Photography workflow - Dean Osborne

I just wanted to share a little bit of what can sometimes go into an image

A lot of people see the photos we photographers produce and think a lot of it is down to the high quality camera we use or associated lenses and lighting

Whilst having top of the range equipment certainly helps the end result, their are not many cameras out there at the moment be they compact system or DSLR that are capable of bad photos for at least the last 5 years, having a quality professional camera system usually makes it easier, has more reliable autofocus and is more rugged

The photos show what is possible with just a window as a background and a single light either bounced on camera or on a stand with a cheap modifier on it - in this case an umbrella It also shows what went into the editing to get from the image SOOC (straight out of camera) to the finished product I think you'll agree that such a simple setup creates great results for head and shoulders or 3/4 length shots with a bit of knowledge of Lightroom and Photoshop I use Lightroom extensively and use photoshop when I need a tool that Lightroom doesn't have

The image is of Kelsey on her school prom night my wife Cloe Osborne, did Kelsey's makeup for her before the shoot which helps a great deal

Initially I found the exposure which got as close as possible to blowing the background to pure white without too much light on our subject Kelsey, then dial in some flash for pleasing illumination of our model Kelsey

The flash was in a 40" shoot through white umbrella quite close to our model camera left and slightly above her head high for soft light from a good angle

I couldn't completely blow the background as I started to get too much light on the subject so once the photo is in Lightroom cc I immediately export to photoshop cc (Ctrl e) Once in PS I duplicate the background layer as a matter of course so I can always revert to that if some thing goes wrong I then select all the areas I want to be white with the quick selection tool (shortcut w) very quickly. It usually selects part of the subject so I quickly switch the tool to subtract  mode and within seconds I have all the areas I want white selected.

The only little problem is that the edge won't be very good between the subject and the white background so I select the refine edge tool and using these settings smart radius 10, smooth 20, feather 2, everything else default click okay I now have a selection of the white background with a nice slightly soft and smoothed edge to it So I add a curves adjustment layer And it will automatically have a mask applied from my selection I then simply drag the upper right section of the line to the left a bit until all or most of the background is white.

If as in this case there are still some parts not quite pure white I then add another layer Right click on the layer mask on the curves and select add mask to selection This then gives me back my selection I select my new layer and the. select the brush tool and paint in white any areas that are not pure white.

I then flattern the image once happy and close it and click save I then switch to Lightroom cc (alt and tab) And after a short delay the edited image is there alongside the original I then usually tweak my colours and add some of my presets depending on the purpose of the image I then do my spot healing for any blemishes or scars (I do this last as it does slow LR down a bit) And export at a particular size again depending on its destination (print or web etc) usually 2048 on the long edge is optimum for facebook, for my website I do 2160 pixels on the short edge (So my images can fill the screen of 4k tv's and monitors) and for print 300 dpi is optimal (multiply final print size in inches x 300) sometimes for larger prints images will need to be enlarged depending on the printer I will sometimes do this in photoshop and sometimes let the printer handle it depending on the quality of the printer 

I hope this has been a good insight into how some of our images are made :-) Any questions please feel free to ask

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