always do like a last check with the highlights like where I want those at. Even being like point them all the way down to 100 I think is pretty good. Another thing is your tone curves. Tone curves are like a little of a boost towards the similar things. So again, I'll go with the highlights in here, see how they adjust, because they adjust slightly different. Same thing with your lights. So you can brighten it, darken it. I think those are fine where they're at. If you want to darken a little bit more to add some more to it, you can do that. But I think with everything else, it's there. Let's see. So, I'll do that. Then, sharpening a little bit doesn't hurt. These files are a little flat that come out, but they're pretty good. I like to over sharpen, pretty much where I would leave it. Let me go back here now and just do one last touch with the exposure, see what I like. I actually like that. I think it's good. Let's see. I'm always double checking stuff before I go forward. Cool. So, this is in a sense where I feel like I want my image to be-. I'm pretty fine with that. There might be minor differences I would do, but nothing too crazy. So, that's pretty much an image as is from there. I'll click "Open", get inspired by some mountains. All right. So, let's go over here now. So, once it's in, I usually-. The first thing I'll do, is I'll rotate it to make it level, make it seem good to me. So, try to straighten out a little bit. Something like that works for me. I'll try cropping I think it can almost be just as important as the photo you're taking, and it's just matter of preference of what you like and what catches your eye. Sometimes I'll go for it and just try to crop and see how I like it. If I don't, then I go back. I'll hit Command-Z, go undone, and go back again and see. So, I try to make it as symmetrical and balance as I can. As you can see, the lines underneath her feet, I try to like reflect it to be if that's going to show me how level she is. Also, just the structure. You'll notice the line going up to the wall, to the right of her like just right by the window to make sure it's even with the wall going up. So, that looks pretty even to me. I'm going to crop in because this little edge of the railing, I don't like the way it looks in the shots, so I bring it like right there. Now, on the left side, what's catching my eye is the crank for the window. I'm not too into that in this lineup here. So, I'll pull those in just to get those out of the shot. Then from there, I'll go back to do one last little rotation and see if I like how it looks. I think that looks good like that, and I'll crop. So to me, that's a pretty good image. It's capturing all these different things that I liked going on; the wobbly reflection, the clear one. All these everythings, I like how it's looking here. You saw some of the lights on the floor. So now, after I get it lined up, framed in, now, I'm going to go in and see if there's any blemishes that I need to clean up and remove. Again, I'm not a fan of the Photoshopping where you enhance and change body parts. I don't think you should ever do that. But, bruises, minor blemishes, I think their totally fine to go in and remove. So, this is actually the fun part when shooting with a medium format camera is the amount of detail retained. So, you can see this is already 33 percent cropped in, to 50. Here, I'm am at 100 percent cropped in. So, whoever out there might be wondering, "Why the fuck is he shooting with a $20,000 camera?" This is one of the perks. So you see on her caff right hair, leg, whatnot, there's a couple of little things. So, I will usually start off with the healing brush. I just try to make the hardness zero. So that way, when you're using it, it's not too in your face and you just like sample, click and sample on nearby skin tone that looks like it will work. Like right here, when I click here "Sample." Go over and remove it. I'll do the same over there. I'll openly admit I'm not a Photoshop whiz by any means, so I don't do layers and I don't make a file so complex when I'm doing it. I really only do it enough to get rid of what I don't like seeing. If I do a clone, it doesn't work. I just always undo and go back. Looks pretty good right there. It's good and sometimes using it when you zoom in, use the hand tool. Is this really easy to float around and see what stuff you might need to get rid of. So I make this even in, that. All right. So, once I'm here, I'll start scrolling my way up. I'm going to push it more. Little details I can't really grab from there. Keep in mind photography is all preference. Some people like showing the flaws of humanity that are real. For me, I know I like just not necessarily a dream like image but just one that's a little bit more cleaner than how things might be. Okay, let's get this more a little grey here out. All right. So once I think I got one easy get, I'll push back out and take a step back, look at it. It looks pretty good to me. There might be some stuff that you guys might say "Oh, you didn't get that." But again, that's my photo, not yours. As I said, I think the cool thing about photography, I think there's no set rules. It's how you want it to be. Don't ever let anyone tell you how to take your picture or what to do to your pictures. Do what you like. I'll probably say that's it for this image. I like it. I'm not huge personable reason going into like retouching or redoing everything. I think a girl model should look real in her pictures and not fake. I think this is a good balance of cleaning up just a little bit but still retaining the realness of who she is and how she was captured in the photo. 