Photoshop Group Photos
Sometimes the gathering of different subjects is just not possible. Sport personalities, movie characters simple subjects can come together simply by using Photoshop. In this example, we will make our life simple by using a low key ambience to avoid different exposures and impossible backgrounds. All the following images have been taken in 10 minutes at the Tafe Studio simply by using a small beauty dish (around 10 inches) with a honeycomb to direct the light set about 3 meters in the air on a boom stand:
A bunch of individual pictures were taken after that…
…eventually getting pictures like these…
…and that’s where the real exercise starts. There are several way to do this, in class Eraldo just created a panoramic black canvas and simply dragged the individual pictures on it. Being all on low key settings, the building of the image is rather simple; Once two pictures are overlapped, FREE TRANSFORMATION (command+T/shift) is used to control the proportion of the subject. The RUBBER TOOL is also used in order to erase the elbows or edges of the person that unnaturally cover the previous image. The final result is actually quite cool:
Not bad. Obviously, i’m going to practice by using different techniques and, inevitably, I will try to improve this one by adding my personal touch (as if…).
Step one, add some other interesting subjects. As I said before, the good of Photoshop is that it allows to put together people that otherwise would never gather. Something unusual, similar to but not necessarily these ones:
Step two, the composition. I start with a large black canvas of about 50×20 cm and I start adding my subjects; I open them on a separate canvas then I manly use the QUICK SELECTION in order to quickly and roughly select my subjects. Then a simple COPY/PASTE (control+C/control+V) sticks the images in my canvas. As soon as a more than one person is in the picture,the black edges becomes a problem. So I select the layer with too much black and with the RUBBER TOOL I delete the edges. The BRUSH TOOL along with the BURN/DODGE TOOL are often used in order to darken or black color some parts. The FREE TRANSFORMATION and MOVE TOOL are used to move around and compose the final image. The number of final layers is high, over 20. Therefore is better to give names to each one:
So, once all the components are positioned in the pictures and bits and pieces are adjusted, the final image becomes rather interesting…
Nice bunch of people!
Painting with Lights
Light painting is a photographic technique in which exposures are made by moving a hand-held light source or by moving the camera. A variety of light sources can be used: simple flashlights, candles, matches, fireworks, lighter flints, or, in our case, smartphones and they colorful torch apps. A tripod, a cable release (or self timer) are also necessary. We’ll be using handheld lights to selectively illuminate and/or color parts of the subject or scene; it requires a slow shutter speed, about 30-60 seconds in our case.
Here is a tutorial video from Youtube by expert Eric Curry: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RK_tBOT8xDc where an incredible desert landscape is created with several night shots:
Some of the several shots taken
Final result after Photoshop
The idea is taking a bunch of pictures of our dark room lit with different lights. Then, through Photoshop, put them together in one straight canvas and composes the all image from different separated shots of light.
Here is our darkroom (with the lights on):
D800 on a tripod, shutter between 30 to 60 seconds, low 100 iso to avoid noise, f5. These are the shots taken:
After exporting jpeg in order to quick process the images, I open them in Photoshop. And this the result after overlapping everything in Photoshop. The layer have been adjusted with the RUBBER TOOL and the color has been enhanced using different layers and retouching saturation, vibrance, hue and color balance. Simple but it gives the idea, not looking for a beautiful image at this stage:
In another instance, we position Elija was positioned on a trolly in the center of the darkroom. A long exposure shot was taken in the dark with Eraldo and Winson illuminating him with their mobile phone torch. This is what it looks like:
Then two more shots were taken in the same way, Elija not lit and the boys just painting at his back:
The last two pictures were overlapped then, on the red light one, I used the RUBBER TOOL to erase anything I did not need. Finally, Elija was quick selected, copied and pasted on the top of everything. Borders refined with a very soft rubber and the fianl result is this:
Again, very rough but it gives the idea.
Pinhole Cameras / Camera Obscura
A pinhole camera / camera obscura (Latin for darken room) is the simplest camera. They basically work just like the eye: light is coming from the top, is limited by passing through a hole at the front of the eye called the pupil, going through eye’s lens for focus, then continuing in mostly the same direction and hitting the bottom of the retina, the back wall which is covered in light-sensitive cells. In the same way, light comes from the bottom and hits the top of the retina, comes from the left and hits the right, and comes from the right and hits the left. The brain then flips it around.
A tin, shoebox, can or any hollow object that can be made light tight may be used. A very small pin hole has to be made and there is a tiny simple camera. A light source is to be position in front of the pinhole, a lit subject between the camera and the light and the natural phenomenon will happen: the image appears upside down on the wall opposite the hole inside the camera.
Then, in the case of the pinhole camera, we need film: a light sensitive material has to go where the reflected image is and then exposed to light. If the light is good, the timing perfect and the camera kept still an image will be projected opposite the whole and captured on the sensitive material. Up to a certain point, the smaller the hole, the sharper the image, but the dimmer the projected image. Optimally, the size of the aperture should be 1/100 or less of the distance between it and the projected image. Because a pinhole camera requires a lengthy exposure, its shutter may be manually operated, as with a flap made of light-proof material to cover and uncover the pinhole. Typical exposures range from 5 seconds to several hours.
Pinhole cameras are often used to view eclipse as the event is observed indirectly, the diminished intensity of the pinhole image offers total safety being harmless compared with the full glare of the sun itself when watched. Pinhole cameras with CCDs are also used in surveillance as they are difficult to detect.
Then there is the Camera Obscura. The concept is the same though, technically, in this case we do not have to expose a film. Again, a simple device such a box or room with a hole in one side:
Camera obscura was an important invention as it lead to the development of the traditional camera. It uses mostly the same setup, except rather than letting the rays hit film, they’re directed against a wall or screen for direct viewing by people. Sometimes mirrors are used between the pinhole and the screen to flip the image to appear correctly. Most camera obscura setups were large enough people would be inside the camera.
The use of camera obscura became particularly popular in the 18th century among artists as it could be used as a drawing aid by tracing the images projected on the screen. The camera obscura would be useful for establishing the fundamental structure or perspective of a composition.