COMD 3330 OL 30 Spring 2021

Professor Michals

Week 14: Local Corrections

Needed for this class

  • Lightroom
  • final project files

Review Global corrections

Global corrections adjust the entire file. In Lightroom Classic, this includes everything in the basic panel: White balance, Exposure, Tone and Presence. In the Lightroom/Photoshop App, it includes the controls under Light, Color and Effects.

Local corrections

After you make global corrections, sometimes you will want to make corrections to part of your image. Generally, the brightest part of the image commands the most attention. Sometimes that is not where you want your viewer to look first so shifting the exposure of parts of your image can create the image you want.

The important thing in this photo by Bryan Rodriguez is the face of the card player. However the cards are brighter and demanded too much attention. Using the adjustment brush, I darkened the cards. Creating a second adjustment, I lightened the face of the card player a little more. The goal was to bring more attention to the person’s face and less to the overly bright cards.

The main tools for local adjustments are the adjustment brush, the radial filter and the graduated filter.

Selective Edits is a premium feature. You should have access to it if you have an account.

Lab exercises

Review Global Corrections

Local Corrections


Final Project

Due next week, December 15th:

3 albums each of a minimum of 30 photos

1 album of the 10 best photos of the 90 total, adjusted in Lightroom

a 3-5 min presentation of the final project – projected from the album on Flickr.

Presentation Guidelines

  1. Start by introducing yourself and your project. One big picture sentence such as, ” I photographed variations on the theme of windows with most of the photos taken in downtown Brooklyn.
  2. If you are showing 10 images, you have about 30 seconds to describe each photo. Tell us what your intention was, what interested you about the photo we are looking at, and give us information we may need to know to understand the photo. Tell us what makes it visually interesting ie the use of shallow depth of field or some other feature.
  3. Your presentation will improve if you practice.
  4. Try making a simple notecard for each image that lists the one or two points you want to make about that image.
  5. Do not tell us about what you did to the photo in Lightroom or what would have made the photo better..

Week 12 – Portraits: Posing and Fill light

Needed for this class

  • camera or cameraphone
  • a light
  • a reflector
  • a model or a tripod and release or timer

Guest Speaker

Jonathan Baez

Posing your model

The single most useful pose suggestion that you can make to your model is to lower their chin. Peter Hurley explains his apprach to this in the video below.

Watch .55 to 7.40

The Fill Light

The fill light brightens the shadows. It can be an actual light or you can use a reflector. This video shows how to use a reflector as the fill light.


Adding a Fill Light


Final Project

Week 11: One-light Portrait Photography

Needed for this class

  • a camera or camera phone
  • a light that you can move around
  • a diffuser
  • a model ( It could be yourself. Then you will also need a tripod.)

Portrait Poses

  1. Front view
  2. 3/4 view
  3. Profile

Focal Length

The focal length of a lens is defined as the distance in mm from the optical center of the lens to the the sensor when the lens is focused on infinity. This varies on the camera and the lens.

Focal length controls: Magnification and angle of view

Focal length is described as short, normal ie close to human vision, or long.

Wide Angle Distortion-created when using a wide-angle lens AND the camera is very close to the subject. The object close to the lens appears abnormally large relative to more distant objects, and distant objects appear abnormally small and hence more distant – distances are extended. 

Focal length and proximity to the camera affect how a person’s face looks in a photograph. A wide focal length and proximity between the subject and the camera create wide angle distortion and will distort a person’s features.

Photographer: Chip Simons

Think about selfie sticks. What are they for but to get the camera away from your face? This makes the photograph look more complimentary to the subject. This is really important with a cameraphone because it has a wide angle lens. The center of the lens and the sensor cannot be very far apart given the thin design of cellphones.

When shooting with a crop-frame sensor such as a Canon 60d, approximately 65 mm will be the most flattering to your subject.

When shooting with a full-frame sensor, 85 mm is generally thought to be the most flattering focal length for portraits


When shooting a portrait, the subject’s eyes must be in focus. Full stop. period.

Generally, portraits are shot with shallow depth of field to separate the subject from the background. Be careful to have enough depth of field so that the subject’s face from what is closest to the camera to what is farthest is in focus.

If you are shooting with a cameraphone that has portrait mode, it will blur what it calculates to be the background to simulate shallow depth of field.

Portrait Lighting Styles

There are a 5 basic lighting styles for portrait photography. Each style is defined by how light falls on the face.

