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Dollhouse Shoot: Book Pages and Dollhouse

Lesson 34 from: Fine Art Compositing

Brooke Shaden

Dollhouse Shoot: Book Pages and Dollhouse

Lesson 34 from: Fine Art Compositing

Brooke Shaden

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Lesson Info

34. Dollhouse Shoot: Book Pages and Dollhouse


Class Trailer

Day 1


Class Introduction


Why Composite ?


Logic Checklist


What Not To Do When Compositing


Shooting for Composite


Changing Backgrounds and Light


Shoot: Simple Swaps Part 1


Lesson Info

Dollhouse Shoot: Book Pages and Dollhouse

now we need to photograph the book pages and the dollhouse the book pages air simple enough because they just float in the water all I need to do is remember generally the angle I was that we're going to match that the height and that's easy because I was on a tripod so I kept my dry pot at the same height and I just need to make sure that I'm close enough to see all that detail and again we're going to shoot these in focus and then throw them out of focus leader if we need teo so I'm going to set this onto the tripod and I'm going to get my book pages in there first because that's the easiest thing to do now the only problem is now the water level has gone down because our subject has gotten out of the water so what more water we have more water okay we're going to bring in a little bit more water so that I don't have to do anything weird to fix this we're just going to fill it a little bit more now I know what this dollhouse when it comes to shooting the actual images for the first p...

