This shot was taken back in 2011 with a Canon 5D Mark II at 1/100 sec at f/2.8, ISO 1600 at 70mm (70-200mm f/2.8L IS II) on a Manhattan rooftop. The model is also an incredible wedding photographer based out of New Mexico who happened to be in town at the conference we were both attending. She was kind enough to nearly freeze to death (this was late October) on the breezy rooftop while we rattled off a number of shots.
What I love about this shot is the expression of the model’s face along with the light that grabs your attention to her face and incredible stomach. This model has no major skin flaws and there’s no digital diet going on here, so editing was pretty simple. Here’s the before (from in-camera RAW) and after:
Here’s my layers that show what I did here:
Here’s each layer explained:
- Noiseware Default – Noise reduction using Noiseware using the Default setting.
- Hairs – Content aware healing of stray hairs
- Portraiture – Skin Softening using the Medium Preset to help tone down the goose bumps
- Brilliance / Warmth – Color Efex 4 effect to warm the skin tones and background lights
- HPF Eyes and Teeth – An overlay layer with High Pass Filter set to 3 to make the eyes and teeth shine a bit more
- Fix Background – Remove lines and spots from the railing
- Darken Background – I used Viveza to darken the background and then selected the railing areas using the blue channel to create a a simple mask that only got the areas I wanted. I applied the mask to the image to avoid making my file overly large since I didn’t need that extra Viveza data. I also noticed that I missed a little underwear imprint on the belly so I removed that on that layer.
- Only apply Tonal Contrast to the skin above the waist and the city lights. I could have applied the layer, but I was done so I just stopped there.
- Not shown here, but I did output sharpening using Sharpener Pro on the image uploaded to the web.
This editing could have been done in Photoshop Elements, but I used CS6 just because that is what I’m used to. This is a pretty basic edit that took about an hour with most of the time spent on the Hairs layer.
The lighting was one Westcott Apollo triggered using a Pocket Wizard Mini TT1, Flex TT5 and AC7 with a 580 EX II flash. I’d like to thank Clifford Pickett for getting me access to the roof and providing the lighting gear, as well as assisting. Kaethe Mari was also an awesome assistant on this shoot who also doubled as a model (see Travel Photography: Photographing People At Night In New York City (Manhattan)).
Other articles you may enjoy
If you enjoyed this article, you may also enjoy these:
- Nik Collection for $126 USD “RONMART” 75% Off – Worldwide
- Nik Software Color Efex 4 Video Tutorial (Review)
- Nik Software Sharpener Pro 3.0
- Nik Software Viveza 2.0
- Imagenomic Noiseware 4.1.1 Professional (Latest Version)
- Imagenomic Portraiture 2.x (Latest Version Tutorial)
- What plug-ins should I buy? (for Photoshop & Lightroom)
If you make a purchase using links found in this article, I may make a commission. It doesn’t cost you a penny more, but it does help to support future articles like this.