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Problems faking it
Old 02-06-2004, 12:40 PM   #1 (permalink)
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I have been experimenting with masking studio shots onto tropical backgrounds to get me and my clients through the cold northern winter. I shot a lot of backgrounds while on various trips and I am now trying to shoot studio shots with strong backlighting and use photoshop to mask the studio shots onto the backgrounds. I have used curves and various other techniques to try to get a similar temperature, contrast, etc. but several still have that "fake" look. OK - it is fake but I used the same camera (not always the same lens) for both images and I would appreciate any comments regarding the studio setup or photoshop techniques that might help these images to look more realistic.
 
 
Re: Problems faking it
Old 02-06-2004, 02:27 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I'm relatively new to this site, so I apologize, I do not yet have a photo to post as I am not really a glamour photographer....yet. I am however a photographer and a graphic designer ( www.moyledesign.com for my work ).

Maybe bluring the background slightly would hemp you. You could even go into quick mask mode, delect the background with the gradient tool, and blur it progressively (less blurred at bottom "near model", more blurred at top "far away from model")

just thoughts, and again, forgive the lack of image with this post.

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Re: Problems faking it
Old 02-06-2004, 02:32 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Oops, meant to say "Maybe bluring the background slightly would help [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/crazy.gif[/img] you. You could even go into quick mask mode, select [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/crazy.gif[/img] the background with the gradient tool, and blur it progressively (less blurred at bottom "near model", more blurred at top "far away from model")"

Sorry for the typos
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Re: Problems faking it
Old 02-06-2004, 05:26 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Back when I did this, I would shoot the BG exactly as though the model were there. Meaning, shoot with the same focal length, angle, aperture and focus distance to "model". Shoot a sequence with the factors varied (different distances, f stops) and label them. Then shoot the model later using those parameters. The big problem is with the hair. Always looked fake (at least it did to my eye), so I gave up. Also, keep track of shadow direction, and make sure your key light is coming from the same direction.

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Re: Problems faking it
Old 02-06-2004, 11:56 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I think your biggest problem is your depth of field. The "background"'s focus point is several "feet" behind the focused model.....you can see the blurry foreground near around her legs. The focused point is the place near her hips.

Hope that makes sense....
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Re: Problems faking it
Old 02-07-2004, 02:54 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Two things jump out at me right away in your image. The first is that the lighting for the model and the background are completely different. This creates an incongruity between the two. The second thing is the perspective of the model to the scene. She would have to have very tall legs to be that high above the beach. Or, she would have to be standing on something we can't see. Either way she looks out of place to the background.

Here is a "fake" photograph that is comprised of four photographs; the model, the bike, the arboredum, and the reflection of the model on the gas tank of the bike. I didn't original shoot these elements with this idea in mind but playing around with the various elements this picture evolved. All were shot in indirect light.



In the second photograph the model and background were taken years apart, one with digital and the other with film. The angle of the sun was the same for both which helps to make it believable. Since the background isn't important and to separate the model from it I blurred it. The sun is harsh coming in from the model's rightside. I wish I knew about using a scrim then. In fact, the eyes have been opened by bringing them in from another picture. One good thing was I got a lot of reflective light from a white wall just to the right of the model as a fill light. That was dumb luck at the time. In these forum's I have learned how JT and others use this trick all the time.



Both of these images above were original created before I discovered this site and now I know at least more about what I need to look for in the composition of my pictures.

I don't claim to be an expert in "faking" pictures, so if anyone would like to take a shot at them please feel free to make comments.

Tom
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Re: Problems faking it
Old 02-07-2004, 10:15 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Thanks for your help guys. When I shot the backgrounds, I did pick a focal point and f-stop as though a model was at a certain distance from the camera but I will take additional care in recording these data and do more bracketing in the future. I too have trouble with hair and even a combination of masking techniques does not produce great results sometimes. I use the motion blur on the ends of the hair that are wispy but appear to be either too clear or not clear enough to be real. The perspective problems could also be solved in the studio if I take some measurements beforehand. Here is another image with a more blurred background. Thanks again folks.
Jim
 
 
Re: Problems faking it
Old 02-08-2004, 03:45 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I think you did a great job considering you didn't plan these, although in the bottom shot I could tell there was something screwy with her eyes before you mentioned it. The eyes are always the place where the connection with the viewer is made, especially in portrait or glamour photography, so being perfectly natural looking is critical. I'd be curious to see how this looks with the original eyes.

I agree with something you said to the point that I'd like to stress it again. To me, the most important thing, aside from making the edges seamless, is to match the light angles and the color temperature. The original poster's shot was obviously done at different times of day and with different lighting. In this very old Miller Lite poster (below), we knew what the background image was (the client brought prints of several possibles, we picked the one we liked best) and we used a very warm hair light, coming from the same angle as the "sun", to make this look fairly realistic. The main light was supposed to be some source on the boat, and we hit her leg with more warmth to further simulate the sun. This was done way before Photoshop, on a Scitex system. BTW, the "boat" was an 8' wide set built by a boatwright next door to my old studio (I am not in a "marina" for nothing). The chrome, ropes, and cable are in my shot, so they had to work around them to add the sunset.



Regards,
Andy Pearlman
Andy Pearlman Studio
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