If you haven’t seen is his work, you’re missing out. Zev Hoover, known as Fiddleoak, has made quite a splash in the photography world these last few months. I first found his work on Flickr where I then sat for over a half hour looking at everything he’s done. If you know of his work, you probably did the same thing.
Last week I contacted Zev to see if he would be interested in sharing some of his behind the scenes photos and techniques with us. In this first post, he takes us behind his camera and into his thought process to see the making of ‘Craft’, the first image in a series of three.
“Hello everyone! Here is a behind the scenes, compositing, and color editing tutorial on my picture ‘Craft’. It was taken with a Nikon d7000 and 50mm f1.4 Ai-S, and edited in Photoshop. The scene was lit from the side by a screen door to outside on a cloudy day, making a lovely, softbox like smooth light source.
The 50mm was not as wide as I would have liked, so to get the wide aspect ratio I took a panorama of 3 vertical shots. This method also has advantages such as the high resolution, and enhanced sharpness.
I did the panorama without a tripod, so the pictures don’t match perfectly, but I distorted them to roughly match each other.
I also took two extra pictures of a little paper cutout man I made for casting shadows. One was for the shadow of my hand, and the other one was for my knees.
Using the clone stamp tool, I got rid of the lines between the three pictures. Then I took these two new pictures into photoshop and erased everything but the shadow they were casting, and layered them on top of the panorama.
That is basically the background done, now moving on to the person (me!). I shot myself with the same camera and lens, and in very similar light. I held a piece of foamboard to help me align myself with the background
Using the polygonal lasso tool in conjunction with masks, I cut myself out of the background. Then I blurred my feet to match the blurriness of the background, and fuzzed my hair so it was a smooth transition.
I then placed myself into the composition and enhanced the shadows using the brush tool.
That’s it for compositing, now on to color/tone editing. This picture didn’t need much of it. First, I added a black and white filter, and then copied that layer and set the blend mode to overlay. This adds a wonderful, rich, deep contrast, but is is a little too much, so I set the opacity around 80%. The shadows were still a little dark for me, so I added a levels adjustment bringing up the blacks.
And thats it! I hope you learned something new. The final picture was the first in a series of three.”
If you want to check out more of Zev’s work, head to his website and check back soon for another great tutorial from this brilliant mind!