  1. Rembrandt Light – the model is face forward, main light is at 45 degrees and casts a light on the opposite side of the face to form a triangle on the cheek.
Rembrandt Lighting
Michael B. Jordan. Photographer: Peggy Sirota

2. Broad Light-model’s face in 3/4 view-light falls on the side of the face with the visible ear. Good for controlling the reflections on glasses.

Danny Devito. Photographer: Gregory Heisler.

3. Short Light-model’s face is in 3/4 view, the light falls on the side of the face with the features. (Not on the side with the visible ear.)

Aretha Franklin. Photographer: Matthew Jordan Smith

Both of these are examples of short light.

Chadwick Boseman. Photographer: Caitlin Cronenburg

4. Butterfly Light, Clamshell or beauty or glamour light-model is face forward, front light.

Tyra Banks. Photographer: Matthew Jordan Smith

5. Split Light-model is face forward, the main light is at 90 degrees to the camera and falls on one side of the face. 

Lewis Wickes Hine (U.S.A., 1874–1940), One of the spinners in Whitnel Cotton Mfg. Co. N.C. December 1908.

Quiz Questions

1. Identify the 2 basic portrait lighting styles for a portrait shot in a 3/4 view.

2. Identify the 3 basic portrait lighting styles for a portrait shot in a front view.


Portrait Lighting Styles

Creating Mood


Window light portraits

Week 10: Food Photography and Direct Reflection

Needed for this class

  • camera or camera phone
  • one or two lights
  • diffusion material
  • a white reflector
  • a food product and props
  • a roll of 24 in white paper.

Guest Speaker

Jonathan Lopez

Managing Reflection

The subject’s material can transmit, absorb or reflect the light that hits it.

Types of reflections:

  1. Diffuse reflections-the material reflects the light equally in all directions. Neither the angle nor the size of the light source changes the appearance of a diffuse reflection. The distance of the light to the subject will make the subject look brighter.  An example of a material that creates diffuse reflection is paper.
  2. Direct reflections are a mirror image of the light that produces them. If a direct reflection is seen is determined by the angles between the light source, the subject, and the camera. Brightly polished metal or glass are both examples of materials that create direct reflection.


To manage reflections on metal, either light it and let it go dark or fill the surface with light so the whole thing is reflecting the light.


Glass produces direct reflection but it is also transparent. One needs to bring out the edges to see the shape of the glass. So there are two problems when photographing glass:

Controlling the direct reflection 

Bringing out the edges by reflecting onto them so they are visible.

Lighting diagram from Light, Science and Magic


Photographing Glass

Managing Direct Reflection


Food Product Advertising Campaign

Needed for next week

We are going to consider the basics of portrait photography. You can use yourself if need be but if you can get someone to model for you it will be much easier for you.

You will need 1 light, a diffuser, and a reflector – the same basic tools needed for food photography. Generally, because people are bigger subjects than the small things we have been shooting, it will help if your diffuser and reflector are bigger.

If you are going to photograph your self, then you will need a tripod.

Week 9 – Telling a Story with Food Photography


  • Camera or cameraphone
  • tripod or way to secure the camera
  • a main light – can be a clamp light
  • a diffuser
  • a white card for reflection
  • a background material
  • some food items
  • a few simple props – a plate, a fork, a sprig of herbs, a wooden spoon

Guest Speaker

Jill Keller

Food Stylist

The food stylist shops for the food and prepares the food for the shoot. The food stylist also moves the food on the set and is responsible for making it look as good as possible.

A Food Styling Kit. Courtesy of Jill Keller.

Food Photography Lighting Review

  1. Use one main light. Turn of or block other light sources.
  2. Diffuse the main light. You can put diffusion in front of the light or bounce the light off a wall. The farther in front of the light the diffusion is placed the more the light will be diffused.
  3. Fill the shadows by reflecting the main light into the shadows with a white card.

Lighting an Overhead Shot

Specular Highlights – bright spots of light that are the result of direct reflection

Telling a Story

Start with what you want the photograph to say. It can be something simple like flavor, or fresh, or natural or home comfort or elegance. This will help you figure out the hero of your photo ie what is most important and how to style the photo.

