Digital Power Wash with Photoshop

Recently while reviewing a draft of a video project, my client made the observation the store front was in desperate need of a power wash at the time the photo provided me was taken. The deadline was looming and there would not be time to get it washed and then shoot the picture.  I mentioned to them I may have a technique to improve the appearance and they agreed to give it a shot. The trick was to not make it look too obvious and retain the textures of the architecture.

There are always different ways to approach it. The building faces were rectangular panels so I chose to cut the panels into new layers and change the blending mode to screen. This significantly lightened the image areas while preserving the underlying textures. I adjusted the transparency of the layers as needed. Adding a mask and using the brush tool the effect could be cancelled in areas where not needed such as the trees in front of the building. The client was very pleased with the results and we lost no time toward the completion of the project.
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GEAR:

Lightroom 5
Photoshop CC
Final Cut X
Snagit Studio
BlogStomp

Lean, Mean, Green Screen

It’s a tight squeeze but that’s what green screen is all about. If you don’t have quick access to the Grand Canyon, simply knock out a green screen and drop it behind the layer.

A good friend needed to make some video clips as promos and testimonials but wasn’t sure about backgrounds so I offered shooting the video with a chromakey background as a solution so he could decide later and use whatever made sense for the content. When lit properly the post process implementation in FCPX is a simple one click operation.

I scraped away a spot in my cramped home studio and put him to work…

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Tapping your foot doesn’t improve the audio. Solution for this situation: “…take off your shoes.”
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I added a drop shadow which takes away from location realism but let’s face it, it is very difficult to make this look like an on location shot without tweaking lighting and other factors. I particularly like the shadow effect with green screen to separate the subject from more “authentic” set ups such as computer generated renders.

Photos by Joel Spring / RxDesign.com

GEAR:

Sony SXS-1 64GB 2PK G1A MEMORY CARD
Sachtler 0480 FSB-6 with Soom and Tri-Spreader
Sony PMW-EX3
SmallHD DP7-Pro OLED HD Monitor

Atomos Blade Monitor / recorder with 1 TB storage drive

The Samurai Blade offers a stunning 1280 x 720 SuperAtom IPS touchscreen, at 325ppi 179-degree viewing, 400nit brightness and multi-frequency (48/50/60Hz) operation, depending on video input, giving super smooth monitoring and playback. Newly released sunhoods are also available for those shoots out in the sun.

The capacitive touch panel gives lightning-quick response times and gesture capability. Controlling AtomOS 5.0 on Samurai Blade is silky smooth.

Packed into the light and mobile camera-mountable Samurai Blade are all the essential tools you need to set up on-site accurate colors and exposure including full waveform monitor functions – Vectorscope, RGB and LUMA parades. Each provides an intuitive transparent interface offering full screen, lower 3rd or bottom right corner positioning to give you a range of options when setting up, recording and playing back your shot.

Avenger A4050CS 16.4′ Steel Boom Stand 50
-The Avenger A4050CS 16.4′ Steel Boom Stand 50 is a heavy duty, chrome-plated steel support that can be used traditionally as a light stand, or converted to a boom via a pivot in the first riser. The A4050CS also features a leveling leg for rough or uneven terrain. An optional counterweight is strongly recommended when using the stand in boom mode.

Arrilite 750 Plus
The Arrilite 750 Plus from Arri is an enhanced version of the tried-and-true Arrilite open face line. Arri started with the basic design of the Arrilite 800 and optimized the reflector to increase output 21% using a 750W HPL lamp which uses a compact filament that concentrates the most light where it is efficient. The result is almost double the output.

HHSP144 is a Full 3D HDMI® Splitter
The HHSP144 is a Full 3D HDMI® Splitter which uses a single HDMI® source, accessing to multiple HDMI® sinks. This splitter allows one HDMI® device to be split easily to four HDMI® compatible monitors or projects. It can also be placed at the end of a long HDMI® cable to regenerate the HDMI® signal.

DP7-PRO OLED
-”Real-Time” 3D LUTs
- Perfect Rec.709 Color Gamut via 3D LUT
- True black levels – infinite contrast ratio
- 1280×800 high definition display resolution
- High-res full-screen waveform & scopes
- 8 proximity-sensing Smart Keys
- “X-Port” expandability port

Manfrotto RC Clamp LANC Remote Control
The Canon RC Clamp LANC Remote Control is used with LANC (Canon/Sony) cameras and can be clamped onto round tubes with 0.47-0.9″ (12-23 mm) diameters using a quick-lock fastening clamp. It can be easily attached to a pan bar. With efficient quick lock and speed controls, the unit enables quick camera set up. A max-speed zoom potentiometer allows you to adjust the zoom speed of the camera.

Chimera Video Pro Plus Small Softbox 24 x 32″
The Chimera Small Video Pro Plus softbox is designed for use with a hotlight but may also be used with flash. With fabric intended for the heat of a continuous light, the Small Video Pro Plus with silver interior is ideal for work where maximum softening of the light is desired.

The “Plus” designation of this softbox means the front face of the softbox is removable. Chimera makes different strengths of diffusion material for front face applications. This softbox comes with three diffuser fronts. These will allow more light transmission and help to make the light more specular, or “less soft.”

This softbox also has a built in “lip” around the edges to help control light spill. This lip also facilitates the attachment of optional honeycomb grids, fabric grids, and louvers.
- Ideal for 3/4 length shots of adults.
- Recessed front helps to control light spill and facilitates the attachment of an optional fabric grid
- May be used with hot lights up to 1,000W. Can be used with strobes of any W/s rating.
…with 40 degree grid.

Photovision 24″ One Shot Digital Target
The Photovision 24″ One Shot Digital Target folds to just 10″ to fit easily into any camera case and features a highly efficient, white reflective fabric on the backside. The 24″ Target is popular with many location photographers for events, sports and portraits due to its convenient size.

The Neutral 3-Tone Panels of the One Shot Digital Target allows for custom white balancing, accurate metering and exposure monitoring through the camera’s histogram function – all with a single shot. Thereby, vastly improving setup time, and minimizing the need for post correction to your image files. Reduces workflow on the back-end by getting it right on the front-end.
- Achieve Perfect Exposures and White Balance Every Time
- The Target Folds to One-third of Its Open Size to Fit Easily Into Most Camera Bags
- Reflective White Fabric on Backside

Retirement Revelry for Dr. Reddick

I recently had the privilege to be assigned to cover the retirement celebration for Dr. Reddick at UTHSCSA. It was impressive to hear the accomplishments and accolades spoken on his behalf by his colleagues, students and direct reports as well as the president of the college.

I had covered events at this venue in the past and this time I thought to take advantage of a mezzanine area above by placing an Elinchrom Digital Style 600RX strobe with umbrella secured to the hand railing with a Manfrotto Magic arm and super clamp. The location positioned this light source approximately 60 feet from the podium and 25 feet above the ground floor. Unfortunately the podium was positioned close to the back wall but I went ahead and placed a Canon EX600RT as far back as possible and set the remote to manual at about 1/16th power. This produced a slight hair / rim light effect that gave a little more separation from the background. The rear strobe was triggered with a Pocket Wizard MultiMax and output adjusted using an Elinchrom SkyPort.

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Recently I’ve started using a Gary Fong Lightsphere and have been pleased with the results.
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Photos by Joel Spring / RxDesign.com

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