Please advise what technique and lighting is required to achieve such misty/dreamy ef

nic8910

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Hi Photographers,

Please help!

Please advise what technique and lighting is required to achieve such misty/dreamy effects?

Lazaro Spring 2013
 

iolair

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Lovely shots.

I'm not 100% sure how it was shot, but it looks like the exposure of the model has been balanced quite closely with the background so that the whole image can be kept nice and light and not over-contrasty. There's no harshness to the shadows on the model's face, so if light modifiers have been used they're large ones (softboxes or octoboxes).

Some of them look like they've had a soft focus effect added. There are soft focus filters (even the odd lens) available, but it's easy to do in post. Copy the image as a new layer and add a gaussian blur. Then alter the transparency of the new layer to see both the blurred layer and the sharp original. You'll need to experiment with the amount of blur and the amount of transparency to fine-tune the results.
 

tirediron

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As mentioned, low-contrast, even lighting and I suspect, at least in some, shot through a piece of plexi.
 

amolitor

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These have a bunch of painting done on them, I think.

At first they appear to be mostly a "raise the black point" thing, but note that there are good firm blacks in frame. They're also designed to look as if they were shot in a mirror, note all the blotches of "damaged mirror" crud around the edges. I don't buy it, though, the pictures are nice and crisp in the middle.

Here's what I would do:

Find a damaged mirror someplace, and an evenly lit white object of some sort. Shoot that white thing reflected in the mirror. Now you should have a bunch of useful frames of "damaged mirror" on a pure/flat white background.

Now shoot your brides pretty high key, but well exposed and sharp. Use pretty shallow DoF.

Layer in your mirror shots, using masking to restrict the "mirror damage" and whiteness to the edges of the frame. Make the whole thing moderately translucent. This is where some of the misty/glowy white stuff comes from, and those appealing blobs of "damaged mirror". Adjust translucency to taste.

Add another layer, transparent. Airbrush in white around the edges and over the background, to taste, blurring the whole layer. This is your main source of misty/glowy stuff.

Possibly duplicate the bride layer and blur it or add some sort of diffusion glow effect to it - and then use masking to keep that stuff away from the bride, again. You want her nice and sharp and contrasty. Her whiteness comes from the high key expose, but you do NOT want her hidden in the mist, or softened by glowy stuff.
 

The_Traveler

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The reality is that, unless you are quite skilled at all the photographic arts now, you won't be able to do this until you are.
 

amolitor

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I didn't have a damaged mirror, so I spilled some gritty coffee grounds on a piece of paper and shot it with a macro lens. Then applied a layer mask equal to the greyscale copy of the INVERSE layer to make all the white stuff mostly disappear, leaving only the blotches. Otherwise, as above.

$Cheesy White Glow.JPG

ETA: Actually looks like I should have painted with a lightly cyan airbrush, not a pure white one, and overall gone even cooler toned.
 

bballgrl3

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some of the shots look like its shot through frosty edge glass. the one where there are mirrors behind her were shot straight without anything in front i believe.
 

Derrel

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The reality is that, unless you are quite skilled at all the photographic arts now, you won't be able to do this until you are.

I can't imagine a more useless and demeaning reply than that. :thumbdown:

Well, it might seem that way, that it's demeaning, but I looked at those images, and they are exceptionally well-done, high-end work, done not at the apprentice, not at the journeyman, but at the master-level. No offense intended stevonsondrive, but asking what technique and lighting is required indicates a real lack of appreciation for the skill of the photographer and the retouching artist who worked on that layout, as well as for the skill of the set designer and art director.

You might think The_Traveler's comment is demeaning, but I honestly have to say, I found the OP's initial query to be demeaning and disrespectful of the professional commercial photographer who shot those images. And I mean no offense to you nor to the OP, but the fact is--that set of photos represents YEARS of work. It's not the kind of thing a new shooter is going to be able to pull off at that level! The original question is almost like linking to a high-rez photo of the Mona Lisa and asking, "What brushes and paints do I need to create a work that's like this?"...on a forum...
 

terri

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pfft. Taking it a bit too seriously, I think. A more appropriate answer, since Lew doesn't have one either, would be to direct the OP back to the website and ask who they hired for the shoot. Let the OP contact the studio directly and see how far he gets. :razz: No harm, no foul, no insults.
 

Gavjenks

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A lot of it is going to have to do with somewhat flat, soft lighting (very large softboxes or reflectors or whatever, and not-far-from-1:1 ratios of fill and key lights) + the fact that the model is very fair skinned and has a white dress in a light colored room and furniture, etc. also reduces contrast and makes everything look softer.

Apart from that, it looks like soft focus. There are some lenses which will do that for you, or a really easy and effective way to get soft focus in photoshop is:

1) duplicate the photo in a layer
2) Gaussian blur that layer 10% or so.
3) Put that layer on top and make it about 20% transparency (which is about right to make it subtle/not obnoxiously obvious you did it, adjust to taste)
4) using a soft brush, partially or completely erase any portions of that blurred layer where you want good sharpness, like eyes or detailed hair spots, or textured fabrics, etc. that are in focus
 

Dinardy

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^^^ Thanks for the tutorial, I was wondering about that technique or a good way to approach it...
 

Menthol

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Thanks. This is exactly what we 'learners' need; Hope that we also can do it. Obviously we might not attain this level of brilliance anytime soon but with practice comes perfection.

Cheers Gavjenks. Drinks on me when we meet!. If.

A lot of it is going to have to do with somewhat flat, soft lighting (very large softboxes or reflectors or whatever, and not-far-from-1:1 ratios of fill and key lights) + the fact that the model is very fair skinned and has a white dress in a light colored room and furniture, etc. also reduces contrast and makes everything look softer.

Apart from that, it looks like soft focus. There are some lenses which will do that for you, or a really easy and effective way to get soft focus in photoshop is:

1) duplicate the photo in a layer
2) Gaussian blur that layer 10% or so.
3) Put that layer on top and make it about 20% transparency (which is about right to make it subtle/not obnoxiously obvious you did it, adjust to taste)
4) using a soft brush, partially or completely erase any portions of that blurred layer where you want good sharpness, like eyes or detailed hair spots, or textured fabrics, etc. that are in focus

Sent from my Galaxy SII using PhotoForum
 

amolitor

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Just FYI, Gavjenks description, while helpful, is about 50 percent of what's going on in those.
 

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