Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Technique Tuesday: Beautiful Backgrounds, Beautiful Colors, Beautiful Portraits

Good Morning Everybody,
Well, we landed safe and sound yesterday and are enjoying the sights, sounds, and flavors of Las Vegas. This year's Photoshop World is shaping up as one of the biggest shows ever and we can't wait for all the excitement to begin on Thursday! FYI...Since I'm posting from Las Vegas time zone the East coasters will see the post a little later than usual.

Anyway, let's get to it today. I've got a pretty cool tutorial, but this time around, I've added a small live video. LaDawn and I had to giggle - I'm no Steven Spielberg and it shows, but hey, it's still good information, so I hope you enjoy it. Please, no emails about my lack of cinematic skills ;~)

Have you ever looked at an outdoor portrait and were just inspired by it's beauty and utter simplicity of it's final composition. Many times it's the photographer's creative use of background elements in the scene. That may include foliage, flowers, soft colors, selective focus, anything that enhances the final image but especially the portrait subject.

This tutorial discusses just that topic. I'm reviewing creative use of aperture, focal length, and ISO to create extremely pleasing backgrounds for our portrait subjects. I recently photographed 4 beautiful young ladies for a client of mine. I loved the results as did my client. In today's tutorial, I'm going to walk you through that shoot. I'll discuss choice of clothing, color, back ground selection, why I choose the various locations and discuss the finished result. Hit the PLAY button below for the rest for the story.


  1. Thank you for your consistently inspiring posts!

  2. Fantastic stuff David! Thanks a ton for taking the time to do this, it's great to hear the behind-the-scenes details on creating images like these.

  3. Thanks for another wonderfully inspiring tutorial... and you looked great in that comfortable shirt :) I know you've stated it in the past but can you reiterate at what approximate placement you prefer the horizon line, where applicable? Thx, Brian Fletcher

  4. David,

    I am so disappointed. The tutorial sounds great, but having taken 30 minutes to download just 1:30 worth of the tutorial I had to give up. Although I have broadband (albeit a a low level) the video portion is just taking up too much time to download. How big is the file you posted - there is no clue how big it is, and If there was a clue I would know whether to try or not.

    Your other tutorials don't have the video clip - you narrate and use pictures which works fine. Please don't exclude those of us who don't have achoice about the bandwidth we can get. Its a geographic thing here in the UK.


  5. Thanks again for another great tutorial. My only wish is that I had a voice controlled light stand like you do! Maybe someday.
    Sometimes during your tutorials, you say something like "you can see here that this photo was shot at f4". Keep in mind that in your videos, it's impossible (at least for me) to read the text that is displayed on your Lightroom screen.

    Now that I have a daughter living in Cincinnati, maybe we'll cross paths sometime.

    Fort Loramie, OHio

  6. Does you Quantum radio system allow the Canon ETTL to work? Or are you manually setting the flash power?

    Great video!
    Greg Shepherd