Portrait Session with Jovon Burkes

By on 4-02-2009

I recently had the honor of creating a promotional poster for former Bowling Green Falcon’s linebacker, Jovon Burkes. You can see Jovon’s stats by clicking here. Jovon needed a flyer and poster for a birthday party / charity event. The theme of the party was “A Black and White Affair” so what better then to shoot on a white background.

I set up two Alien Bee 800 strobes with umbrellas to blow out the background and a Alien Bee 800 with a  medium softbox attached for the key light. We used a reflector to even out the light since the key light was slightly to the left of Jovon. I also shot a few with just the key light.

99% of the time, the white area by the feet never gets completely blown out, so I open the image in Photoshop and set it as my top layer, then I open the same image again, except this time I click on the “Highlight” button in the RAW editor so that I can see the blown out parts of the image and I increase the exposure on the image until all the white (including the area near the feet) is completely blown out. I then place the image on the bottom layer and create a mask on the top layer. Using a 0% – 20% hardness on the default brush, I just work around the problematic area until it is pure white. I find this method works really well and lets me leave the shadows near the feet in place so that it doesn’t look too processed!

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