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Selects for In Studio Image

Lesson 37 from: Fine Art Conceptual Photography from Shoot through Post-Processing

Bella Kotak, Pratik Naik

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Lesson Info

37. Selects for In Studio Image


Class Trailer

Class Introduction


Artistic Vision and Inspiration


Personal Projects


Creative Motivation and Defining Your Story


Organizing Your Inspiration


Building A Character


Creating Wardrobe and Props


Location Scouting


Lesson Info

Selects for In Studio Image

All right, so we are going to be talking about our studio shoot now, and going through the images, and then we're going to be editing a small bit of composite work before jumping into color toning, particularly for a photoshoot image. Hmm, and the benefit of this process is that although we looked at outdoor image, studio images interact differently with light. Also, since we use medium format in studio, we're gonna talk a little about that and show you the difference and how much color range we can pull out, as well as adding this mystical element of, what was the concept yesterday? Well the concept really was born from the dress, and the dress was very like, mermaid unicorn vibes, and so we decided to go ahead that. We gave her a unicorn horn, we took photos of her standing up and actually photos of her lying down as well, and really having fun with, just playing around with the dress, and seeing how we can create a really striking image from it. But, yeah, it was very fantasy, v...

ery fairytale based I would say. (laughter) Perfect, let's take a look at some of the images we shot, as we have our images up in Capture One as well, and explain what you see as you go through them, which images you might find more appealing than others as well. Yeah, so whenever I shoot, I keep clicking even when I'm not completely happy with the pose the model is doing, and that's just because you never know when you're gonna capture a moment, I'm one of those people who shoots very quickly. I'm always making minute changes along the way. But essentially what I'm always looking for is to capture an emotion, and when I go through the selects, that's pretty much what I'm looking for, I'm looking for something that feels very emotive to me, which this picture actually does. There's a lot of softness, there's a softness in her eyes, the way she's looking down, but there's a regal kind of regalness in her from the way her face is elevated and her neck is nice and long as well. Her shoulders are back, she looks quite strong, and she has soft, gentle hands, which I always look for whenever I make my selects. This photo probably doesn't work very well because she's looking away, there's no engagement with the viewer, whereas the photo before it she's looking directly at us, and you're like, I don't know there's a connection there with the viewer, and I think that's also something that influences the final select that I go for. Okay, I'm also looking at lighting, but again that's something that I would have hopefully, and I did, tweak while we were shooting, so really at this point it's really just whatever I think makes a striking image, and like speaks to me, as a viewer, and then I'll be like, okay well that's a great select, I'm gonna go ahead with it. So, we're gonna scroll down to the bits where the shots where we took of her lying down. Yes, because as well, we are gonna be talking about retouching some of these up close shots later on, in the next segment, but first we're gonna look at the other setup we did laying down for more evocative colorwork too. Yes, that's right. So I actually really love this photo because her face, her hands, her hair looks really beautiful, I'm not very keen on her leg placement, but that's okay, cause that sometimes happens, and in this case I would just look around and see what are the leg photos I like. We actually went ahead earlier, and we made a few selects to the pieces that we were gonna use for our composite. Capture One is really easy, we just starred five star for the pictures that we wanted to work on, four stars for the composite pieces that we would use, and the composite pieces are the ones with the smoke in them, because they look so pretty and striking, the way the little swirls of smoke were like merging with the greenery Right, so the best part is, being able to play with these files, so we'll actually give you a couple to play in the raw stage, that way you can see some of the detail here. The cool part is even with these shots, they look quite far away, but again, because we are far up, and we have such a huge megapixel range, we were able to go in and this is only 33% and then we can go all the way to a hundred, and see all the detail there, so if we decide to change a particular cropping, you have a full length shot, and we wanted something closer, we can do that as an afterthought as well. Yeah, yes, all right, so let's have a look at this, so these are the final selects that we decided to go ahead with aren't they? So we loved this one, because of the patterns that her body is making. I particularly like this one, because I love the expression on her face, the softness, you can still see her neck in her arm and body pose. And we also loved this as well, as a shot to crop in to, this is one that we were considering, because this camera is 100 megapixel, I have a lot of freedom in deciding how I want this photo to look. So for example, if I want it to be a big photo where I expand on the sides over here, that's possible, and if I wanted to zoom in and crop maybe and just work on it as a portrait image of her lying down, that's possible too, and we'd still have really good quality, cause the file size is so big, when you're shooting with a medium format. I was just wondering if that can be a limiting factor for processing, in how that is a problem on the processing end of the files being so big when you're adding them to each other? They will always increase, and it's just how technology is, you know, you eventually just increase your hard drive space, so it's not as big of an issue. As you see, I'm running from a laptop and it's doing okay, but it's a good question it will increase, it's a good thing to note if you're planning to upgrade or look out for a shoot like that, because these raw files are 120 megabytes per shot. So you have to be very calculative and you can't be spray and pray kind of person, right, you have to know exactly what you want before you start shooting, so, good point. Yeah, I actually had to buy a new computer, but admittedly my old one was Like 25 million years old, yeah. It was pretty bad, it couldn't even handle normal files let alone a phase one file, so yeah. So, okay, so we're gonna go ahead and crop a picture. I quite like this one. Okay. Yeah? Yup. Great, so let's go ahead and crop. Nope, your finger was there, perfect. Go right here, gonna keep some of the, yeah, gonna grab it from the bottom as well, brilliant. Like so. Let me see, I don't want to show the full, I actually kind of want it to be something like this, and what I'm gonna do, is add bits of foliage around the side, and I wanna add some smoke coming in as well, and I might make the picture like that as well. So, do you see? Okay, great. All right, moving this up just a tad, fantastic. Okay, so I'm looking at composition and balance and how I feel this would work. I think I'm happy with that, so we're gonna go ahead and, select it, great. What I also did like, however, was the foliage down the side here. So we're gonna export one without the crop and one with. That's right. So same thing like we did before, the output folder. We're gonna keep it to tiff this time, so we have a bit larger file space to work with as well. You get tiff also work with layers as well, it doesn't really matter which either way. So that's that, uncompressed again, it'll be RGB, same thing we talked about is repetition, I'll export that one variant, and it should open Photoshop just like that. Brilliant. And then I'll go back really quickly, and keep some of that foliage, so that you have more room to play and crop if you so choose to. You can go down a little bit more. I'm gonna use some of that foliage. And I'm gonna make it more challenging for you. (laughter)

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Practice PSD File - Sleeping Beauty
Pratik Naik Retouching Actions
The Royal Collection - Fine Art Actions
Practice PSD File - Location Shoot (~700mb)
Practice PSD File - In Studio Shoot (~1.3gb)

Ratings and Reviews


Great class and great instructors. Genuine and informative. Practical tips to create stunning images. Seeing them work through the process from shoot to finished image was great and I loved that they shared the thought processes behind the creative decisions. Definitely recommended!


Truly a remarkable duo. Bella is so down-to-earth and humble for a photographer with such a strong beautiful and ethereal voice. Her explanations of her process really inspired me--I was sketching concepts throughout the class. Pratik's process really opened my eyes to "smart" retouching--understanding what can be done in fewer brush strokes and slimmer PS files. All in all a really unique and inspiring class that makes me excited to realize my next conceptual shoot. They're also adorable together!

Mai Her

I've gained sooooo much from this I can't even contain my appreciation and excitement! So much inspiration and so much generous advice and tips to help me! Thank you so much Bella and Pratik and Creative Live!

Student Work