We venture into some glossy territory with our latest Pro Tutorial – The Photographer, as we give you step-by-step lessons on how to create amazing magazine cover portraits. The shooting process involves working with up to six strobes and this tutorial includes complete sections on understanding how to accurately set up the lights, as well as how to simplify the retouching process.
This Pro Tutorial will offer the user new challenges and tasks. Besides a complete lesson on photography and light setup, the lessons that follow provide a wide focus on retouching techniques. Techniques such as working with textures & building backgrounds, advanced masking & merging subjects, color grading, light fixes & corrections, as well as creating a realistic feel & light look.
When applying the methods presented in this Pro Tutorial, the user would be able to photograph and retouch amazing magazine cover portraits. At +/-120 minutes, the Photographer Pro Tutorial offers the user the methods to give his/her image that quality definition and shine we so often see on magazine covers, books and movie posters.
The idea behind the tutorial is not only to familiarize people with the techniques but also to help them understand the reason for using certain methods and how to improve on their retouching techniques.
Included in your Pro Tutorial – 2 Hours Step by Step guide
- Lesson 1 – Photography Part
- Lesson 2 – Light Setup & Diagram
- Lesson 3 – Preparations & Raw Conversions
- Lesson 4 – Help Layers & Notes
- Lesson 5 – Basic Retouching & Cleaning
- Lesson 6 – Fixes & Light Boost
- Lesson 7 – Building background & Merging Subject
- Lesson 8 – Color Grading, Eyes, Contrast
- Lesson 9 – Dodge & Burn
- Lesson 10 – Sharpness & Final Adjustment
Included working files
- RAW – Source File
- PSD – Photoshop File
- Two – Texture Files
Final Retouched Image | Before & After
Pro Tutorial Description
Planning & Photography
In our first two lessons, we discuss all the photography elements and setting up the lights. This includes a diagram. During this lesson, we will also share our thoughts, as well as share our inside tricks to guide you in your choice and preference. Later we’ll go through a complete before and after series, presenting both the original and updated Image, and how we adjust the lights in order to achieve a perfect in camera exposure.
Preparations & Raw Conversions
In our first retouching lesson, we will concentrate on our basic adjustments in camera raw and import our raw image into Photoshop. This process helps us to pre-adjust the contrast, exposure, image pop and subtle sharpening.
Help Layers & Notes
For this lesson, we will put the techniques on hold and create a new help layer in order to point out all the retouching steps. This helps us to stay focused during the retouching process. This is not an obligation, but it does help during the retouching process, since you can always fall back on it and remind yourself of what still needs to be done.
Basic Retouching & Cleaning
Now that we have a basic understanding of what we want to retouch, we will concentrate on cleaning up our background and subject. This is not a major obstacle. It involves a few steps, such as healing, cloning and refining the background dust marks.
Fixes & Light Boost
We finished with our basic retouching in the previous lesson, now it’s time to concentrate on fixes & light boost. What does that mean? We will only be working in selective areas in order to draw attention to specific sections. In some cases, we’ll do the opposite, with the intention to draw attention away from an area. This is done with simple light adjustments.
Importing Textures Into Photoshop
Now that we have our base plate prepared, we are ready to add a background. Our first step will be to import several textures into Photoshop. These will be supplied in your download folder. If you wish to find some more textures you might want to take a look at our texture gallery here.
Building Background & Merging Subject
Now that we have imported the texture, we will concentrate on our second task, which is to add color and merge the texture to the background. We will also concentrate on light adjustments. This means controlling the light between the background and the subject, melting both images together and giving it a realistic look again. This process requires accuracy and attention to detail, as it is essential in creating a realistic end result.
Now that we have created the final plate, it’s time to concentrate on a unique color grade. This means bringing both the background and the subject color together as one. Not just that, we will also be applying subtle adjustment layers, in order to control the overall contrast on the subject, which gives the image that moody / dramatic touch.
Dodge & Burn
In this section, we will be working with our famous Dodge & Burn technique (We have an excellent Free Tutorial on this technique – Find it here). This means creating two new unique layers, one for dodging the highlights and one for burning the shadows. This would effectively emphasize the light in the image. A lesson on this process will be available soon!
Sharpness & Final Adjustments
In our concluding lesson, we will concentrate on the last 20% of the final image. This means applying a final color grade, selective sharpness on hair and clothing, controlling the overall vignetting and creating a final plate. This will be set to rest for a day and then we come back and give a final decision on the color grade and light pop!