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25Aug/1336

Glowing Lines Photoshop Tutorial

In this digital photography and Photoshop tutorial, you will learn how to capture a photo using grids and gels on flashes to get the proper lighting. We will then go into the Adobe Photoshop software program and create the glowing lines and smokey cloud in front of the luminous face.

Push the play button on the video player below to start watching the tutorial - I recommend watching it in Full Screen so you can see the text when I am in Adobe Photoshop.

If you can't see the video player below, you can watch it directly on YouTube (opens in new tab/window).

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Untitled

This is the newest image I've made with abstract glowing lines.

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subject.

This was the first image I created that made use of geometric abstract glowing lines.

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Hyper Reality

This image was made after the first one; my friend (the model) got the idea to make the original concept above more three-dimensional by taking the shot at an angle. We spent hours in Photoshop making the lines, perfecting the skin, removing harsh shadows, dodging and burning, and making the colors vivid. There is a before-and-after image here.

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MonolithThis one wasn't made with the pen tool to create lines, but instead the rectangular marquee tool was used to create two rectangles filled with white on two separate layers, then I deleted portions of the two rectangles and added a glow to match that of its environment (it was a really foggy morning). The original lighting source in the scene was deleted using layer masks.

15Mar/1328

Multiple Exposure Photography Tutorial

If the above video is not displaying properly, you can watch the YouTube video tutorial here.

A multiple exposure is where you take two images on top of one another. This used to be achieved in the days of film, where you would take one picture and then instead of advancing the film strip to the next frame to take the next picture, you would simply leave the film in the same place and take another picture right on top of it. Taking or editing the shots in Black-and-White usually produces the best results because you don't have to worry about color theory or anything like that - black and white just works.
Human Nature (Double Exposure)

Here are the steps to take high-key double exposures just like the one above. You can skip steps 3-6 if you are taking regular, non-high-key double exposures:

  1. Turn on the Multiple Exposure feature on your camera.
    The Multiple Exposure feature is located in different areas of the menu system for every camera - use your intuition, check your camera's instruction manual, or Google search to find where it is located.
    Here is a list of cameras that a have Multiple Exposure feature
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    You can scroll horizontally on that page to see all of them. Most higher end Nikon DSLRs (D300s and D800 for example) have the multiple exposure feature in the camera's menu system.
  2. Turn Auto-Gain OFF, if possible. Auto-Gain automatically attempts to neutralize the EV, which isn't useful for the high-key nature portraits.
  3. Put your camera in Aperture Priority Mode and then select your F Number (I used ~f/4).
  4. Put your camera in Spot Metering Mode.
  5. For the first shot, center the Auto-Focus Point and take a picture of yourself. The background should be as close to 100% white as reasonably possible. You can achieve a white background by having the sky fill up the background behind your head (having the sun directly behind your head and lined up with the lens will produce the best result. Light overcast days are theoretically ideal, but not necessary.) Using flashes against a white wall to create a silhouette also works.
  6. For the second shot, bump up the Exposure Compensation to around +2 EV and take a picture of whatever you want (I like trees with leafs on them) and make sure the background is 100% white for this image as well. I would recommend experimenting and taking each shot by themselves to see which settings you need to use in order to get the background to be 100% white for each individual shot, +2EV is only an estimate and is only what I was using on that particular day, all situations are different.The key is to just get the background to be white and not gray - use whatever settings necessary.
  7. After you have taken two shots, they will automatically stack and should show up in your LCD screen (you can't retrieve the original individual images if using a Nikon DSLR). You can then continue to take more and more double exposures until you get a really good one - I took dozens if not ~100. Some cameras automatically turn off the multiple exposure feature after you have taken one multiple exposure - if you find that this is the case for your camera, simply turn the multiple exposure feature back on before you take your next set. The Nikon D800 has an option to leave the multiple exposure function on all the time, making things a little faster. The D300s does not.