icture where there's a town sunk in the background I'm going to have to do a couple of different things I'm going to have to photograph this in multiple different angles to the camera so I'll be turning it as I photograph it but I want to really focus on getting the sides because I think that that's a really interesting shape hence is my sharks that I drew earlier and so that's what I want to focus on there and I'm going to get some of the front but obviously none of the back because there's nothing on the back of this house and that would be very unrealistic oh there you are I can't believe this water happened in here I'm so grateful it I'm so glad around to do it by myself another shot out tio heather posten who did put together this house she is wonderful well lover yeah I felt so bad the last few days because we really thought that it was already assembled but it wasn't so they painted it and put individual shingles on it and glued it all together um way will find out and if not we're going to take back that shoutout just getting all right so let's go ahead and shoot these book pages shall we I'm going to start with one of the time there we go and you can even see what the book page something so little that you can still see the highlight of light here wei have more we have a whole book's worth it looks really awesome let's just see the bright side everybody okay now could I have one of you guys come up here to help with this thank you and I just want you to hold this in place for right now so that I can get my focus on it all right so I'm going teo making sure can you pull it back just a bit there we go now I don't don't worry about the front being in the way the front of the pool I wanna be able to see over that and now I'm going in to focus so I'm again I'm on manual focus for this camera so I'm just making sure that my book page is in focus and I'm going to take a test shot just like this just to make sure the lighting is still ok nothing's changed there so it should be all right and that book page that book page looks pretty good so when I say you khun drop the book page and we'll just take a shot of it still and then we'll take a shot of it with some movement in the water whatever you want thank you all right so I think that looked pretty good I really like the curl of the page I think it's pretty awesome so that's good it looks really need and the cool thing about this is that because the pages kind of coming up out of the water that means that if I were to place that in the picture with the water that's choppy if I wanted it to go up on one of the waves I could now place it there because it has that separation from the water in that area so what's let's do one more time with the motion that's right motion people okay great and you can like a good oh I like that so much I just find this to be the most exciting shoot of my life no love it okay let's do a different book page you go I just love how it slowly curls so cool okay so I'm going to keep my focal point generally the same and we can move that water okay we got a couple shots that's good very neat okay so that was the first shot then we got that one so that's really good now oh look you un curled it ok let's try one on curled and go who ok I think that one's going to be really neat and that'll be really good for the choppy water it was very choppy in this picture like really choppy so let's do one more book page will do I don't know who this is supposed to be but my captain oh captain my captain okay thank you all right he looks too perfect you can't be facing the camera like but alright that's much better all right whenever you guys are ready good we got a good one there okay so what do you think three book pages up enough got book pages means obviously not enough but but we're going to end the book pages they're actually flip that over that's a really cool picture on the back we'll just do a quick one I promise ok ok it's good okay great so now we need the dollhouse and so you guys and you waken all stay put here because this is never going to end all right so now we're going to try this out I'm going to actually shoot the interior first because I don't need it to go down quite a ce far although probably I do it can't tell and we're going to shoot that first because I want to make sure that I get that angle correct and I want to make sure that it's not falling apart at that point because we don't know what's going to happen when we submerge it but I'm keeping my tripod just right here so I know right where I need to go back to through there ok except if we hit the waves will be smaller and it will fit thank you this's awesome okay so I'm going to shoot straight into the dollhouse for this shot this is where we're going to composite her in the room and what I don't know if this will be exactly the right height or not or what's goingto happen it's heavy I'm very weak person so let's drop it in yep keep going I know it's going to fill oh that looks so cool it's like titanic okay okay are you guys excited teo now I think when we get the water moving then it'll start to really fill because it's not quite tall enough but that's okay so let's get the water moving and I'm gonna try not to drop this and I'm going to focus at the same time which doesn't sound like a good idea but okay wait you guys I can't stop all focus okay we'll try to do this the right way okay getting my focus and now this is really important because I'm choosing my focal point now within this image this is where my subject will go but it's really hard because it's so close but I think I think I got it okay I know ok let's make some motion this is craziness okay so there's still not quite enough water and there it needs to be a lot higher um and so I think we're just gonna have to I'll shove the water this time okay so you guys could bring the house back actually yeah and I will say of the water that didn't work too badly except that we have lots of bubbles so this is exactly the kind of thing that I was worried about the proportion of the water with the dollhouse so we're going to have to have some clear water I think and the reason I mean clear isn't like we can't have bubbles we can't have anything obstructing it the most ideal situation here is that the floor was black if the floor of his black then the water would appear darker and then we wouldn't be able to see how exactly shallow it wass that's the problem that we're running into so those bubbles obviously not going to work there's too much death happening in this image so there's too much out of focus in the foreground so in this image I would be cropping in to about here like that and the water so out of focus here that that might create a problem of believability in the end so I'm going to go ahead and I'm gonna try this one more time I'm going to get really close and I'm just going to shove the water then okay uh levels new bubbles well I think it's there's going to be a problem of height and I think that we just can't get enough water in there well and would that bring the water hire both sides of them that was so good so good yeah that's great no no levels cool all right now let's raise it up and we'll do one more where we have a different room okay I like this room the way I like the staircase room okay so we're going to do one more can you bring that a little closer to me I know it's really hard and we're going to take more and more shot here like this okay I'm just taking multiple focal points now great okay so those are some images that I probably will use instead of the attic despite the fact that there's a window back there and I'm not so worried about the window cause aiken just clone the window out if I want teo so instead of worrying so much about it I'd rather just have a shot that I really like and end up using that now I don't know if actually got one and focus in the center of the room so I'm gonna do it one more time I know that I'm like way over time but okay okay okay I'm gonna make it a little bit brighter as well just so that I can see in there a little bit better I'm trying to get straight onto this house and I'm gonna do one more absolute focus here to make certain that I am seeing the right thing in focus there we go okay okay I like that with staircase because now we can see that it's a house before it was a little bit questionable so now the only thing that I need to do is photograph the houses or house multiple times at that angle isn't that a good on I like that one the best I think we'll play with that later for sure and now I'm going to put this on top of my tripod and we're going to do with houses so all three of you guys back on deck no rest for the weary okay so I am back in my position on my tripod I don't have to change anything with that but when I do need now is to focus on the house so we can just submerge that house we can set it down in there and you could just hold it in place and angle it away from me this way yep there we go and you could just set it flat great oh yeah I know I know you hold onto that and that will be good so now I am photographing this house at many different angles and the reason why I'm doing that is because I just very simply don't know where this house is going to end up in my final image okay so I've got my focus I've taken a shot of the house now the problem here is that the house is the same color as the background that's bad so I am going to need to do something very tricky here and the thing that I need to do is make sure that the white part of the houses on the black but the black part of the houses on the white it's not going to be as complicated as it sounds all I want to do is get rid of this black just let it sort of sink into the water because they needed on this side but not that side and the reason why we're doing that is so we can see separation between the two that way we know where it needs to get cut out and that's going to make this a lot easier so you if you just want to push that down into the water and then we're good we're golden actually perfect so hopefully you can see what I'm saying with this shot that I just took now we see the white part of the house on the black and we will now see the black part of the house on the white does that make sense okay so now I just need to shoot this a couple more times same exact thing so you can just keep kind of move in the house toward me yep there we go got that and now I'm gonna tell you when did let your hand go and actually whenever you want you got it now turn it again perfect and whenever you wanna let your hands go got it and now one more time those shingles air holding up well enough okay that's god's great grout it and now one more we'll just do one more and then we will be done yeah we got it okay now let's get that house out of their sin some little child can enjoy it for the rest of her life okay so I know that I'm really far over but thankfully I think I got all the shots that I need the only thing that we didn't do was get water moving on the house but I couldn't do that with the ocean water shot that I got from before

