21st Century Photo-Lighting Techniques
Lighting in Layers with Photoshop
21st Century Photographic Lighting Techniques in Photoshop
This series of 5 video step-by-step tutorials explores new photo-lighting techniques that are specifically adapted to the idiosyncrasies of digital capture. These techniques take advantage of the perfect alignment between successive shots when the camera is used on a tripod. The ability to shoot different lighting directions separately, and blend them into a unified whole later in Photoshop, opens up many creative possibilities. The video tutorials examine 9 different project images in detail, with numerous other examples that show other possibilities for the creative application of the techniques taught herein.
Photoshop techniques covered include:
- Splitting and merging channels to create colored gel lighting effects
- Blending multiple light sources from separate shots in layers
- Using layer masks and blend modes
- RGB "False Color Lighting" effects using Advanced Blending Options
- Lab colorspace moves for enhanced color saturation.
- Smart Objects to combine Lab layers to use in an RGB document
- Pen Tool paths/selections and changing the color of the path for better visibility
All of the project files are included with the final layered Photoshop documents for your use in learning the advanced techniques taught in this course.
Lee Varis is a photo-illustrator now working in the Boston area. He has been involved in commercial photography for the last 35 years. He started working with computer imaging about 23 years ago and currently works with digital as well as conventional photography in conjunction with computer graphics to create images for use in print advertising.
Lee’s work has been featured on movie posters, video box covers, CD covers, numerous brochures and catalogs. He is responsible for the moth on the "Silence of the Lambs" movie poster! His creative imaging has been featured in National Geographic, Newsweek and Fortune magazines as well as trade journals like PDN, New Media, Micro Publishing News, Rangefinder and Photo Electronic Imaging. Most of Lee’s work starts off as photography that is manipulated in the computer using a wide variety of imaging software. Images are often re-combined with digital painting and effects or with additional photo elements to create digital images that transcend the original source materials.
Clients, art directors and fellow artists look for inspiration at Lee’s web site:
There he displays recent imaging work and updates on his numerous classes and workshops, as well as links to his blog and book websites. You can learn more about Lee's extensive career as an imaging artist from his presentation at Adobe:
Lee has also been involved with consulting and training activities for numerous corporate clients. He did two series of imaging seminars for Apple Computers that took him around the country to most of the major metropolitan areas and is currently active in seminar programs with APA, PPA, ASMP, and Julia Dean Photographic Workshops as well as a touring Creative Production Photoshop roadshow with Mogomedia. You can purchase a video download of a 3-day workshop he conducted at creativeLIVE here:
Lee’s first book was "Digital Photography for Creative Professionals" with Rockport Publishers 2003. This is an examination of professional applications of digital photography for commercial graphic artists and art directors concentrating on workflow issues and creative solutions for graphics workgroups. His best know book is the best seller: “Skin: The Complete Guide to Digitally Lighting, Photographing, and Retouching Faces and Bodies” Wiley Publishing 2006 & a 2nd edition in 2010. This book has become a must-have reference for every portrait and fashion photographer. His latest book is "Mastering Exposure and the Zone System for Digital Photographers, Cengage, 2010—an detailed examination of calibrating and shooting for ideal quality in digital captures. He has written numerous articles for Design Graphics, PEI, PC Photo, Rangefinder and Digital Photo Pro.