How to Shoot and Retouch a Dynamic Cosmetics Ad in Photoshop

How to Shoot and Retouch a Dynamic Cosmetics Ad in Photoshop

Highly stylized looks offer a great learning opportunity to the beginner or intermediate product photographer. When items are placed on a composite-heavy background, there are certain considerations we can make in-camera to avoid a headache in Photoshop.

Since we are using speedlights, we’ve used adapters to make them fit inside stripboxes, which are great modifiers for controlling the light to flatter our cosmetic. By placing our stripbox behind the subject at a 45-degree angle, we can add a nice edge light which will make our product stand out on the dark composited background.

By setting this light up while other lights are off, we can get a strong read on how the edge light is positioned. We can also avoid flare, by getting a pure look at the contrast present in the black background. Here we adjusted the angle of our light a couple times before we achieved this stark level of contrast while cutting the edge out nicely.

Since our product cap is glossy, it will reflect our lighting directly. This incentivizes the use of a diffuser, which, in combination with a stripbox, will give us a larger area to reflect light onto the cap. By placing the stripbox such that it is almost perpendicular to the diffusion panel, we can create a gradient going from the inside to the outside of the cap. We turned our edge light off while we made these adjustments.

The gradient gives an edgy look to the product, while flattering the matte & glossy materials, and sufficiently lighting the brand name and text.

Now we can turn our edge light back on, and we will see right away a fashionable look emerge with just two speedlights. Of course, any type of lighting can be used here, as long as you can modify it properly. The strip boxes helped a great deal in crafting this look with precision.

Reflective frames can give you good data to incorporate in post-production, and it only takes a quick second to hold a piece of paper or card, to bounce some fill back in the subjects darker right side. Even if you don’t use all of this data, it takes a moment to capture and would be a huge headache to “fake” in Photoshop.

Mounting our product on a wire, allows us to diligently tweak the lighting, making our compositing work very straightforward. Shooting the accompanying applicator is as simple as cleaning it off and placing it similarly in the boldly lit environment.

By ensuring our products are sufficiently lit and carved off the backdrop nicely with an edge light, we create an easy time in Photoshop. The high level of contrast makes the items easy to select out, while the bright edges ensure the product will sit confidently on a low-key composited backdrop. We used pixels here as a background element, though this is just one small application of an array of looks that will now be at your fingertips.


If you enjoyed this tutorial and video, be sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel to follow along with my future videos.


About the author: Dustin Dolby is a commercial photographer and speedlight enthusiast. The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author. Dolby teaches photography through his YouTube Channel, workphlo, where he breaks down studio setups using minimal gear and retouching techniques.


Source: PetaPixel

How to Shoot and Retouch a Dynamic Cosmetics Ad in Photoshop

A 3-Minute Explanation of Bit Depth in Digital Photography

A 3-Minute Explanation of Bit Depth in Digital Photography

Don’t know what it means when one camera shoots 8-bit photos while another one shoots 10-bit? Here’s a helpful primer by ZY Productions that will bring you up to speed on the basics of bit depth in less than 3 minutes.

If this video piques your interest in the subject, here’s a 5,648-word article on the subject that’s way more in depth — it covers both what bit depth is and practical considerations for cameras, editing, and printing.

(via ZY Productions via Fstoppers)


Source: PetaPixel

A 3-Minute Explanation of Bit Depth in Digital Photography

Creative Juxtaposed Photos of People on Beaches

Creative Juxtaposed Photos of People on Beaches

Moises Levy is a Mexico City-based photographer who uses juxtaposition to tell the story of life on beaches and open spaces. His black-and-white photo portfolio is filled with clever framing and compositions.

“Perspective changes everything,” Levy tells PetaPixel. “Human condition is the main subject of my photography. I use several resources to express my ideas in photography, like perspective and scale.

“I believe being too close to my subject help me create powerful images.”

Many of Levy’s photos are shot from a low angle through legs and objects in the foreground to create a frame-within-a-frame containing subjects in the background.

“I prefer to create anonymous subjects and for that, I like to work with backlight to create high contrast black and white images in a more graphic sense,” Levy says. “I also like to shot minimal and very clean images and for that, I use very low angles in places with almost no distractions like beaches and open spaces.”

Levy works with a single camera (a Leica or Fuji) and a single lens (a 28mm or 35mm) when he goes out to shoot.

You can find more of Levy’s work on his website and Instagram.

(via Moisés Levy via Colossal)


Image credits: Photographs by Moisés Levy and used with permission


Source: PetaPixel

Creative Juxtaposed Photos of People on Beaches

About Last Night: V and Lily-Rose Depp Celebrate Halloween

About Last Night: V and Lily-Rose Depp Celebrate Halloween
Last night, V and Chanel kicked off the festive Halloween weekend with a party that is sure go down in the books as one V’s biggest bashes.

