How This Portrait Was Shot and Edited, From Planning to Final Photo

Photographer Francisco Hernandez has launched a new video series titled “Behind the Shot” that will document the entire process of how a photo of created, from concept to finished image. In this 12-minute video, Hernandez shares how he shot a portrait of a model named Barbie. Hernandez originally met Barbie back in 2014 when he was just starting out. After sending out around 40 messages to photographers in search of an assistant position, Hernandez heard back from one based about an hour away. It was at the first shoot with the photographer that Hernandez met Barbie, and this is one
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Ugly Places, Pretty Portraits: I Did a Photo Shoot in Lowe’s

A few weeks ago, a model friend of mine, Rachelle Kathleen, and I were planning to meet for a fun little photo shoot. Instead of searching out the usual beautiful locations around where we live, I had the idea to do just the opposite. I wanted to go somewhere “ugly” by all conventional photography standards and then see what we could do with it. Lowe’s seemed like the perfect option. The point was to challenge ourselves. I wanted somewhere with horrible lighting and limited backdrops. Somewhere that made absolutely no sense for a photo shoot. Our local Lowe’s home
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This Photographer Builds His Subjects with Cardboard

After moving into a new home, photographer Juhamatti Vahdersalo noticed the cardboard boxes he used sitting in his garage. So, he decided to get creative and use the used cardboard for a photo series. “I’m a creative-minded person and feel very frustrated when creativity strikes and I have nothing to photograph,” Vahdersalo says. “This was the main reason to start making these cardboard models.” Vahdersalo cut out cardboard pieces and used hot glue to create miniature models of things like a boat, airplane, and house. For his environments, Vahdersalo used things like sand, water, flour, and a smoke machine
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How to Post-Process Soft and ‘Dreamy’ Portraits of Children

Here’s a 47-minute tutorial from PiXimperfect about how to create those soft, dreamy portrait photos of children using Photoshop. First things first, import your file into Photoshop and make those initial raw adjustments.

Adjust the Structure

The first major step you have to do is to get the structure right. That’s all the details in the face and skin. For example, for images of children that look pretty displeased about getting their photo taken, you can remove that grumpy frown. Using the Liquify tool in Photoshop, size the brush appropriately and move the drooping corners of the mouth back upwards.
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Photo Shoot Raises Awareness of Toxic Laundry Water

Benjamin Von Wong, a viral photographer turned environmentalist, has released a new project to raise awareness about “toxic laundry” that is full of plastic. An estimated 94% of American tap water contains invisible plastic fibers, and Von Wong felt compelled to do something about it. “By 2025, the world’s synthetic fiber production will double – so too will the amount of microfibers in our water supply,” says Von Wong. Since there’s no real solution in the pipeline at the moment, Von Wong is hoping to spread awareness of this issue to drive companies to do something about it.
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How to Shoot Water Drop Photos, from Start to Print

Want to try your hand at water drop photography but don’t know where to begin? Here’s an 11-minute video from First Man Photography that runs through the entire process, from starting out to making a print. Using flash is essential for this type of photography. Rather than freezing the motion with a fast shutter speed, it is actually frozen using the flash. This is done by using a low power as that shortens the duration of the flash itself. The tutorial has one flash being used as a main light pointing at the water bath and another being used to
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This Photographer Hiked 14 Hours for Epic Wedding Photos at Trolltunga

Trolltunga, or “Troll Tongue,” is a famous rock formation in Norway that’s used often for breathtaking photos. Photographer Priscila Valentina was recently asked by a couple to shoot wedding photos at the cliff. After the ridiculous challenge of hauling her photo gear to the spot, Valentina managed to capture a series of epic wedding photos of a lifetime. Given how long the hike to Trolltunga takes, the group had to head out early in the morning well before sunrise. By 5:30 am, they were already on the road. Next came the work of getting to the rock, and Valentina hiked
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Creating a Surreal Photo of a Man on a Ladder Crossing Water and Sky

Erik Johansson is a Swedish photographer who creates surreal scenes with his camera and Photoshop. His latest work is titled All Above the Sky. It shows a man climbing a ladder and poking his head above the sky, only to find himself looking up out of the waters nearby. Above is a 1-minute behind-the-scenes video that shows how it was created. All Above the Sky is a project he “wanted to realize for a long time,” but it took until the summer of 2017 for it to become a reality,” Johansson says. Shooting at lake Vänern in Sweden, Johansson was able
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Building a Custom Wood Surface for Product Photos

A few days ago, my girlfriend, Victoria was trying to take some photos of a bridesmaid gift she received the night before. She was trying to take these images on her phone and was not having any success. After a few unsuccessful attempts, she gave into my suggestion of taking these photos on her X-T10. She then ran into the issue of having a couple of photos that were poorly framed and somewhat noisy. After some more convincing we had her camera mounted on a tripod. We spent the next few minutes rearranging the objects in the photo and adjusting
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Photographer Recreates the Iconic Photo ‘Dali Atomicus’

The 1948 photo ‘Dali Atomicus’ by American portrait photographer Philippe Halsman is regarded as one of the most iconic photos of the 20th century. It’s a surreal image showing surrealist artist Salvador Dalí in midair with three cats, a bucket of thrown water, and a chair. Photographer Karl Taylor recently decided to try his hand at recreating the photo.
“Dali Atomicus” by the late photographer Philippe Halsman
“This iconic image has been a favourite of mine for as long as I remember and it is probably the root of my own interest and specialisation in photographing fast moving liquids and
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I Photographed the ISS Crossing the Full Moon at 17,500mph