Basic Composition

  1. Pick the background to compliment the food.
  2. Odd numbers tend to look better than even.
  3. Try off-center placement and/or the rule of thirds
  4. Use diagonals
  5. Use shallow depth of field
  6. If shooting from a three-quarter view, include something that creates perspective either through converging lines or diminishing scale
  7. Restrict the palette but select colors to compliment each other

Styling Tips

  1. Use herbs or spices as props
  2. Keep props simple- a knife or a wooden spoon or other kitchen implement, a fork or spoon, a plate or a napkin, a placemat

3. Use tweezers to move small items on the set.

4. Use a brush to remove extra crumbs you don’t want.

Lab Exercises

Three-quarter view shot

Overhead or flat lay shot


HW 6 – Telling a Story with Food Photography

Needed for next week

We will be doing a product shot with ingredients. You will need a clean, unopened example of the product and at least one fresh ingredient for that product. You may also want some props – what ever is appropriate for your product.

Quiz 1

4 pts. Please put your answers in a text file, convert to PDF, and email it to me:

Due: October 27th, 6 pm

Each question is worth 1 pt.

  1. Compare and contrast these two photos to discuss angle of view and explain how a three dimensional space is represented on a two-dimensional surface.

2. Write a short paragraph about how Sebastian Hidalgo uses framing in the photo above.

3. Create a photograph that has motion blur and a sharp background. Write a short description of what you did to create motion blur with a contrast of sharpness. Include your camera settings or what app you used and the settings of that app and how did you secure the camera so that the still objects in the frame were sharp?

4. Find a simple object (try not to pick anything glass or metal) and place it on a surface such as a table 2 ft from a wall or other plain background. Take two photos of it:

  • Light it from the front by placing the light near the camera position but so that there is no shadow cast on the back wall.
  • Light it from above angling the light so that no light falls on the background and the background becomes a solid black but the object itself is well lit.

Week 7: Midterm

Critique Etiquette

  1. Please give the presenter the respect of your full attention.
  2. Any comments or questions you have during or right after a presentation should be directly related to your colleague’s photography.
  3. When you comment on your colleagues work, start with the positive. If you have a suggestion for improvement, make that second.
  4. It is very important that the presenter hear from a range of students in the class. Your opinion and judgements are important. Offer your thoughts generously. Do not leave the work of responding to the others in the class.
  5. Conversely, please do not speak over your classmates.


Framing: How the frame brings together the elements inside the rectangle juxtaposing them, creating relationships between them

Types of shots: how much information is in the frame

  • a long shot
  • a medium shot
  • a close up
  • an extreme close up.

Frame within a frame – use elements in the frame to enclose the main subject and draw attention to it. A frame within a frame can be a window or door or it can be items in the foreground such as branches.

Angle of View:  describes the camera position in relationship to the subject. The angle of view may be: 

  • a worm’s-eye view
  • a low-angle
  • eye-level
  • a high-angle
  • a bird’s-eye or aerial or overhead view
  • an oblique angle.

Rule of Thirds – Instead of placing the main subject in the center of the frame, divide the frame into thirds horizontally and vertically and place the main subject at one of these intersections.

Fill the Frame –  (get closer) – do not leave empty areas that do not add to the composition and plan to crop in later.

Perspective-the representation of a 3-dimensional space on a 2-dimensional surface by converging lines, diminishing scale and/or atmospheric perspective.

Depth of Field-The distance between the nearest and farthest points that appear in acceptably sharp focus in a photograph. Depth of field can be shallow or extensive. While the term includes the word depth, depth of field refers to focus.

Frozen Motion-Motion is stopped and captured in the frame with a fast shutter speed.

The Decisive Moment: A term coined by Cartier Bresson- “the simultaneous recognition, in a fraction of a second, of the significance of an event as well as the precise organization of forms which gives that event its proper expression.”

Blurred motion-moving elements blur with a longer shutter speed.

Lighting Direction – front, side, back, top under


Quiz 1

Quiz 2

4 pts. Please put your answers in a text file, convert to PDF, and email it to me:

Due: Dec 8, 7 pm

Each question is worth 1 pt.

  1. Describe the difference between direct and diffused light. Take and include in your answer an example of each one.
  2. In both food and portrait photography, it is common to use a main light and a fill light. Describe the role of each of these lights. Take and include in your answer a photo that clearly has a main light and a fill light. The subject can be anything from an onion to a person as long as the two lights are clear.
  3. Compare and contrast these two photographs of eggs. Be specific about how each photo uses the following conventions of food photography:
  • angle of view
  • lighting
  • depth of field

4. Compare and contrast these two portraits of Chadwick Boseman. . Use at least 4 vocabulary terms from the class for full credit. Please do not include that one is in black and white and one in color. These are not vocabulary terms from the class but prior knowledge.