Class Materials

bonus material with purchase

Logic Checklist
Must Have Shots
Favorite Photoshop Tools
Lighting Effects
Practice Files - Cutting out Hair from Background
Practice Files - Building a Dress
Practice Files - Swapping Hand
Practice Files - Levitation
Adorama Gear Guide

Ratings and Reviews

Logan Fox

I'm so thrilled to have come across this course and to have been introduced to Brooke Shaden. As a bit of background I do photography as a hobby, and always had an appetite to composite my work. It's only after watching this course that I can finally put a name to a craft that I love, that being 'fine art photography'. Through my own personal journey I've read various books, followed online tutorials both paid and free. When I came across this course I did hesitate. I wondered 'is it going to teach me anything new'... 'would the standard of the course be up to scratch'. Well, I can honestly say with hand on heart that this is by far is one of the best courses I've come across to date. As a solo photographer myself I've found it difficult at times to be both photographer and subject at the same time. From the outset what became clear was that Brooke is just like me in this respect which made the course so 'relevant' to what I do. Brooke shows throughout the course what can be achieved with a little planning and some creative approaches to situations that can be difficult to pull off when on your own. She is such a joy to watch and listen to, I loved her sense of humor and great how the audience were involved in some of the shoots. All I can say is, if you're in to photography and interested in compositing your work, you should give this a go, you wont regret it!


I'd like to show my gratitude and gratefulness to Ms Shaden and other wonderful people at CreativeLIVE for sharing your vast knowledge without making a fuss. Not everybody has a super computer and a top-notch camera, not everyone has a studio to work in and not everyone needs to know everything as perfectly as some instructors and professionals do. I, for one, have gained so much insight and have been intrigued by Ms Shaden's present and past lessons, she makes the most difficult and surreal subjects unfold so easily and effortlessly. Ms Shaden has made me believe no matter where I be and no matter what i have, as long as i have a good story to tell, and the right vision, I should be able to handle it with a working camera and any version of Photoshop. Unlike many other instructors who kill us every 5 minutes to buy their flashes or gear and support this or that company and agency, Ms Shaden has spent the whole time teaching and teaching and teaching and I am sorry I cannot be there to thank you in person, but you, Ms Shaden, are awesome and nobody can unawesome you :)


I have been a huge fan of Brooke's work since the beginning of the flickr days. I'm so excited to see her in her element on CL. So many years ago i was so very interested in learning and creating and CL makes this possible now. A lot of my work has been inspired by Brooke's dark yet beautiful work style and i am super inspired to create some using her advice. I cannot wait to delve deeper into this world i have been waiting so long to indulge in it and now i will even more so than i have the last 3 years. Thank you Brooke and CL ! =) Sarina Gito Photography (

Student Work