Photo Workshop: Portrait of an Exotic Car

with Bryan O'Neil Hughes
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Photo Workshop: Portrait of an Exotic Car
Video duration: 0s 1h 20m Appropriate for all


Bryan O'Neil Hughes is a photographer, a car buff, and the senior product manager for Photoshop. In Photo Workshop: Portrait of an Exotic Car, these passions combine at a workshop hosted by and Adobe Systems.

In the first portion of the course, Bryan photographs a carefully lit Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG and shares tips for photographing cars. He shows how to evaluate the lines of the vehicle and compose shots for the greatest dramatic effect. Along the way, he employs a variety of lenses and shooting techniques, from macro to high dynamic range.

Next, Bryan guides the workshop's attendees through his Lightroom and Photoshop workflow. He shares insider tips on how to take advantage of the features in Photoshop CS6, such as the revamped Crop tool, the Iris Blur and Tilt-Shift filters, the Content-Aware Move tool, and video editing tools.

Photoshop Lightroom

Course preview

Cars are a lot of fun to photograph, but it's also a very difficult thing to shoot. Unless you have the perfect day, it's almost impossible to get it right. You've got all these angles, and reflections, and it's a really challenging situation. I think there is a tendency for people to shoot a lot--we call it spray and pray--and just hope they're going to figure it out in post. But my attitude about post-processing is that it should augment me doing my very best in the field.

I think the other really interesting thing about this car is the hood. It's got this really long snout that just extends forever and ever and ever. So I am already thinking with the wide lens that I am going to exaggerate that. I am going to get dirty. I am going to be laying on the ground and shoot right up at it. When we're shooting HDR, you want to make sure that you shoot at least one stop under and one stop over. But I'll also go kind of crazy, one over, two over, three over, and we're going to combine all those together and come up with a nice HDR.

As you switch lenses, you start being a little more challenged, but you also start coming out with more unique perspective. This particular lens, it's pretty high contrast. One of the things that it loves is all the detail and the sharpness with events and whatnot, but also that color. That red is really going to pop. The key with any of this is you're trying to tell a story. You're either trying to make something dramatic or interesting. In the case of car photography, you're trying to say what the car is about.

So, the reason that we're here today is to teach people about Photoshop, and that's why lynda and Adobe got together for this. We're doing a few things, we're taking out a little bit of distortion, we're taking out vignetting which is the fallout in the corners, and we're taking out chromatic aberration which is a really nerdy word for color fringing. The first thing you will notice is the Photoshop CS6 has a dark interface. This isn't just a fresh coat of paint. Bridge is now 64-bit like Photoshop, like Lightroom. A 32-bit application can address just under 4 gigs of RAM, a 64-bit application can address as much as you can throw at it.

It's just real-time. Now, normally the way it would work is if we crop our image, that's that, we come back later, and we're out of luck. Well, one of the great things here with the Crop tool is it's all non-destructive now. I think a successful image here at the end is going to be something that not only surprises someone who looks at the photograph, but hopefully the photographer too. For me, it's really a collision of all of my passions, Photoshop, Photography, and Cars.

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