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    • continuing with my behind the scenes posts here is one for my image The calling i did a few years back. it was a very fun and challenging shot to create and here is the breakdown for it


      the model in this shot–Angejolie jolie–approached me about doing a dark series based around some of the central themes of the show "Penny Dreadful" and one of the one things she asked me was can we do a levitation shot, to which my answer was a resounding...yes!


      i have seen a lot of levitation shots and the ones that succeed have proper lift for the body so the task was to support her body evenly to give that look. first i had her on the table using clear plastic tubs under her so i could get some separation from the table but that wasn't working so i moved to my heavy duty wooden dining room chairs. after testing it out myself–i would never put a model through something i would not test myself first–the chairs proved to be the perfect support system for the look i was after

      the lighting was one Paul C. Buff alien bee in a diffused 21" beauty dish directly overhead and another alien bee, bare bulbed aimed at the backdrop to illuminate through the material i shot the model first, then the table by itself, and finally draped her night gown material over two light stands so that i had additional material to work with when it was time to composite of just the flowing gown i shot with my 16-35mm right about in the middle range around 22mm at 1/200sec at f/5.6. once i had enough to work with i hopped over to photoshop to piece it all together


      this was a tricky composite as i had several elements to try to blend together. i first separated the model from the background and then did the same with the table as i knew i was going to be creating a whole new background for the scene i then pulled pieces of the material from the shots i did with the gown alone and found pieces that matched her angle and form and blended those pieces into the scene for the final background i used a background texture that i purchased awhile back from one of Renee Robyn Photography's collections and then used some of the floor elements that i had created in a previous shot to finish out the room for a final touch i created some smoke, lighting, and shadow effects to tie the scene together and that was it

      final thoughts:

      for being the first time doing a levitation shot i was extremely happy with the results i ended up with and i think this is now up there with one of my most favorite shots i have created i have to thank HMUA Priscilla Monnique Artistry for her spot on makeup and hair work and give a huge thanks to model Angejolie Belle for putting her faith–and safety–in my hands and trusting in me to make a truly memorable shot for all of us

      please checkout both Angejolie and Priscilla's work on their social media pages as well and book them for your next shoot

      model: Angejolie Belle IG: @angejoliebellemodel

      HMUA: Priscilla Monnique Artistry IG: @priscillamonniqueartistry

      as always, if you have any questions please feel free to ask away. also, if anyone is interested in a speed edit of this shot you can see it here

    • Wonderful work! I have never shot sheer fabric with the intention of compositing. I have tried to composite sheer fabric afterwards and of course found it very difficult to get the "sheer" part of it looking good.

      I love the portrait perspective of the image to really support the idea of floating in air!

      Two questions:

      1. How did you darken the white background of the area around her hair?

      2. How did you blend the front edge of the table to get it to show through her gown?

      Thank You!

    • thank you much

      for the hair, i used a layer mask and cut in close with a hard, very opaque brush, then came back with a thinner, soft, brush with the opacity set very low to allow the background to fade through. and finally i have a brush i created that basically paints with the foreground and background colors simultaneously and painted in loose strands of hair to blend it all together

      for the hanging, sheer material i again used a layer mask and painted with a very soft, vey low opacity brush and just sort of whispered away parts of the material. since i shot the table separate i had all that information behind it to keep the detail visible when i painted away the fabric

      one of the key things with compositing is if possible shoot all of the elements individually as well as together so you have options when you go to put it all together in Photoshop

    • people often discredit compositing but there really is a lot to it that many do not realize that go into a final image and you really have to have forethought to make sure you have what you need to create it in the end. but like anything else, it takes doing it over and over again to get to a level where it becomes natural and second nature

      to me it is just another way to create my art and as long as the end result is what i see in my head before i even start to create it then i don't care what i have to do to make that happen

    • thank you much and happy to do it.

      i will continue to post these behind the scenes posts overtime so add "photoshop tutorials", "godriguezart" or "behind the scenes" to your interests as i will be tagging them with those when i post them

      if you ever have any questions on techniques or processes let me know, i'm here to help

    • I enjoy swapping backgrounds and very simple compositing but only as a total amateur - I will look forward to more of your posts with interest.

      I love great composites - I frequently capture shots of widlife that are in less than favorable lighting or in front of a less than optimal background, but the subject has an interesting or unique gesture. I like to upgrade these images ( of mine) with more favorable backgrounds - even if it is simply replacing a plain grey sky with a more interesting cloud patterns or something.

    • exactly! to me there are no rules when it's your art. i know there are purists that say everything should be straight out of camera but i don't have time for that nonsense. as long as you don't hide the fact that you improved the image via compositing–even wildlife photos–then there is no reason not to do it