26 Apr How We Shot It | The Barbie Named Beverly
This apparently will be my first blog on my official website since the launch of it on 19 Sept. 2017. That been said, I will like to use this medium to appreciate every of my supporters, fans and well wishers who value my craft. Thank you for your support! Every one of you inspire me to do more and work harder. Cheers!
PREPARATION & IMPLEMENTATION
Like every photographer or creative should know, detailed preparation is paramount for any successful shoot. We outlined our concepts and created a moodboard. @thatgirldami is an exceptional artist who loves to explore colours on dark skin and I actually agreed to be a part of the shoot, on seeing her works, because I was intrigued on how she majestically plays with colors. Took a few screenshots from her page to be included in the moodboard.
During the planning phase, we included other ideas/concepts to work on, which is the ‘Free Yourself’ series on my Instagram page, which I might probably blog on later.
I decided to go with natural light for this concept because I love the natural and pristine emotion that comes with natural light. I opted for just the 5-in-1 reflector to reduce shadows in specific areas on the face.
We wanted the makeup subtle as possible because of the purple colour of the hair. We opted for a nude lip, natural skin and purple ‘eyeliner’ (I stand to be corrected). Beverly has an amazingly flawless skin so the makeup didn’t take too long.
GEARS & EXIF METADATA
My go-to kit is the Nikon D850 and Nikon 85mm 1.8. My EXIF details are 1/125secs @ F5.0, ISO 800.
We intended to have the shoot at about 4pm to record some golden lights but unfortunately we lost the light before we came out for the shoot at about 6pm. Had to shoot at 5300K to record some warmth, though I had to crank that up later on in LR. Shooting at that hour without strobe made me increase the ISO to 800 too. I chose to shoot at F5.0 rather than a shallower depth of field because I wanted to record a good deal of details on the subject face.
After all, the images came out great and we ended the shoot happy and fulfilled.
I have 2 stages of post production: 1.) Preparing images for retouching in Lightroom (LR);
2.) Detailed Retouching in Photoshop (PS).
LIGHTROOM: Preparing Image for Retouching
Basically, I go through all the sliders in LR to prepare my image for retouching but for these particular set of images, I already got a perfect image from camera. What I had to do was change my Profile to Camera Standard in the Camera Calibration panel.
I also cranked up the White Balance from 5300K to 6176K because I wanted a warmer feel.
Before retouching, 90% of the final outcome of an image is already determined in my head. I just get to Photoshop and follow a particular workflow I’ve been using for a while now.
My workflow starts from BLEMISH REMOVAL using the healing brush on an empty layer. Blemishes are basically imperfections that distracts, like pimples, stray hairs, red veins in eyes et al.
Secondly, I created a FREQUENCY SEPARATION group containing two layers – High frequency (texture layer) and Low Layer (colour layer).
I created an empty layer in between the HF and LF layers. I used the Mixer Brush to blend in tones in the empty while my HF layer visibility is turned off. Below are the values of the mixer brush I use most times. These values can be increased as you get better with mixer brush.
Be careful while using this tool (mixer brush) because it can be destructive if not ‘wielded’ carefully.
After tone blending, I tend to reduce opacity of the layer to 70% to maintain subtlety. I get to sharpen at this stage as well by duplicating the HF layer and changing the blending mode to overlay or softlight depending on level of clarity I prefer.
Next on the workflow is DODGING & BURNING. I used the curves dodge and burn method to do local and global DB. At this stage, I get to whiten the eyes also, make the retina pop, contour and highlight the images pretty well too. I also toned this image by adding a solid colour (623c2f) on an empty layer at SOFT LIGHT blending mode and layer opacity 32%.
Since I wanted a golden hour effect on the image and I couldn’t get that from production, I created the effect using the PHLEARN Light Leak 1 (solar flare).
Next was to merge the images and LIQUIFY, I then reduced the visibility of the reflector on the eyes, made a few color adjustments and saved the image.
Saving the image on Photoshop sends the TIF to Lightroom automatically, which brings me to my next stage;
In Lightroom, I get to do a few adjustments depending on how I’ve pictured the final image. For this particular image, I enhanced the colors of the hair, enhanced the solar flare, adjusted the blacks and highlights in the basic panel, hues and luminance in the HSL panel and also a little adjustment on the color sliders in the Camera Calibration panel.
I export images at sRGB color space, 100% quality and 240ppi.
Before I sign off, I hope this blog post is educative and entertaining as proposed and I want to say a big kudos to the creative individuals that made this outcome awesome. Beverly Osu, you’re awesome.@thatgirldami, working with you was graceful. My two assistants, Lola and Lanre, thank you guys for helping out.