Sunday, April 26, 2015

Project Feline - Part 3 "The Post"

Welcome back to Part 3 of Project Feline, "The Post." The post processing in these photos was so simple, and it was all done in Lightroom (at time of process was LR v5.7). Below are the screen shots of my settings, where I started and how I moved from one shot to the next.

The first shot is my reference image with a grey card in order to set a correct white balance. With 2 cats that are black and white this was an important first step. All I did with this was grab the white balance eye dropper tool inside the Basic panel and clicked on the grey card...simple and straight forward.

Next all I had to do was sync this white balance setting across all of my photos, which is as easy as selecting the reference image, the grey card shot with the WB adjustment, then selecting my target images that I want to sync. When you do that the Sync button shows up at the bottom of the LR Develop panel. Click Sync and then choose the settings you want to sync, in this case WB (I also kept the Process Version checked to ensure the same version is used) then click Synchronize and you're done.

So then I went to my first image to edit. The first thing I did was some cropping and then a few simple adjustments in the Basic and Detail panels. You can see all of the settings below.

Now I used the Sync feature to match the WB setting across all images to start, but after that I tend to only focus on editing one photo at a time, so I don't usually sync all settings across all photos the same way. What I do use is the Previous button (see red arrow in the image above). When I move to the next image that I am focussing on I hit Previous, which applies all of the settings from the previous image to the one I'm working on. From there I make any additional adjustments that I think are necessary and then move onto the next image. In this case the cropping had to change for each, and I made a few small tweaks to the other sliders as necessary. My goal here was consistency across the shots as they were all companion pieces.

Basically this was it for post processing. Really simple touch ups that took about 2 minutes or less per image. Lightroom is some powerful stuff.

Thanks for dropping by again. I hope you enjoyed this instalment of "The Shot," The Shoot & The Gear," and "The Post."



Saturday, April 11, 2015

Project Feline - Part 2 "The Shoot & The Gear"

Part 2 in this series is the behind the scenes look that shows how I got the shot, and the gear I used to make it happen.

First, here's the list of gear that was used:
  • Nikon D810
  • Nikon 24-70mm f2.8 Lens
  • SB900 Speedlight
  • SU800 Commander Unit
  • 32" White Shoot Through Umbrella
  • Lastolite 5 in 1 Reflector w/Reflector Arm Attachment
  • Manfrotto Background Stand Kit
  • White Seamless Background Roll (60")
  • Folding Table
  • Cat Toy
  • Cat Wrangler (aka my wife, Lori)
Below is a shot of how everything was set up. Lighting set-up was pretty simple with one SB900 at camera left on about a 45 degree angle to the set, and on the right side was the white reflector. This was shot in my home office and you can see there's not a lot of space. The SB900 was obviously my main light and the reflector was close enough in on the right to get a good amount of fill light. I also shot this at night so the light spill from the window behind was not a factor.

Camera settings were full manual mode - 1/100 @ f8, ISO 640. SB900 was also on manual at 1/4 power. I've always tended to lean toward manual flash as opposed to using full TTL. I also wanted to have a lower power setting so the flash would recycle faster.

Now the fun part...getting them up on the table, and trying to get them to cooperate! This is where my wife, Lori, my "ace cat wrangler" came in. Her job was to get them on the table, keep them on the table and try to get them to face in the general direction of the camera...and she did an amazing job!!

Here are few unedited, and uncooperative, outtakes. Lori managed to get their attention long enough for me to bang off about 10 to 15 shots each, and I was lucky to get a few keepers.

So there you have it, Project Feline Part 2 "The Shoot & The Gear."

Stay tuned for Part 3 "The Post," where I'll walk through how I post processed the final shots.