Lab: Week 14 – Local Corrections

Select one of the photos that you will include in your final project that needs some local as well as global corrections.

First make the global corrections.

Then identify what is the most important thing in your photo. Consider how to best direct our attention there.

Then using the adjustment brush and or the graduated or radial filters, make the needed local corrections.

Put a before and after version of your file with local corrections into a gallery block in a post on OpenLab. Include a list of the global and then local corrections that you made to the file.

Category: Lab: Week 14 – Local Corrections

Lab: Week 14 – Global Corrections

Pick any photo that you will be including in your final project presentation.

Make the necessary global corrections to make your photo look its best.

Put the before and after versions of your photo in a gallery block into a post on OpenLab. Include a list of the adjustments you made to the photo.

Category: Lab: Week 14 – Review Global Corrections

Lightroom Workflow:

  1. Classic: Lens corrections and Transform panels. Correct lens aberrations and Transform, rotate and straighten.  
    App: Optics, geometry.
  2. Classic: Crop. Left below the histogram. Keep the lock on to maintain aspect ratio.
    App: Crop
  3. Classic: WB on basic panel – Set white balance.
    App: Color
  4. Classic: Exposure section on basic panel – Read the histogram to set exposure. Most images should have the widest possible dynamic range, meaning that there should be data across the entire histogram.
    App: Light
    a. Exposure slider-use to adjust the overall tonality
    b. Set black point-shift double click.
    c. Set white point-shift double click.
    d. Use shadows slider to brighten mid tones.
  5. Classic: Presence section of basic panel – Adjust clarity (mid tone contrast)
    App: effects
  6. Classic: Presence section of basic panel – Adjust vibrance.
    App: color
  7. Classic: Presence section of basic panel – Use saturation with care: +10 at most
    App: color
  8. Classic: Detal panel – Sharpen-amount at least 50
    App: detail

Lab: Week 13 – Re-Touching a Portrait

Pick one of your best portraits shot with front light to work with. Create four versions:

  • the file exactly as shot
  • the file with the exposure adjusted
  • the file re-touched in Lightroom
  • the file re-touched with frequency separation

Put them in a gallery block in a post on Openlab with the category:

Lab: Week 13 – Re-Touching

Using the histogram, first adjust the basic exposure. Most portraits will benefit from opening up the shadows to +50.

Re-Touching With Lightroom

Use the adjustment brush set to soften skin. Brush loosely over the expanses of skin avoiding the features.

Use the adjustment brush set to dodge dark areas such as under the chin and in this cas I also lightened the glasses shadow. Use the adjustment brush set to burn to lighten and bring detail into the hair.

The eyes are the most important feature. To make them stand out slightly:

Use the adjustment brush set to clarity to outline the eyelids.

Use an ajsutment brush to carefully select the iris and brighten.

Use an adjustment brush to carefully select the whites of the eyes and increase the exposure very carefully. Do NOT so this too much otherwise it will look very artificial.

Frequency Separation

Frequency separation allows you to re-touch the skin without losing its texture.

  1. Set up the file:
  1. Make two copies of the background layer.
  2. Name the middle on Low and the top one high
  3. Select the Low layer and then filter>noise>dust and scratches> 15 radius 
  4. Select the High layer and then image>apply image.
    Layer: low, blending: subtract.
  5. Set blending mode to linear light.
  6. Group the High and Low layers and name it skin.
  7. Command-shift N to create a new layer. Mode>Overlay. Check 50% gray. Name it DB.
  8. Add a B&W adjust layer on top and bring down the red channel to enhance the flaws.

2. Remove blemishes: On the High layer, using the healing brush, hold option to sample an area near the blemish. Then paint over it to remove it. Use this to remove stray hair.

3. Smooth skin: On the Low layer, uses lasso tool to select areas to smooth out. Filter>blur>gaussian blur> 15 radius.

4. Dodge and Burn: On DB layer, use the dodge (lighten) tool set to midtones>3%>protect tones. Us this to lighten bags under the eyes and brighten the eyes.

 Resource: Photoshop Retouching Skin Retouching Technique Frequency Separation Made Easy by Joel Grimes

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