Saturday, December 31, 2011

Shooting For Post

Text And Photography By Glenn Rand Published in Advanced Camera Technique
Though you'll want to keep the original images at their highest bit-depth and in RAW format if that's the way they were captured, you'll need to work in an interpolated format. It's best to save these interpolated files with different names.

5 The fourth image was produced to capture the white numbers on the rear acrylic piece of the calendar. To make the numbers show, a black card was placed behind the numbered area. Lighting was angled at the calendar from the front to directly illuminate the numbers and letters within the calendar. This assured that the numbers and letters could be seen in this image.

The compositing can be done in 16 bits per channel (48-bit color) for most applications and operations, but 8 bits per channel (24-bit color) reduces the file size and allows more effects within Photoshop.

In this example, we start with our positioning image. All the images were made from the same location with the same image alignment on the sensor. This means that the files will align in Photoshop. There, you have two distinct choices about how you'll work with the layers. One is an additive process, and the other is subtractive.

6 The final image in the set creates a light streak—a blush of light—across the face of the calendar. Placing a white reflector in front of the calendar and illuminating it with a pattern of light from above accomplished this because the camera is pointed down and the light pattern in front creates the reflection that appears on all front-facing surfaces. The blush gives added dimensionality to the finished image.

The first option is to select a portion of each layer and stack one on top of the other. Each successive layer works toward the final image. However, if you take this approach and you make the selections prior to layering, the corners of the frame should be maintained to assure proper alignment. The second option is to use each frame in its entirety as a layer. When you go this route, you'll need to erase areas after each new layer is in place. While this works just fine and is very useful for some shots, it's usually more time consuming and potentially less satisfactory than the additive process with small corners selected. If the selection is made without including the corners, then moving and nudging the images into alignment is often required. If any nudging needs to be done, be sure to view the image at the pixel level. In either case, no effect should be used on any layer prior to alignment with the master file.

Glenn Rand is a photographer, a writer and an educator. You can find his books at
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