Shoot an ad for a local cosmetics company. Use something as a prop to help stage the cosmetic(s) you choose to shoot. Perhaps a stone, or a flower, or a lovely piece of wood. Set off the cosmetic item with a single, dramatic item. It doesn’t have to be in focus, and it is there only to reinforce the cosmetic item.
THOUGHT BEHIND THE SHOT:
I love the design of the packaging of this all-in-one makeup for face and eyes, but the color palette is very nude & neutral. So I decided to create a dramatic effect to the provided brush – by having fun with the blusher powder. Hence, layering of images are required.
I decided there need to be multiple images with different lighting setups:
The base image of the makeup box and the brush (darker exposure)
The base image of the makeup box and the brush (correct exposure)
A brighter bristle brush shot.
(Note: The above 1-3 images need to be created first before the mess begins with the flying powders)
One clean image of some blusher powder on top of the brush bristle.
A few shots of the flying powder effect. I found the best way to make the powder fly is by tapping a straw on the top of the brush.
Moreover, how can you convey a wide-ranging concept such as ‘just one thing’ that is both immediately understood and eye-catching? For me, it’s starting with the creation of a list of descriptive words – writing down what pops into my head. Getting ideas out onto paper without restriction, not concerning myself with whether it is right or wrong. Just five minutes later I had well over a hundred words in front of me… a great starting point. To simplify the list, I put them into vague groups such as emotion, movement, colour, senses and so on. Now that I had this organised in front of me, I was starting to add more words as ideas feed on ideas.
This image was made to respond to a P52 conceptual photography assignment with the task of say one thing about one thing.
Concept The concept I chose was to show that the coffee was HOT. To emphasize the hot concept I wanted a tight shot of the coffee with a bit of drama in the lighting.
Setup The image was shot on a Canon 5D Mark II with a 28mm lens at f22 on a tripod. I chose the lens to be able to get in close and show the whole cup. I wanted to have a large depth of field so chose a very narrow aperture.
Most portraits need some amount of retouching in Photoshop to help them look their best, and to an extent, many clients expect it. The most important thing to remember when retouching is to do everything on a separate layer so that you can easily go back to an earlier stage in the process, delete a layer or reduce the opacity of a layer if things have gone a little too far. My final PSD files have more layers than an onion! A really great retouch in my opinion doesn’t look as though it’s been retouched at all – the skin should retain all of it’s texture and not look plastic or soft, and (especially important with a portrait or headshot) the subject should still look like themselves (albeit after a really great night’s sleep!). I especially find working on skin to be quite rewarding (maybe I don’t get out enough…) and below you will find my methods for retouching. As anyone familiar with Photoshop will know, there are many different ways to achieve similar results, this is merely my preferred method. As you will see I almost never use frequency separation unless I absolutely have to so this will not be covered in this tutorial (there are many great ones online for this). I always keep the brushes at 100% opacity and just adjust the flow.