Well with just 2 more sleeps before the Big Day and I take a few days break I thought I’d post up a couple of photos from a recent photo shoot with a real life ‘Karate Kid’. Well, when I say kid she’s actually 19 years of age so I hope…I mean really hope she doesn’t take offence, what with her being a Black Belt and all that
In the mean time if you have any questions / comments then feel free to make use of the comments section below and if there’s any specific to the lighting techniques , and / or editing I’ll make sure I also cover them in the follow on post.
Michael Jay is the only non-Japanese person to hold a samurai rank since William Adams, the first Englishman in Japan who, in 1600, became an adviser to Shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu.
As a British Airways pilot and Group Commander in the Soma Horse Association, Michael was featured in a prestigious BBC ‘The World About Us’ programme about Soma Noma Oi, a three day celebration of skill in samurai horsemanship, and is a master swordsman of Japan’s premier and most ancient classical combat school, the Tenshin Shoden Katori Shinto Ryu. Both Noma Oi and Katori Shinto Ryu are classified by the Japanese government as ‘Intangible Cultural Treasures of Japan’.
Word of warning though…this technique really is ‘Super Fast’ so whatever you do, don’t blink, sneeze or look away from the screen for a split second
So there you have it, a super fast technique for creating composite images and the great thing being, you don’t need to be running Photoshop CS5 to do it!
As always if you have any questions/comments then please feel free to make use of the comments section below, but in the mean time,
Following on from the recent Samurai Posts I thought I’d cover some of the Post Production techniques I used in Photoshop to get the final overall look.
The first technique I’ll cover involves how I worked on Mike’s skin in the 3/4 length composite. Time wise I guess I worked on his skin for about 45 minutes to an hour to finally get to the point where I was happy with the final look; but that’s not because the techniques are difficult but more a case of actually knowing when to stop.
So what did I do?
However I do still feel that saturation is affected more than I’d like, so my workaround is to perform all dodging and burning on their own 50% grey layers. All I do is create 2 new layers, fill them with 50% grey and then rename one layer ‘Dodge’ and the other ‘Burn’. The blend mode of the dodge layer is changed to soft light and the blend mode of the burn layer is changed to overlay.
This initial ‘Dodge and Burn’ stage is not something that I’ll rush. I’ll frequently walk away from an image having done some dodging and burning and then return to it to see if it needs any more doing to it. This works better for me rather than just sitting down for an extended period of time staring at the same picture; walking away and then returning helps me to see what I’ve done with ‘new eyes’ if that makes sense. That being said, dodging and burning is all about personal taste so my advice would be to just ‘play’ with this and see what works for you.
Admittedly in the video you may find it a little difficult to see the results it achieves but believe me it does work and is a killer of a technique that I use on almost 100% of my images.
Before & After
Right, a weekend of last minute Christmas Shopping beckons, so have a good one and I’ll catch up with you in a couple of days.
Regular readers of this blog will recognise the name A.J.Wood; a great friend of mine from Dallas, Texas who runs Media Cats; a Digital Media Training Company and also who just happens to be the one of the most incredible instructors in all things Adobe:
I first met A.J. at a Photoshop World Convention in Las Vegas a few years back and we’ve remained great friends ever since. I can remember being sat together during a workshop by Photographer and Photoshop Hall of Famer Eddie Tapp, and watching A.J. tinkering away on his MacBook Pro effortlessly creating all manner of designs from scratch.
A.J.’s knowledge of Photoshop and Lightroom to name but a few of the Adobe products he’s mastered is mind blowing and that combined with a natural flair for teaching makes him someone I would suggest that if you don’t know already then you really need to.
I’m constantly in a state of learning and as a consequence every day despite the work I have to get through, will always give up some time to learning more tips and techniques in Photoshop and Lightroom. Sure nowadays there seems to be unlimited places to learn and pick up some tips and techniques but I always start in the same places; anything from the guys at the N.A.P.P. and Kelby Training … and A.J.
Seriously, if you haven’t already then be sure to head on over to A.J.’s website [Link] and his constantly updated YouTube page. Incidentally, don’t forget to Subscribe to his YouTube page so that you’ll be notified each and every time he uploads a new gem of a video.
Oh and if you’re into the social media scene, then be sure to add A.J. to your Facebook [Link] and Twitter [Link] feeds; hands down I guarantee you’ll learn so much from him and you’ll see why I’m real proud to call him a friend.
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