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Animals In Black

Discover my personal techniques that make my photographs so unique and magical.

In the video you find basic techniques, Outline, Camera Raw, White and Grey Screen, Overlay but also the use of pro-plugins like NIK, Topaz and Skylum.

Here are the reference links:
NIK Collection | TOPAZ Labs | SKYLUM

Here, summarily, the steps that I carry out in the realization of a shot of my collection:
01_ Open Camera Raw and adjust lights, shadows, colors, shades and contrasts;
02_ Position the subject. If it is not centered centrally, if it is slightly small, enlarge it, if it is too big, croppalo. Everything, obviously on a new level.
03_ If possible, extrapolate the subject completely. It is not always feasible. Sometimes there are hairs, feathers, mustaches etc;
04_ Create a first black mask around the subject going to work on the edges, on the skin, on the hairs etc. On a new level, start working with the brush (better a graphic pen) and “paint” a black border around the subject. This first operation will help you to delimit the subject from the background.
05_ Enlarge the brush and slowly fill the surrounding space with black. The result must be subjected to black;
06_ Join the levels and generate the flat portrait;
07_ Work on tonal contrasts, details and apply “Tonal Contrast”, “Details” and Low Key using NIK filters. The settings are almost always basic but you may need to modify them based on the subject;
08_ What you have now is a better defined and more contrasted image but not enough. In a new level apply light shades on the animal in order to generate fresh shadows, correct edges, make real and visible hairs, feathers and mustache and why not, hide areas as in an artistic framework. I often do it on the legs, on the back. In this way you create more beautiful portraits and exalt the subject / snout;
09_ Now that everything is almost ready, let’s apply the “Glow” techniques using Topaz Studio filters. We duplicate the layer twice. At first we apply the Graphic filter and the second the filter “Fur and Feathers”. We act on the first level setting the opacity of 50% (at discretion) and the second around 30% (at discretion);
10_ Combine levels
11_ Apply a “Gray Screen” to work on lights and shadows;
12_ Open “Camera Raw for further adjustments;
13_ Check that everything is ok, otherwise act again on the blacks and the shades;
14_ Apply a “White Screen” to check that the background black is RGB # 000000 and that there are no spots or halos. In case open “Camera Raw” and set the blacks to -30, then act with the “Burn” tool to eliminate stains;
15_ Finally, we open “Luminar” and go to apply the “Dramatic” filters at discretion to add a pinch of “reality” and then “Vivid” to enhance its colors and tones;
16_ You are ready to publish. Sign your signature. Recommended to use color tones related to the subject.

Thank you for watching and sharing and remember – “A day without Photography is a day without Emotions”.

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Licenza Creative Commons
Animals In Black di Gian Luca Partengo è distribuito con Licenza Creative Commons Attribuzione - Condividi allo stesso modo 4.0 Internazionale.
Based on a work at https://animalsinblack.it.