Special Topics Update

This past week I started to focus on a new photo series that I think will help my website and portfolio. The series is industry workers (welders/construction workers, etc.). I lined up some work with my uncle who is a welder at shop in the general area. In the shot I applied some new Photoshop actions from the website greater than Gatsby. I think the new actions added a nice touch to the image, it is mostly color correction, contrast, light flares, and brushes. I also applied most of the new Photoshop techniques that I have learned through out the course of this class. Below are also some other images that I applied the actions too.

Macholt_Website_Tim (1 of 1) Macholt_Website_D1 (1 of 1) Macholt_Website_D2 (1 of 1) Macholt_Website_fly1 (1 of 1) Macholt_Website_fly2 (1 of 1)

Special Topics

This past week the crew and I decided to head up towards lake Diablo to capture some canoeing on the desolate glacier lake. Once again along the way we hit some harsh weather, at first I was a little worried but this week we embraced it! We had around six shots to complete and after an intense 6 hours of shooting in the snow, wading chest deep in the ice-cold water with my photo flex strobes accompanying me in the water (of course high enough to where the water was not damaging the strobes).

With the conditions already being quite intense when I took these images into Photoshop I wanted to exaggerate the weather conditions because it can be difficult to capture weather. This week I focused on a couple elements, which I feel really made this image pop.


  1. First off I used the skin retouching technique on the individuals and the overall image. Which is essentially dodging and burning. This technique is really cool because it gives the image a painterly look.
  2. Second I watched a tutorial on creating a blizzard. This tutorial consisted of using noise and curves adjustments to create small, medium sized, and large specs of white on a separate layer. Next you put a motion blur on the specs to make it look like it is really coming down! Quite a simple tutorial but very effective in this image!
  3. And last but not least I added the light flare for the head lamp which I also took from a different image and put it on the subject after the shoot. To add the light flare you make three different selections all within each other and use curves adjustments to bring up the light level. Then you go in with Gaussian blur and make the light look realistic and play with opacity levels to make sure it looks as real as possible. Then you make a cloud layer and put it within the light beam because these kinds of light beams only occur when there is moisture or condensation in the area.


Overall the Photoshop in this image took around 4 hours which is becoming the norm for each of the images I have been shooting and creating recently. Below is the before and after image. Enjoy!MacHolt_2014_Diablo#3_MacHolt_2014_Diablo#3_2014_ MacHolt_2014_Diablo#2_MacHolt_2014_Diablo#2_2014_

Special Topics- composite shadowing

This past week some friends and I drove all the way out to the Washington coast to do a backpacking shoot in the rainforest. On the way to the shoot we started to question our decision as the snow and rain started to fall relentlessly. In the end we hiked out and spent the next two days in the pouring down rain, it was still a good time but unfortunately the shoot fell through due to the fact that we were all in survival mode instead of shoot mode. With that said this past week I was only able to watch more Photoshop tutorials on compositing. Last week I focused on placing a subject in a scene and matching a correct size and color correction. This week I focused on creating correct shadows for that subject in the scene, which is maybe even more of a challenge. I learned a technique using the elliptical marquee and creating three circles in the scene within each other and then filling each circle with a sampled color shadow from the scene. As each circle goes out you have to lower its opacity to create an accurate shadow, because a shadow will be darkest at its core and dissipates as it goes away from the object. Then it is a game of sampling and brushing to make the shadow appear to be realistic. Then to add texture into the shadow on a separate layer you use the clone stamp tool and turn your blending mode to multiply and double click on that layer and make it so that layer is only visible in the shadows and not the highlights. It is essential to have realistic shadows in your composite because it will truly make or break that image. And I am finding that it is a very difficult thing to create.

here are some example images of the work i tried to do on an image, i believe that i failed but at the same time i think the image i am attempting to do this on is difficult because there are not a lot of shadows to take example off.

also here is the link to the tutorial if you wish to take a stab at it!


Screen Shot 2014-02-26 at 8.54.34 AM Screen Shot 2014-02-26 at 9.51.58 AM

Special Topics-Feb 19th

This past week I have been working on more composite techniques, I am beginning to watch a three part tutorial on compositing subjects into a separate landscape. In the first part of the tutorial I have been working on creating a 3D plane within my image using a photoshop filter called Vanishing point. once you have created the 3 dimensional plane within your image you can put your subject within the box and move it freely and it will size it up or down according to where it is in the box. The next part to the tutorial that I have been working on is adjusting the color saturation and hue of the subject using curves layers. overall it has been very helpful and insightful!



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