6. Editing Monochrome: This was shot with a Leica Monochrom. The coolest things I love about this camera is the level of dynamic range. [inaudible] and has no color filter on it. It just captures shades of gray, black, et cetera. So, the information involved here is pretty amazing. So, let's go ahead and open this up. So here it is. Same thing, I'm going to go in. I'm going to do lens correction. Yeah, fortunately for me, it already knows which one it is, but, actually because of the lens, it's a 50 millimeter 2.0 Summicron, I really don't think it needs adjustments. I think it's the kind of bulb that actually when you click that. Let's go back here. So, this is a grayscale. Since it's shot black and white, it's a grayscale. It's not an RGB, since there's no color trade-off. So, what I'm going to do right here is I'm going to hit auto. You can see a good detail of her hair and skin tone, like the contrasts really kicks up. So, but I'm going to show you guys something different today. I don't know how many of you guys actually use this or know about it. Actually, before I get it to opening, I just want to remind us as far as when shooting with a camera. Shooting at a low ISO is always good, because you're going to have more info in your picture as far as your dynamic range, like your highlights and your shadows. So, it really helps out a lot when doing so, because, you're not losing too much information. Now, let's go here. So, I'm going to show you guys a technique that I use for when I'm shooting black and white. So, this photo right here, I need to convert it though to RGB color for this next step. Like I said, I know everyone's a huge fan of Visco, but, I mean, for black and white stuff specifically, I'm an even bigger fan of Silver Efex Pro 2 by Nick's software. A lot of you guys probably aware of Nick, they did the app Snapseed, but they also have these plugins that were great for Photoshop. I believe they've got Lightroom now. So, let's click on that. Silver Efex Pro 2 is a specific plugin for black and white conversion, whether it's color or doing stuff like this. I just think it's one of the best ones around. So, I'm going to go in here. The fun part of is it replicates film pretty well, much like Visco, so you click that tab and you can have all your variety of stuff to play with and see. So, I usually try to match up the ISO with what I actually shot. So, I shot at 160. So, I'm going to go with this Ilford of Leica. I actually like Ilford when I'm shooting films, so I'm going to stick with their stuff. You can go back up. So, now you have all these cool adjustments, your highlights, everything. Just the way this system handles, it's pretty awesome. Let's see this. One thing I love about is this bungle up the contrast a little bit, and dynamic brightness helps a lot too. Pull the highlights down some more, even midtones can come down. Like that. Soft contrast doesn't hurt too, bump that up. Let's see. Then also to amplify them, just the blacks in this program. It's pretty cool, we can do that. Then put the shadows some more. Dish some sharpening too just a little bit. The monochrome doesn't really need too much. So, here's another cool feature I love about this program, that's awesome. It has something called Selective Adjustments, where you can go in, say your control points, and say I want to brighten up her eyes a little bit. You just bring it over, just like that, and you can see in the right corner, you can see exactly where you're bringing it, and boom, here's the brightness coming. So, you see, just on her eye. So, you see it before. So, you see what you can do. So, it's cool like that if there's a specific point you want to brighten up just a tiny bit. So, let's go back to that. I like that, that's pretty cool. It's really easy too. So, when you want you can easily duplicate your control point. So, let's click on that. So, now I have exactly the same one, and I could bring it over to the other eye. Looks kind of crazy right there but it's good. So, that's without, again, it's minor adjustments but I think it helps with the photo. Another cool feature that this has, sometimes I use this sometimes I won't, is the Vignette on it. So, it has like a cool lens fall off feel to it. So, that's like without, that's with darker, but I actually like without, it goes with the whole scope or what I was talking to you about the backlighting. So, I think this is pretty good as it is. So, we're going to open this up as a layer now in Photoshop. You can see when I take the layer off, that's the image. The original image, which is pretty flat, but after some using it through the Silver Effects, you get an image that pops a little bit more richer. This can also probably be done in Lightroom, in cameras with just basic adjustments. I just think Silver Effects is just an amazing tool when wanting really good black and white. So, I'm going to scale this down, I'm going to go back to what I said before how I go in and rotate just enough, try to see what looks good. Like I over rotated. So, sometimes if I can't get it just on adjusting it by hand, I'll go into Image Rotation Arbitrary, now I can set so the differences. Let's go back. A little too much, and one more. I think this is going to be great here. All