 

Droid City (Multiple Exposure)

If you want to use previously taken shots, or don't have a multiple exposure feature on your camera, you can do this in Adobe Photoshop (The image above was done in PS). Here are the steps:

  1. Create a new Photoshop document and drag and drop 2 images into the Photoshop document so the two images show up in the bottom right in the Layers Palette as 2 layers.
  2. Select the top layer, and then select "Screen" for its blending mode. You also can try experimenting with "Multiply" (The Multiply blending mode will darken instead of lighten).
  3. (Optional) You can Dodge Highlights by using the Dodge tool to whiten up anything that didn't turn out to be 100% white.
  4. (Optional) You can adjust the Curves of the image by raising the left-most lower point upwards vertically a little bit, and/or the right-most upper point down vertically a little bit; You can apply the same adjustments to individual color channels in the same Curves adjustment window as well (Red, Blue, Green).
  5. File > Save As 8-Bit JPEG.

After you have created your images, post them in the PhotoExtremist Flickr Group or the PhotoExtremist Facebook Page! Be sure to tag them with "multiple exposure" and/or "double exposure" so we know what we are looking at and can search for them in the future!

 

"Trick Photography and Special Effects" by Evan SharboneauIf you enjoyed this video and article on multiple exposures, I highly recommend my e-book and video series Trick Photography and Special Effects which has over 300 e-book pages and 9 hours of instructional video content focusing solely on universal creative photography and Photoshop techniques just like this one.

23Mar/1244

Snow Photography and Special Effects (DSLR Tutorial)

 

Equipment

  • LED Lenser X21 Flashlight - This thing is a beast. Extremely reliable and bright. I use it all the time for all sorts of reasons. Definitely worth the investment. The X21 is a continuous lighting solution, not a short burst of light like flashes are. Continuous lighting lengthens motion, flashes freeze motion. Updated versions of the flashlight are available here.
  • Nikon D300s DSLR  -  Pay no attention to this, as any DSLR can produce the results you see in the video.
  • Sigma 17-50mm f2.8 Lens - Generally the best lens to have for a Nikon crop-frame DSLR and I've created many many images with it.
  • Manfrotto 055 Tripod - Mounting your camera to a tripod is absolutely essential in order to eliminate camera-shake.
  • Optional: You can mount the X21 to a tripod by using an X21 tripod mount. When I was outside, I didn't want to lug around two big tripods for both my flashlight and camera, so I conveniently mounted the X21 to a Gorillapod.

LED Lenser X21 Flashlight mounted on the Gorillapod tripod

Results

Long Exposure showing motion of snow falling at night time

On-camera flash freezing motion of snow falling at night

Long exposure showing motion of snow falling lit by flashlight AND on-camera flash freezing motion of snow falling at night

Steel wool long exposure light painting with on-camera flash freezing snow flakes falling

Long Exposure of Steel Wool Sparks at Night in the Snow

If you are wondering how the photographs of those flying sparks were created, take a look at my Steel Wool Photography Tutorial and I'll show you how to do it!

Camera Settings

As far as what camera settings were used, I mostly used Manual Mode set to a shutter speed of 5" with an aperture of f2.8 at ISO800 but these settings can change to get different results.

Depending on what you are setting the focus point on and how much light is available, you may need a focusing aid if the area inside the focus point is not bright enough. To do this, I like to set the camera to AUTO focus, shine the flashlight on the auto-focus point seen when looking through the viewfinder, take a picture to make sure the image is sharp and not out-of-focus, then turn off auto-focus to freely take pictures after that point.

Another Idea

Another idea I got only after it was done snowing would be to take a ~1 second exposure of the on-camera flash in burst mode, where it flashes rapidly multiple times. I'd love to try it at different speeds and show the results. I'm definitely thinking the faster speeds would look best. If you have a camera that has a burst flash mode feature - give it a shot!

Have fun!

Check This Out Next

Are you tired of taking boring photos of the same mundane subject matter? Wouldn't you rather take your photography to the next level and photograph things that catch people's attention? If you would like to get the complete scoop and learn how to take more creative and unique shots with your DSLR, pick up my Trick Photography and Special Effects e-book and video course today!

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