Category Archives: Photographer’s Style

Lillian Bassman Style Tutorial

Lillian Bassman was an amazing photographer, who shot Fashion photography for Harper’s Bazaar in a new and exciting way from the 1940’s all the way til the 1960’s. Her black and white images are striking, due to her developing techniques in the darkroom, using tools that included tissue paper, bleach and spatulas.

Open your image up and identify the gender.

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The software will mark up the face for you, but you can tweak it to make it exact.

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Under ‘Presets’, I chose ‘Full Lighting’, as it gives the face more of a glow.

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Under ‘Skin Smoothing Controls’, using ‘Master Fade’ to apply the changes to all areas, go quite high with the slider as image will be in black and white and this will help with the contrast.

Also I changed the around mouth in this section with this image, but this is just personal preference.

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If the lighting isn’t quite right you can change the direction that the light is coming from, we want the light hitting the front of the face, leaving a slight shade on the other side.

Under ‘Make up Controls’, I have added red lipstick, mascara, highlighter and blusher just a little, this is to create more of contrast when made black and white and makes her features stand out.

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The last change I make in PortraitPro is have the ‘Baby Skin’ slider all the way to the top, this makes the skin as smooth as possible. The facial features will now looks slightly blurred, don’t worry.

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I also crop the image slightly under ‘Picture Controls’. Save the image as a Jpeg/Tiff/Png and then open it up in Smart Photo Editor.

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In Smart Photo Editor the first thing I do is to apply a Black and White effect to the whole image. The effect I pick is called ‘Portrait’.

To do this, you click ‘Effects Gallery’ on the right hand side at the very top, then on the left hand side click ‘Color’>’Black and White’. Then pick with effect you like best.

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Blurring the background is the next step, click ‘Select Area’ button on the right hand side, click ‘Background’ and work your way around the person.

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When you have completely done around the person, click the ‘Bucket’ that appears to fill in the rest of the background.

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Now click the ‘Confirm Selection and Browse Effects’ button.

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We want a blurred background, there is a small search bar, just type in blur, the effect I picked is called ‘blur’. You can change the strength of the effect by moving the slider. Click ‘OK’ when you are happy.

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My image isn’t quite right, so going to crop the image again, click the ‘Crop’ button on the right hand side and resize your image.

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After Cropping the image I apply two effects to the whole image, firstly ‘Constrast f6′ followed by ‘Brighten faces 2b’.

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Now just save the image.

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This is the end result. With the background blurred and the facial features smoothed out, you can really see the effect the strong black and white colors have against each other.

To try this tutorial for yourself click here to buy PortraitPro and Smart Photo Editor, or download free trial of PortraitPro and Smart Photo Editor.

How to Steal Man Ray’s Portrait Style

Man Ray is one of the great first iconic photographers; his portrait style has something magical about it even to this day. He was one of the first artists that started to use photography as an art form.

He was revolutionary with his photographic techniques, including double exposure (which we will look at in a future blog) and early experiments with color, though black and white is what he is well known for.

Man Ray’s portraits were often around shoulder length, though there are some full length, you can see old photos of his that he would ‘crop’ by making what he wanted the photo to be.

This is a quick tutorial into how to turn your photos into his signature portrait style.

shape sliders

After marking up the photo in PortraitPro Body, I play around with the sliders a little bit, to see what looks best, the only setting I changed on mine was the Curves one, in this image you can’t see the difference too much.

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Don’t worry too much about the color and look of the make up, we are concentrating more on striking features, as this image will be made black and white in a minute.

black and white

In the picture settings, I move the slider to fully black and white, then move the others back and forth to get the lighting that I want.

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This is the photo I export from PortraitPro Body and import into Smart Photo Editor.

cropped photo

The first thing that I do in Smart Photo Editor is crop down the size of the photo (the crop tool is on the right hand side.

object removal photo

After cropping the image to your chosen look, the background needed work on, a out of focus light grey background is what we are aiming for, it my photo there was somethings in the background that I needed to get removed to have that nice out of focus background. I used the Object Removal Tool which is found on the right hand side of the screen. As you can see, I have edited quite a few pieces. Don’t worry if like mine it doesn’t look great, we just want to remove the defining features.

select area

Next we are adding an effect to the background, you do this by selecting the Select Area button on the RHS, click on background, then color in what you want to add an effect to, on your left hand side of the screen, you can adjust the size of your selection tool.

Don’t worry if you go too far over, you can correct this easily by the erase from selection button on the right.

Click the Confirm Selection and Browse Effects button on the left when you have finished.

blurred background

The effect I chose was called ‘Blur’, you can change the strength of the effects you choose but I kept mine as full.

This created a lovely blurry effect with a slightly shadow look from the darker part of my background.

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Here is my end result of a Man Ray style portrait.

Hope you have enjoyed this tutorial and try out PortraitPro Body and Smart Photo Editor, they are both currently 50% off in the sale.