This was always a shoot on the move. From the initial idea based on the dress, I decided it needed more and began to create a headpiece from some artificial blue roses I had lying around. As I was constructing it I was listening to Nick Cave and Kylie Minogue’s “Where the Wild Roses Grow” and suddenly a new concept came to mind based on the song.
After an aborted shoot due to bad weather and the MUA having to cancel, we rescheduled for a Friday afternoon. Unfortunately there were storms coming over and I didn’t get the lovely golden backlight I had hoped for. Most of the SOOC shots were poorly exposed or I missed the mark with the speedlight. I was going to have to pull something out of my hat in post!
After an initial cleanup in Lightroom where I adjusted exposure and lens corrections, I brought the images into Photoshop for my normal post production workflow. I actually have a batch process set up for the first four or five steps of the video but I don’t show that in the video so you can see exactly what I do.
This my first bts video and recording of my methods so please be nice! It’s a little long because I’m a little slow. Unfortunately it doesn’t show brush sizes but I’m sure you’ll work it out. The colour toning and texturing is a little different to what I normally do but the basic process is the same. Anyway hope this helps someone!
Model: Catherine Hargraves
MUAH: Irima Vee
I’ve had a few people ask me about my post-production work so I thought I’d include a behind-the-scenes post for this shoot.
After moving from one scene to another during the shoot, I noticed a light haze as I looked through the viewfinder. At first I thought it was just the scene and took a few snaps. But it still didn’t look right so I checked the lens and found it had a little condensation on it (about as much of the fog as we got!). I duly wiped it off and continued. Of course Murphy’s Law states that one of the few shots I took before cleaning the lens would be the shot of the day and sure enough it was (see SOOC shot at the bottom of the post)!
I loved everything else about the shot though so I decided to persist. I pulled the file into Photoshop via Camera Raw and used a curves layer to even out the light. I cleaned up the skin and did a bit of reshaping. It’s not something I would always do but this was going to be somewhat of a fantasy image.
I wanted a little more drama for the face so I added the lip colour and finished off the dress with a red ribbon to tie the colour elements together.
I darkened and desaturated the background and increased the overall contrast, then sharpened. At this point I flattened the image and started a new Photoshop document as my computer was starting to groan under the load!
I ran Florabella Luxe actions Pandora and London, reduced them both to 50% and removed the contrast and vignette layers so I just had the colour toning.
I wanted to create more separation from the background (oh for a faster lens!) so I duplicated the layer and ran a gaussian blur filter, masking out the subject. I then added two rust textures (set to multiply and hard light at low percentages) and two cloud layers set to soft light at 30-50%. For all the textures I masked out the skin areas. I then added a vignette and reduced the overall opacity to 80% before a little Levels adjustment to bring up the highlights.
Overall I’m happy with the result. Am I heavy handed on the textures? Sure, but I like that in the context of the swamp and I feel like I fulfilled my own brief for what I wanted this image to be.
Shot at f5, ISO 100, 1/80 at 55mm.
Photography and styling: me!
Model: Kim Boyce
Makeup: Kayla Lapworth
Behind the scenes shooter and assistant: Pauline Mandry.