Tony Sweet

Close-Up Photography: Capturing the Details of Shells

Tony Sweet
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Duration:   10  mins

Close-up photography sometimes requires certain skills and techniques. In this video, professional photographer and editor Tony Sweet travels to South Carolina’s Edisto Island and shows you creative ideas for shooting seashells on the beach. He demonstrates how to select your subject, how to choose the proper framing, how to adjust your camera settings for sharpness, and why spot metering works best in close-up photography. Later, he will take you into the editing suite to show you how to enhance your close-up compositions with post-production software techniques.

After Tony selects a colorful bed of seashells for his subject and composes the frame through a telephoto lens, he decides to add a natural prop to aid in composition. For his main RAW file, he shoots at a high f-stop, which helps maximize sharpness across the entire frame of random seashells. The goal in close-up photography is to capture details throughout the gray scale range.

Tony moves into the editing suite, where he discovers the RAW file of his seashells composition is a bit flat due to overcast lighting. He takes his image into Photoshop, where he uses Nik Color Effects software. This allows him to adjust the color contrast to add depth to his grouping of seashells. You will learn how to use the Topaz filter for added color and softness, how to adjust for brightness and saturation, how to create a watercolor effect, and how to compare the before and after images for assurance you achieve the effect you are looking for.

In the final retouching process, Tony shows you how to use the spot brush tool for cleaning up certain impurities. The final image could be printed on a cotton-based paper to give it the look of a painting. Head to the beach with pro shooter and editor Tony Sweet for tips on close-up photography.


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