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The demystification of dave hill! let's all help!

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  #1341  
Old 10-08-2008, 02:07 AM
HuBBa HuBBa is offline
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Re: The demystification of dave hill! let's all he

Re. the strobist approach as opposed to batterypowered generator or compact flashes.

The strobist approach have a very distinct limit of power in regards to still remaining the cheaper alternative. If the lighting conditions and your wishes require a lot of light-power, the cost of all the strobes you will need will be more expensive than getting a proper flash generator with battery power.

There are quite a few comparisons showing this and i think a few on strobist.com aswell. So don't think you will do the "cheapo" way if you need 8 SB-800/580 flashes to pull it off Either lower your expectations or get a high-powered flash system instead.

And if you wonder when you will ever need that power, trust me that you will run into that area quite fast when battling sunlight or large locations.

There is a very good video course into location lighting called "One Light Workshop" (http://www.onelightworkshop.com/) which explains how to use both strobist approach and the high-powered flash approach to a very good effect on location.

as for kickers/shape of light, a good thumb rule to remember when lighting is "large lightsource" in relation to the subject == soft shadows, and "small lightsource" in relation to the subject == hard shadows. The distance to the subject is not the primary concern in this, the size of the source is. The distance however governs the coverage and falloff of the light. If its close, it will need less power but it will also fall off in light strength faster on a shorter distance. If you instead move the flash back and up the power, the strength will be the same but the falloff will be longer. Please note however that the quality of the light also changes, and this is where the quality of the lightsource and lightshaper comes into play.

So not to be writing an whole essay on the subject, but remember these two: size of lightsource == control over shadow sharpness and texture, distance to subject == Control over light strength falloff and coverage (and quality of light)

It's not rocket science but it does require you to think a little before placing the light. Always a good thing.
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  #1342  
Old 10-12-2008, 12:56 AM
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igot2pman igot2pman is offline
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Re: The demystification of dave hill! let's all he

I have been reading the thread for a week now. I just finished, I learned a lot and read a lot of smack talk. I am a novice and I am learning every day. I am a quick study and I have a good description of what is going on with the one Dave hill.

The DH story and steps of production:

Needed: Camera, Multiple lighting sources, Model, Creativity, Theme, Editing software, Talent.

The look: The look of DH is a very clean smooth conversion of a picture or multiple pictures into one that looks dark, high contrast, very sharp all around (foreground and background) and has the look of a 3-d cartoon.

The process:

1. Idea: An idea must be conceived and must be thought all the way through. Keep in mind the deep and dark contrast.

2. Planning: Details are important. From cloths to colors, everything has to blend. The location and extras have to be planned out. You might even have to draw diagrams and write everything down. The end product must be fully visualized at this point. Lighting of Dave is normally a 5 point lighting with a ring flash fill. Plan the lighting with a low aperture (F/22, F/16), high shutter speed and low ISO so you can get good overall sharpness and high light fall-off with low noise. This may force you to shoot with studio strobes as they can give you the power you need, especially if you’re shooting outdoors.


3. Preparation: Gathering all the materials necessary for the shoot. If an alternate background is necessary it must be shot before the shot (remember sharpness). Also keep in mind the angle and light direction (light the background in the same way as the subject if possible). Shoot all extras at this time: fire, cans, barrels, textures. Pre edit your backgrounds and extras to visualize the final product.

4. Shooting day: Set up all the objects and lights as planned. You may even want to practice shooting with a stand in to dial the lighting down. Model(s) arrive and you should be prepped and ready. Makeup and cloths should be applied to perfection. Be friendly and fun, explain your theme and look your going for.


5. Shoot: Model poses and you lift your camera. First, you should take your white balance shots. Then start shooting in RAW, start off randomly and view the shots as their taken. Make sure you have not blown out your highlights or blacked out your blacks. The key is the ring flash, it gives you multi-shadow/highlight. If there are multiple people, you can light each of them individually but use a tripod and don't move the camera. If you are going to shoot the background stepparent, shoot with a tripod and after your model is done, shoot the background with the same lighting.

6. Post-processing: With the photo already looking great, with good shadows and highlights, you now can edit the photo.

a. Correct white balance and exposure.
b. Remove blemishes (heal/ D&B). You need a smooth and even skin tone.
c. Dodge and Burn (D&B) with separate layers. (New layer, fill %50 grey with soft or overlay blending mode. Paint white for dodge and black for burn) You might want to have multiple layers for each part of a person (arm, face) so if you mess up, you are only having to redo only that part. This just a general D&B, detailed D&B is later.
d. Color in the colors with the “solid color fill” with color blending mode, this will even out colors. Fill mask with black and paint white to fill in the color.
e. Local Contrast sharpen and overall sharpen. Do not over sharpen. Many ways to do this.
f. D&B again, this time the details. Enhance the folds of cloths, the shadows/highlights that are already there. At this point you should have a very 3-d picture and it should pop. If your shadows are looking reddish, you can reduce the saturation in the shadows.
g. Hue, saturation, Brightness, and contrast adjust if needed.
h. If you have to merge two or more separate pictures do this now. Make sure they blend nice.

(This is where a lot of people have gotten, but how do they take it to the next level)

i. Last step, something I call TOONified. It’s a mix of everything except plugins.

Some people that have posted and are close, they have done a good job at what they do. Each person has their own style and edits. I think the person that started this thread has achieved what they were out for, improving one’s own style and learning on the way.

