Shelley Richmond | Behind the shot #5: Gemma

Behind the shot #5: Gemma

December 09, 2015  •  1 Comment

This shot of Gemma was taken during my first ever workshop which I ran in Sheffield on the 5th December. It was hellish windy with the beginnings of storm Desmond buffeting us around the city but we decided to head outdoors for some shots regardless

Gemma was a total pro and didn't complain about the cold once (tougher than me!) this shot was taken in a tiny little city centre garden right next to the City Hall in Sheffield, there was some lovely foliage growing up a wall so I asked Gemma to get in as deep as she could. I didn't want the image to look at all like we'd shot it in the city so I got in very close! I shot this with my 50mm Sigma 1.4 with a bunch of other photographers watching over my shoulder. The editing in this shot is more what I want to talk about... part of this workshop was creating some very fashion editorial images so the images was very heavily retouched and airbrushed. Now Gemma is a totally beautiful person who in no way needs any form of airbrushing but to get that high fashion look I wanted to really push the editing on this shot, so this is how I did it...

Here's the frame straight out of camera...

First thing I opened the image in ACR and used a VSCO preset that I love, I adjusted the white balance for a touch more warmth in the skin and tweaked the shadows a little, I also added a touch of split toning with a little blue in the highlights and red in the shadows, then I opened the image in Photoshop. I used the spot healing tool first off to get rid of any immediately obvious skin blemishes.

Then I duplicated the background layer, added a layer mask to the top layer and blurred the bottom layer. I painted through the layer mask to soften the skin, I then added a little noise to the bottom layer before merging the layers.

The last step was dodging and burning until I was happy, especially around the eyes to really make them stand out.

This amount of air brushing is a little heavier than I would normally go for but I'm really happy with this shot!

Here's a wider shot so you can see where we were working!

The technical bits:

Canon 6D / Sigma 50mm 1.4 lens f2.8 / 1/100sec ISO-100 / edited in ACR with VSCO pack 5 Kodak Max 800


beautiful photo, love the final edit! well done
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