Hosted by V116 cover girl Lily-Rose Depp, the V crowd headed over the Brooklyn and Manhattan bridges, landing at Mission PR’s offices to do final costume touch ups, and then arrived at Dumbo’s brightest treasure, Jane’s Carousel. The river-front soiree was DJ’d by the legendary Martinez Brothers providing solid vibes  while the beautiful crowd en…

Keep on reading: About Last Night: V and Lily-Rose Depp Celebrate Halloween
Source: V Magazine

About Last Night: V and Lily-Rose Depp Celebrate Halloween

Man’s $650 World Series Ticket Stolen Through Instagram Photo

Man’s 0 World Series Ticket Stolen Through Instagram Photo

Heads up: you should never post photos of modern event tickets online. A Boston Red Sox baseball fan just learned this lesson the hard way. After sharing a photo of his $650 ticket to Game 2 of the World Series on Instagram, he was later shocked to discover that someone had used it in his place.

Boston 25 News reports that 28-year-old Robbie Johnson arrived at Fenway Park for Game 2 on October 24th and had trouble getting into the ballpark — the ticket wasn’t being accepted by the scanning machine.

After paying a visit to ticket services, Johnson was informed that his ticket had already been scanned a couple of hours before he arrived.

Johnson eventually realized that he had posted a photo of his ticket on Instagram earlier in the day.

What he didn’t realize, however, is that the photo contained both his barcode and his unique ticket number — everything that’s needed to create a duplicate ticket. Someone had discovered Johnson’s photo and used it to gain free entry into the World Series.

Johnson ended up paying another $450 for a replacement ticket so that he could get in with his sister.

If you ever do wish to post a photo of an event ticket online, just make sure you cover or blur the barcode and unique details to prevent this type of theft.


Image credits: Header photo illustration based on photo by U.S. Air Force/Todd Maki


Source: PetaPixel

Man’s 0 World Series Ticket Stolen Through Instagram Photo

Canon 5D Mark I vs 5D Mark IV: A Low-Light Comparison

Canon 5D Mark I vs 5D Mark IV: A Low-Light Comparison

The original Canon EOS 5D DSLR was announced in August 2005, and the latest Canon EOS 5D Mark IV was announced 11 years later in August 2016. Through the four generations, maximum ISO has increased from 3200 to 32000. But how do the two cameras compare in low-light performance? In this 10.5-minute video, photographer Pablo Strong conducted a shootout to find out.

This test was a followup to Strong’s previous comparison of the cameras’ image quality in daylight.

At ISO 800, Strong found that the two cameras are actually quite similar — the 5D Mark IV is just “slightly” cleaner.

Canon 5D Mark I at ISO 800
Canon 5D Mark IV at ISO 800
Crops of the Canon 5D Mark I (left) and Canon 5D Mark IV (right).

At ISO 1250, both cameras continue to produce usable photos, but the 5D Mark IV’s photos are noticeably cleaner.

Canon 5D Mark I at ISO 1250
Canon 5D Mark IV at ISO 1250
Crops of the Canon 5D Mark I (left) and Canon 5D Mark IV (right).

At ISO 1600, the 5D Mark I becomes “distractingly” noisy while the Mark IV continues to produce very usable images.

Canon 5D Mark I at ISO 1600
Canon 5D Mark IV at ISO 1600
Crops of the Canon 5D Mark I (left) and Canon 5D Mark IV (right).

Finally, at ISO 3200 (the 5D Mark I’s max ISO), the 5D Mark IV shines while the 5D Mark I has been pushed too far.

Canon 5D Mark I at ISO 3200
Canon 5D Mark IV at ISO 3200
Crops of the Canon 5D Mark I (left) and Canon 5D Mark IV (right).

Just for reference, he’s how the 5D Mark IV performs at ISO 32000:

“It’s not that the 5D Mark I is completely unusable in low light,” Strong says. “You just have to work a little bit harder and make a few more compromises with other settings to get the result that you want.

“But if you’re going to be doing professional photography work […] you’re going to really want to go with the 5D Mark IV.”


Source: PetaPixel

Canon 5D Mark I vs 5D Mark IV: A Low-Light Comparison

Spooky #FBFs For Last-Minute Costume Inspo

Spooky #FBFs For Last-Minute Costume Inspo
Maybe you waited until the last minute to find your Halloween costume. Maybe you’re Megan Kelly and are in need a non-problematic disguise. Either way, these instantly iconic Halloween lewks, worn by V favorites from Gigi Hadid to Emily Ratajkowski, are worth a revisit. Because around here, Halloween is about being whoever you want to V.