This image was taken on November 4th, 2017 at 4:19 am in Titusville, Florida. It shows the International Space Station (with a crew of six currently onboard) transiting the full “Beaver Moon.” As the ISS orbits Earth at 17,500mph, or roughly five miles per second, the transit lasted just 0.90 seconds. This transit was visible from a narrow path stretching from the middle of Florida to the east coast. I was stationed in a very specific location, as being just several tenths of a mile can throw off a planned transit photo. Given that the transit occurred
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Shooting Blade Runner-Inspired Portraits Using Color Gels

Almost a year ago I purchased a set of color gels on Amazon but never got around to actually trying them out. Recently, after watching Blade Runner 2049 and being smitten by the gorgeous cinematography by the legendary Roger Deakins, I just had to play with them. Not only that, the original Blade Runner, shot by Jordan Cronenweth, is one of my biggest influences ever so this shoot was bound to happen.

The Gear You’ll Need

Monolight (key light): Flashpoint Xplor 600 Monolight ($749)
Secondary Flash (fill light): Godox TTL Flash Speedlite with Wireless Flash Trigger ($165)
Color
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Here’s the Best Way to Match Tones in Composite Photos

One of the most common difficulties with compositing photos is having the color tones of the different parts of the image match. This can be tricky to achieve, but this 10-minute tutorial by Photoshop expert Antti Karppinen shows a powerful way you can do it using a Selective Color adjustment mask. By putting a neutral gray layer on top of the composite, you can start to see the differences. First, create a new blank layer. Press Shift + Backspace to fill the layer with 50% gray. Then, choose the Luminosity blend mode. You’ll start to see some colors emerging through
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Shooting Portraits with a Giant Moon Using a 1120mm Lens

Photographer Eric Pare recently went out into the desert and shot a set of photos showing a model sitting next to the moon. And the size of the moon in the photos wasn’t faked. Pare managed to capture a gigantic moon by using a 1120mm lens and having his model sit very far away. Pare was shooting with a Canon 5D Mark IV DSLR using a Canon 400mm f/5.6 mounted to a 2x extender (Mark II), which in turn was mounted to a 1.4x extender. The teleconverter stacking gave the resulting setup a focal length of 1120mm. To
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2 Photographers Shoot 1 Model in Ugly Locations

Photographer Jessica Kobeissi is back with another shootout challenge, this time putting herself and photographer Rachel Gulotta to the test by shooting in ugly locations in Stockholm, Sweden. Both Kobeissi and Gulotta got to choose an ugly location, and both tried their hand at shooting great pictures of the same model in that place. “The challenge is really going to be taking something that’s not conventionally pretty and make it look good in pictures,” Kobeissi says. “It’s not always about the location — it’s how you work with it.” Check out the full challenge in the 10-minute video above,
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How to Contact and Book a Model for a Photo Shoot

Whether you’ve been shooting for five minutes or five years, there will likely come a time when you’ll have to book a shoot with another person. Maybe it will be a friend or coworker and maybe it will be a full-time professional model. Whoever you’re contacting though, they’ll need to know some fundamental facts about what’s involved in your shoot before they agree to be involved. In this article, I discuss some of the key things you should include when contacting and booking a model.
A lot of shoots rely heavily on the fact that a model is going to
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How to Do Frequency Separation with the Mixer Brush in Photoshop

Frequency separation allows you to retouch images by editing one aspect without affecting others. For example, it will allow you to soften the skin while maintaining its texture. Here’s a 21-minute video by PiXimperfect on how to use this advanced technique to improve your retouching skills. “We are going to start off by understanding the basic principles of Frequency Separation and why to use it as a technique and what advantages it has,” says instructor Unmesh Dinda. “Firstly, we’ll learn what is Frequency and how is it related to images. “Then, we’ll move on to learn how to separate different
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This Fiery Wedding Portrait Was Made with a Single Long Exposure

Austrian photographer Markus Hofstaetter recently captured this fiery wedding portrait, titled “Love on Fire.” It’s a single exposure that can be shot with a much smaller budget than you might think. And no, you don’t need a gigantic flaming explosion. Hofstaetter started by building a small pond in his yard just so his portrait would have a reflection on the ground. He set up two flashes on the scene to illuminate the couple during a long exposure. For the flame, Hofstaetter went out and purchased an odor-free lamp oil, a pot, a steel bar, carabiners, chains, and linen
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This Fiery Wedding Portrait Was Made with a Single Long Exposure

Austrian photographer Markus Hofstaetter recently captured this fiery wedding portrait, titled “Love on Fire.” It’s a single exposure that can be shot with a much smaller budget than you might think. And no, you don’t need a gigantic flaming explosion. Hofstaetter started by building a small pond in his yard just so his portrait would have a reflection on the ground. He set up two flashes on the scene to illuminate the couple during a long exposure. For the flame, Hofstaetter went out and purchased an odor-free lamp oil, a pot, a steel bar, carabiners, chains, and linen
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Slow Life Down by Doing Some Long Exposure Photography

Long exposure photography can take time, planning, and patience in waiting for the right conditions to develop. In this 13-minute video blog, Thomas Heaton shares the good, the bad, and the ugly of long exposure photography. In the video, Heaton sets out to capture something slow and steady. Armed with his filters and wide-angle lens, he sets his sights on a castle with a beautiful sky reflected in the foreground water. But it’s the setup for the final shot which is the most interesting part. The video is an insight into what a landscape photographer needs to do to capture
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