Sunday, April 28, 2013

Adding Motion to a Background in Photoshop

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To watch the video tutorial for this blog post
My hubby is an avid bicyclist and is thrilled to
finally get some good biking weather.
As he was leaving for a long bike ride today,
he asked if I could snap a photo of him to use as
his profile pic on a biking web site.
"Honey, I'll just ride up the driveway and you
can take a picture," he said.
I groaned, knowing our driveway would mean an
ugly background.
Me to Hubby, "Can you pedal SLOW so I can keep focus?"
This is the actual photo I snapped.  I think he was just about to
topple over from lack of movement.
Hardly the "Man in Motion" shot I knew he wanted...
so I added motion blur to the background in Photoshop.
It's actually very easy to do if you know the
basics of Photoshop.
Start by clicking on the Quick Selection Tool
as seen by the yellow arrow.
If you don't know how to use this tool, there
are plenty of Youtube videos to teach you.
Using the tool, outline your subject like I did here:

Next click:   Select>Inverse
Now your background is selected and we are going to
give it some motion blur.
Click on:  Filter>Blur>Motion Blur
A dialog box will come up.
Turn the angle wheel to go in the direction of the
subject's movement.
Use the distance slider to create the amount of blur you like.
You will need to play with this until it's to your liking.
In this photo, I used 240 Pixels.
It's THAT easy!
It sure does add some life and movement
and makes him look like he's zooming.
It also gets rid of that cluttery background.
Nobody will know he was inching along so I wouldn't
lose focus... *wink*!
He's so darn cute in those biker shorts! *another wink*!

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Studio Backlighting with Continuous Lights

When I posted these black and white studio photos on my Jill Wellington Photography
Facebook page, several people contacted me to ask how I lit them.
I want to share the photography technique with you.
I love how her hair just ignites with the backlight,
yet the lighting on her face is soft and beautiful.
I have continuous lights in my little basement studio.
When shooting outdoors, I love backlighting in the sun,
So, I decided to set up the back light as if it
was the sun...nice and high "in the sky" to the right of my subject.
Then I used a reflector to bounce the light
back into the subject's face.
I also used a fan to blow her hair.
The key to the soft light on the face is using
a reflector rather than a harsh light.
 I really enjoyed experimenting with the
technique on my lovely daughter
with the long flowing hair.

The photos were also beautiful in color.
I loved capturing the "sun" haze.
Here's without the haze...such beautiful soft light!
No harsh shadows on the face.
I also tried adding a texture as a "wall" behind her and like this, too.
Try this technique if you have access to studio lighting!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Moving Objects in Photos

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I love this ROSEY photo of 6-year-old Allie!
But, her surroundings weren't so rosey to begin with.
(See next photo.)
I MOVED the roses in editing and even
added a rose to her hair.
Watch my video tutorial to learn two simple
techniques for moving objects in Photoshop and PSE.
I know you will go crazy with this technique and improve
your own photos!

Friday, April 5, 2013

Balloon Baby

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I have Spring Fever BIG TIME!
I played around in Photoshop to create this whimsical,
carefree...SPRINGY portrait of a baby floating by
The photo is a compilation of three other photos!
If you want to try's how I did it:
I started with a photo of someone holding up a baby in the air.
I took this one last fall.  I had to do some magical cloning
to get rid of Dad's hand and arm.
Then I cloned my kids out of this photo so I could
use the background.
I snagged the balloons from this photo...
One of my dud photos from a trampoline photo
shoot last summer. 
But the balloons were perfect!
I layered it all together and got this:
Look through your photos for somebody running,
or jumping or spreading their arms like this:
You can use my background, and I made a PNG of
the balloons for you to scoot into your photo.

And create something like this:
Or this:
Create some spring MAGIC! 


Monday, April 1, 2013

Indoor Natural Light Photography

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Because I live in Michigan, I am forced inside for most
children and newborn photo sessions this time of year.
I do have a nice little studio set up in my basement with lights, but
I MUCH prefer natural light.
So I have been looking around my house for pretty patches of
natural light and found this one in my dining room.
That's my gorgeous pink thrift store chair by a window
casting delectable light on my subjects.
The light changes with the time of day and whether or
not it's sunny outdoors.
I like to move the subject until I see the natural
light is falling to illuminate their face.
The window faces west and these were taken
about 3 pm with light streaming in.
My front door is flanked by two tall windows with
dreamy natural light flooding the front hallway.
I always shoot in manual using indoor natural light
because I need full control over my aperature, shutter speed and ISO.
I like to shoot almost wide open, so depending on how
much light is streaming in...I may have to raise or lower the shutter speed.
If it's still too dark, I raise the ISO.
Of course, I had to include more from the newborn shoot
with precious Elliana and her mama Korey.
These were done in my studio with lights, but I wanted to
share them because I love babies!
For me, newborns are difficult. 
I have trouble getting them to sleep!
At 7 days old, Elliana didn't want to miss a thing...
She only slumbered in short spurts, so we had
to shoot FAST!
So many cute and fun baby girl props!
Look around your house for the natural light....
it's magic!