Football images with "Joel Grimes look"...

I have loved Joel Grimes work even prior to his doing a seminar here and I thought it would be cool to some high school sports stuff trying to "emulate" his look.

And to be honest, another motivator is that we think there is a market for this kind of work for high school athletes.

The first image has the more "dramatic" sky and folks that have already seen it either liked or disliked it because of the sky.

These are my very first attempts at this, so I have not perfected the technique, there are things I would like to to better.

Both images are composites. I shot Andy in the studio and then waited for a day that was sunny with big puffy clouds before I shot the football field.

There were two important tools that I used for these shots:

1. The background images are HDR and I used the "Joel Grimes" lighting and processing techniques for both the images (the subject and HDR background). If you have not had the pleasure of going to one of his seminars not to worry, the same information he teaches at the seminars is also available on DVD. I am lucky to have both (gone to the seminar and the DVD), for the reason I harp on every time I review a DVD, you get to watch it over and over again to refresh your memory and there are a lot of steps that go into these images and there is no way I could do it from my seminar notes. I will say that the DVD is not a Cecil B. DeMille production, but it wasn't meant to be, but that doesn't change the amount and value of the content one bit.

2. I use Photoshop CS5 and though it does a much better job at cutting out a subject from the background (with the new and improved selection tool/refine edge), it still didn't "cut it" for me (slight pun intended). Thank goodness I had ReMask from Topaz Labs. ReMask is a Photoshop plugin that's quick, easy, AND does an outstanding job. Bottom line, these images might not have been possible (for me) without ReMask. To see how well and easy this works you can check out the tutorials here and take it for a free test run here.

Helpful hint, when we shot the studio images of Andy they were done on a white background and I think life would have been made a lot easier had we used an 18% grey background.

So, let me here you thoughts, what you like and don't like about these images and what could be done to make them better.

Clicking on either image will open them in a new and larger window.


Steve Black said...

Nice post - and great to see you trying Joel's look - I've seen some of his stuff and it is pretty amazing.

It may just be the look - but to my eye, I wondered if a slightly darker background (especially in the second image) would make it feel a bit less like a composite? You probably played with a bunch of options, but thought I'd throw it out there as someone who hasn't tried this before!

Keep up the great site!


Miguel Palaviccini said...

I've always wanted to try something like this, but since I don't have a studio, I was going to try to do it all on location. I'm not sure how it would work out though. 3 images at -2, 0, and 2 EV without the subject and then one image with the subject and lighting. Of course, the camera would have to be on a tripod. However, I'm not sure how hard it would be to then blend the entire thing.

I like how yours came out though!

brett maxwell said...

another trick to make it look less like a composite is to front focus the background photos (or blur in photoshop). with a tack sharp background that appears to be a good distance behind the subject, it looks like it was shot at f45.

MindStorm said...

Nice to hear you rely on Remask too. Everyone says how good the masking is in CS5, and I have felt a little guilty for continuing to rely on Remask. It really does make the masking so quick and easy that I'm not sure I want to even invest the time to learn the CS5 flavors...

Tera said...

Great composites!

Jim Harmer said...

ARE YOU KIDDING ME!?!?!? WHO didn't like that first image with the sky? Absolutely incredible work. Every high school senior's dream.