We’re moving into more dramatic and moody territory with our latest Pro Tutorial. We’ve poured together our collective skills into bringing you a scary and dramatic portrait of a Zulu warrior in action.
This tutorial provides a free lesson on photography and light setup, while the later lessons focus extensively on retouching techniques. The techniques include light control for more dramatic images, selective sharpening, color grading, retouching & cleaning hair, dodge & burn, creating an image ‘pop’ and much, much more.
Dedicating the right amount of time to the tutorial and ensuring that you keep practicing the techniques would give you the skills to create other mind-blowing warrior portraits. At +/-90 minutes, the Zulu Warrior pro tutorial focuses on retouching the portrait image to give it the quality definition we wish we could see in the camera already.
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.
Included in your Pro Tutorial – 1.5 Hours Step by Step guide
- Lesson 1 – BTS Photography & Light Setup “Free”
- Lesson 2 – Preparations & Raw Conversions & Help Layers
- Lesson 3 – Basic Retouch & Cleaning
- Lesson 4 – Cleaning Hair & Headgear
- Lesson 5 – Selective Light Control
- Lesson 6 – Manual & Plug-In Sharpness
- Lesson 5 – Dodge & Burn
- Lesson 6 – Pop & First Color Grading
- Lesson 7 – Color Grade & Final Adjustments
Included working files
- Raw File
- PSD File
Behind the scenes – Photography & Light Setup
In our first lesson, which is also for free (Watch here), we’re going to discuss the complete light setup and all the thoughts that went into the project. We will also go through a complete before and after series, presenting both the original and updated image, and how we adjust the exposure.
Raw Conversions & Help Layers
In our first retouching lesson, we will concentrate on our basic adjustments in camera raw and import our raw image into Photoshop. We will then put the techniques on hold and create three new help layers in order to point out all the retouching steps. This helps us to stay focused during the retouching process.
Basic Retouch & Cleaning Hairs
In this lesson we focus on cleaning up our image and refining all dirty areas, such as dust marks, hairs, spots etc. This process gives us a better and much cleaner end result.
Cleaning Hairs & Headgear
Now that we have cleaned & retouched all the basic hair areas, we will concentrate on rebuilding and polishing the headgear. This will result in the headgear looking far more realistic.
Now that we have a clean and improved base plate, we will start to shape the light and enhance control over it. We will be using the curves adjustment layers in order to darken the light, but also to brush in & out the wanted areas. This process will involve about 3 different methods.
Manual & Plug-In Sharpening
In this Sharpening lesson we will start out with a manual sharpening technique / process and apply it throughout the image. There’s more, though. We will also be applying an extreme sharpness effect with an extra Plugin called Topaz Details! This will be applied to selective areas in order to achieve a super sharp image.
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 emphasise the light in the image!
Pop & First Color Grade
Now it is time for us to apply a First Color Grade & Image Pop. This we will do via a few different color adjustment layers and color channels. We will also be using the curves adjustment layer in order to achieve a pop in the highlights!
Color Grade & Final Adjustments
In our last lesson, we will be concentrating on our remaining 20% of our image – sharpness, fixes, size, as well as the overall look and feel. That’s not all though, we will also be applying a unique skin & color grading for the final touch.