right. That looks pretty close to me. I'll adjust it later when I need to. So, since I did the arbitrary, you can see there's this black space right here. So, now I just need to pull it in and crop a little bit. Something like that. I'll probably re-crop later, but I just want to get this going. So, again, after I do that, I'm going to push in and see what needs to be adjusted and what I think. So, I'm going to pull up my healing brush tool again. Sometimes girls get piercings that they no longer use and they get these holes. So, I like cleaning those up a little bit. Got some bruising on her legs again, right here. So, again, just taking the healing brush and going over the spots that I think it might need her to just kind of stand out a little bit. The Clone Tool is a good one too, but I think this is, if you use Lightroom, they have this tool in there and that's why I use Photoshop. Mainly, with models over Lightroom is the ease of use with the Healing Brush in here versus Lightroom. Like everyone, she has a little bit of bags under her eyes, we'll clean those up. Take a step back and see how that's looking. I'm pushing really tight. Just one little line underneath her eyes bother me. So, let's look from back here. Another thing, I just like to remove, it's a subtle thing that I don't think too many people know is smile lines. Just makes it easier to focus on the face versus those lines. So, I'm trying to take these out. All right, cool. So, I think that looks pretty good. Sometimes I'll take a sharpening tool, and just touch up the eyes a little bit. Like that. Go in again. I can see here if there's something I could blend in a little bit more. So, to me that looks pretty good. Again, I just love the technique of backlighting, you get a really cool glow. I don't really care that I lose what's outside. I think it just makes you focus more on the subject at hand, which is pretty cool, and just the whole outfit, especially using this as a black and white, just worked out pretty well. Usually, with some of these images, I'll take my time and go a little bit more. This is just to give you guys a glimpse, or inside view so what I would do, and hopefully help you. Something like this, I like how she has both these tattoos on each hands. So, I would grab like a sharpening tool and make those pop out just a tiny bit. Then lastly, I'll go back to the rotating tool, let's see what it works, and I think right about there might work. I actually prefer the way it is. Just going to do one more minor adjustment. Okay. Now works for me. I cut out that top part right there, so now you've really just going to focus on her. But I actually didn't like that, so some pull down a tiny bit. That works for me. So, that's pretty much an image that I wouldn't use showcasing the backlighting. The thing with editing, you always want to take a step back and look, you're always going to notice a couple of things that might have gotten by you. So, the important thing is never rush your work, always take your time, and don't think you have to do everything at that moment. Sleep on it, come back to it you might see something a little bit different, and that's pretty much how I would go about it. I think that pretty much will conclude as backlit shot. 7. Conclusion: I always laugh when people make the comments of how shooting pretty or hot models is easy and it doesn't take any talent. Do it and then tell me because any girl no matter how beautiful she is, you take a photo of her. Most models are their own worst critics, and to get a girl to say like, "Wow, thank you, that's a great photo." I think if it was that easy, you would see everyone having successful careers in one way or another just shooting pretty girls. I would say the way I've improved with my photography in the last few years was this more taking my time to look at what's around me when I'm shooting, who I'm shooting, trying to think of a different way to shoot, experimenting with shadows, experimenting with lighting, different camera settings, different cameras in general, from medium format to film to digital to small sensors, everything, just experimenting, trying to push myself to continually grow. One thing I've always kept in mind is I just want to have fun with it. I think when you have fun with what you're doing and you're putting that into it, your results are going to be that much better. So, when it comes to that, I don't think like, "Oh, this is for this, this is for that." I just shoot. I'm just shooting what I'd like to begin with. Then, maybe from there, I can say, "Oh, this image can be cropped into a 1:1 ratio for Instagram. This one has a great wide aspect, so the 3:2 will work great for Tumblr and Twitter. Oh, this will be a dynamic image on a shirt." So, maybe after I'll filter it, but out the gate, as I'm shooting, I don't premeditate this one for that, that one for this. Also, the biggest thing that probably I couldn't stress more is the idea that nothing happens overnight. I mean, I can definitely say that I've been shooting photos for a little over 10 years, and keep in mind I didn't really come into my own of sorts until maybe four to five years ago. So, it takes a minute and you can't rush it, you can't fake it, and always remember it's not always about the likes, it's more about what you're pouring into what you're creating. If you're doing it naturally and it comes out fine, then people will see that. 8. Explore Photo Classes on Skillshare: