Shooting For Post

When using these methods, there are two related, but distinct stages of image creation. The first stage is the understanding of the lighting for various portions of the subject. We don’t need to contemplate how to achieve all lighting effects prior to setup, but we need to choose what effects we want to see and then separate them into distinct aspects of the lighting. Future planning is required to assure that the parts will fit together properly.

3 The second image was made with a light positioned from the camera side at a slightly downward angle to illuminate the orange surface of the calendar. The downward angle of the lighting reflected the specular, slightly diffuse light source onto the paper material in front of the calendar. An overexposure was made to eliminate tonal inconsistencies caused by any refraction or internal reflections. The result of this image is an even tone across the orange back of the front plaque of the calendar, and the white lines are clear and crisp.

The second stage is putting together the final image through selections, layering and global changes in Photoshop. Because we’re using selections in the production of the image, we don’t need to hide all the lighting components. Therefore, lighting controls like reflectors and flags can be used close to the subject. Lighting tools that appear in the frames will be removed as the final image is constructed. This is critical to your thinking. You’re not fixing the image in Photoshop; you’re planning where you’ll be selecting part of an image—essentially, you’re planning a crop—and with that plan, you’re placing the lights and modifiers accordingly.

4 In the second image, the reflections on the top surfaces were uncontrolled. A third image was made, with a white reflector directly behind the calendar. This was lit to create the desired reflection on the top surfaces.

Putting The Pieces Together…

Because we created the images from a single point without change in focus or magnification, and for specific purposes in the compositing of the final, the images go together quite easily. Here, we use the layering ability in Photoshop to allow the buildup of the lighting effects.

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