Keep on reading: Spooky #FBFs For Last-Minute Costume Inspo
Source: V Magazine

Spooky #FBFs For Last-Minute Costume Inspo

This is the World’s Largest Wet Plate Collodion Photo

This is the World’s Largest Wet Plate Collodion Photo

Wet plate collodion photographer Ian Ruhter has made a name for himself by pushing the boundaries of the medium. For his latest endeavor, Ruhter turned a 200-pound sheet of glass into the world’s largest wet plate collodion photo.

The photographer and his team visited a forgotten town called Bombay Beach, located on the edge of the Salton Sea in California’s Imperial Valley.

There, they found an abandoned house and got to work turning it into a giant camera for a giant wet plate collodion photo.

“Instead of focusing on the decay from the outside, this house camera allowed a view from the inside into someone’s dream,” Ruhter says.

He placed a giant lens over a hole in a wooden board on the front of the house, and the outside world was projected onto a plane inside the darkened room.

Ruhter’s subject for the largest photo was Ted, a 100-year-old resident of the town that recently became homeless.

“Images of Ted […] were projected in, breathing new life into this abandoned structure and once again making it a home,” Ruhter says. “During this brief moment in time when Ted’s photograph was captured, he was present in both places.

“In reality, he was homeless in the outside world. However, the projected image simultaneously allowed him to be sitting in the living room where he was once again home.”

The portrait was captured on a 66×90-inch (5.5×7.5ft/1.68×2.29m), 200-pound sheet of glass coated with collodion.

The resulting Ambrotype photo is now the world’s largest wet plate collodion photo.

Ruhter’s entire project was documented in this 30-minute documentary titled Obscura:

You can find more of Ruhter’s work on his website and Instagram.


Source: PetaPixel

This is the World’s Largest Wet Plate Collodion Photo

I Built an Instax Drone for Aerial Instant Photos

I Built an Instax Drone for Aerial Instant Photos

Over the last 5 years, drones have consumed every part of my life. From using aerial systems to carry cameras as a service provider with Drone Dudes, to selling drones with Dronefly, or designing and making drones in China with Yuneec, I’ve been involved in all aspects of the drone industry.

The last 3 of those years have dealt heavily in FPV racing, building, and tinkering. One day I got the idea to challenge myself to build a custom drone that can carry a Fujifilm Instant Camera to take one of a kind aerial images.

With the drones available today you can fly for up to 30 minutes and take as many photos as your memory card will hold. I wanted to shift the way I think about taking aerial photos and become more intentional in what I shoot. That’s why I’ve decided to combine the two and put an instant camera on a drone.

I had an extra 500mm quadcopter frame collecting dust and knew it was the perfect platform for this project. I used some spare parts from Open Grove Raceway including a DJI Naza V2 flight controller and some old UBAD 20a ESC’s to get it flying. After a successful test flight, I had to mount the instant camera.

With the camera mounted on the front of the drone and 11″ props, I had about 2mm to spare in-between the camera and the propellers. This made mounting the camera very difficult as I had to remove the camera every 10 photos and put in a new instant film cartridge. I ended up using dual lock to mount the camera in a way where it was removable and used some rubber band reinforcement to hold the top of the camera back.

To have a reference of what the camera was seeing I used a standard FPV camera attached the side of the Instax with dual lock so I could have a reference monitor on the ground and to have a rough idea of what my camera framing was like.

To trigger the camera I glued a Futaba S3003 Standard Servo to the camera, plugged it into the flight controller, mapped the servo channel to a spring-loaded switch on the controller so it would only be at its limit as long as I held it there, and limited its travel in my remote. This made it so I wouldn’t burn out the servo from over-stressing it while ensuring that it travels the full range it needed to. I mapped the servo channel to a spring-loaded switch on the controller so it would only be at its limit as long as I held it there.

You can also see in the image below that there is tape over the flash. On these Instax cameras, the shutter speed is always 1/60th and the flash always fires. In early testing, I noticed that the flash was illuminating the propellers in some photos. Once I covered the flash mixed with the slow 1/60th shutter speed was enough to ensure the propellers wouldn’t show up in my images.

Here are photos shot with the instant camera drone:

I also created a video about the process:

This project was a lot of fun for me. It shifted my process on taking aerial photos from one where I shot an access of content, to shooting one image at a time. It slowed me down, made me think, and execute on one image at a time.


About the author: Trent Siggard is a first-person view drone pilot. The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author. Siggard helped establish Dronefly and currently works for Yuneec in Kunshan, China. You can find more of his work on his website, Facebook, Twitter, Vimeo, and Instagram. This article was also published here.


Source: PetaPixel

I Built an Instax Drone for Aerial Instant Photos