I am not out to copy DH, as anything I do would just be a copy. In search for my own, I have improved 10 fold.
Below is one of my own, my friends 21 B-day. It’s no DH but my own take. It was taken with a d300 with an on board SB-600.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/2293339...n/photostream/

I have also included some of the other people’s pictures with the TOONified part. I hope I don’t offend anyone by doing this. I am only including parts of the pictures so I am not copying your work. I gave credit where credit was due.


http://www.flickr.com/photos/2293339...n/photostream/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/2293339...n/photostream/

Most people do not want to take the time to plan or edit. And others like me do not have the funding to produce such a production. Just take what you can learn from these posts and grow.

Good luck,
Keven

Last edited by igot2pman; 10-14-2008 at 12:09 PM. Reason: spelling
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  #1343  
Old 10-12-2008, 09:14 AM
Ich.Mario Ich.Mario is offline
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Re: The demystification of dave hill! let's all he

So whats the exact TOONified part? What are you doing exactly?
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  #1344  
Old 10-12-2008, 11:53 AM
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igot2pman igot2pman is offline
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Re: The demystification of dave hill! let's all he

Its my own "action" that I made. I pulled together all the the ideas that worked from this thread. Its kind of hard to explain.

But if you cannot at least get your picture to the above examples, the action will not help.

If you would like you can post or send me a picture and I will do the "action" for you and send it back.
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  #1345  
Old 10-12-2008, 03:00 PM
HelloPiccadilly HelloPiccadilly is offline
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Re: The demystification of dave hill! let's all he

Yeah, i've read the whole thread.
No more comments, just thx for this really nice thread)
Now i'm doing my own image...with all techniques described there..
And I have a problem with background...
If it wasn't lighted in good way, is there any chance to bring textures out?

p.s. sorry for such english )
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  #1346  
Old 10-12-2008, 04:50 PM
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igot2pman igot2pman is offline
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Re: The demystification of dave hill! let's all he

HelloPiccadilly,

Take pictures of textures and put them back in. When shooting, sometimes its good to macro some of the important parts or get samples of fabrics to color match.

You can take the texture and use the highpass filter and then set the blending mode to overlay, soft light or vivid light. Then place it in your image and use a layer mask to only put the texture in the right places.

If the background is to dark, go back into raw and re-expose to the background. Then mask out the forground.

You can also use levels to reduce the contrast, take the grey slider and move it left or right to your pref and mask forground.

There are more ways to fix your problems, but without a full description of your exact problem I am just guessing as to how to fix it. Also, a post of the part or whole picture can help.

Post it when your done, i'd like to see what you can do.
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  #1347  
Old 10-13-2008, 11:26 AM
HelloPiccadilly HelloPiccadilly is offline
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Re: The demystification of dave hill! let's all he

Hmm..((
I can't do it..
I tryed a lot of ways..actually I think I've got off the point..
There wasn't a good light stuff..(because i don't have such)
Just SB-600 directed to the some kind of foil on the left side..
This is my attempt:

http://img123.imageshack.us/my.php?image=dsc0015cs5.jpg

p.s I'll appreciate for any kind of helpness)
p.p.s Pls do not laugh loudly
p.p.p.s Stuff on the CD is fake )
sorry for English..

Last edited by HelloPiccadilly; 10-13-2008 at 02:15 PM. Reason: another link.
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  #1348  
Old 10-13-2008, 06:45 PM
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igot2pman igot2pman is offline
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Re: The demystification of dave hill! let's all he

HelloPiccadilly,

I have tried my best to edit your picture. I hope you like it. I am not very good at the D&B part so that could be better. And also had no clue what to do with the reflector, so it stayed. The edit took about 2 hours, and I did use the TOONified.

I did not know what area you exactly wanted to have texture but I choose the door as it had none in the shadows. I copied the door texture from the front door and then pasted it over the bad areas. Then I used the high pass filter with vivid light blending mode.

The hardest thing was the noise in the picture. It was really evident in the shadows and had to be removed.

For next time, hopefully you will have more flashes so you can put them behind the subjects and also be able to lower the ISO. Also, try and shoot with RAW if possible, it gives you a lot more control of the picture.

I liked the idea and people in the picture, it looked kind of like DH theme. Great job with it.

My edit:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/2293339...16653/sizes/o/

Original %100 crop:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/2293339...n/photostream/

Edit %100 crop:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/2293339...n/photostream/
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  #1349  
Old 10-13-2008, 11:33 PM
HelloPiccadilly HelloPiccadilly is offline
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Re: The demystification of dave hill! let's all he

Igot2pman,

Thx a lot for help..
Actually I've got RAW file...and it wasn't original JPG) it was 3-hour-work by me))

I really like your way of post-processing..
Now this is more sharp..and clear..

Did u use the high pass filter for the whole image (with people?)?

And thx again for your help.!
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  #1350  
Old 10-13-2008, 11:59 PM
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0lBaldy 0lBaldy is offline
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Re: The demystification of dave hill! let's all he

Quote:
Originally Posted by igot2pman View Post
Its my own "action" that I made. I pulled together all the the ideas that worked from this thread. Its kind of hard to explain.

But if you cannot at least get your picture to the above examples, the action will not help.

If you would like you can post or send me a picture and I will do the "action" for you and send it back.
Keven, You could zip the action and post it so we could try it out and see what processes you went through to achieve the look.. There also might be some parts of the action or the entire action that may have other applications or uses..

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