Tilda Swinton (Ice Queen) Cover Shoot
I have been meaning to write this blog for a long time, it’s a bit over due, but never the less, it’s here. It’s about the digital side of how the Winter 2010 Cover Shot was edited up. I really don’t want to get into detail about how, in a detailed technical way anything was really done here. It would take a long time if I were to do so. If you do want a closer break down, mail me !!
I have to be honest, the cover did end up a little different to how I wanted it. I really wanted to not have to use a digital composite photo for the cover, the original plan was to shot the cover super low @ f1.2 and to use a digital projected background that I had pre-made in Photoshop. In the version of the photo that was used, F8 was used , shot on a white background and the background is fully digital. This was because the f1.2 version gave a much darker feeling, although, I prefer the photo ( which can be seen here ), it was not suitable for the cover of a make up magazine. So another photo was selected. During the shoot a few “safety” shots were taken at the higher F-stop as I knew the F1.2 shots were going to be a risky move.
Photoshop was the starting point, I made up an image to be used as my projected background. On the cover photo, this was just added in as a background layer and composited in. I guess this was step one, joining my background and model.
As with all my editing work, I like to keep to a similar flow, starting with the Skin, Sharpen, Colour, Stamp Clone and repeat. Using about a million layers in the process. By the end of this photo, there are actually two PSD files, each with about 30/35 layers each. I could have used a PSB file which would have be better I think, but, next time maybe. A PSB file is the same as a PSD file, but designed to look after much bigger files. So the photo. had a good going over with the Stamp and clone tool, but, due to the amazing make up, the skin was pretty much flawless to start with. To begin with I was very worried about how the background would interact with my model, so some colour blending layers are added to even out any tonal problems with the layers. I needed them to match perfectly. Levels and photo filters are used controlled by layer masks.
To begin with, all my focus is on the background, then I turn my attention to the darker tones , bringing them into the tones and colour I want to use. more adjustment layers are used for this. My main focus was to get a nice punchy blue and contrast. Once I have them where I want for now, I pull the middle tones in then followed by the higher tones. Using a combination of Saturation and Hue changes with the paint brush tool, the make was lifted and enhanced. I am not a big fan of the dodge or burn tools, instead i prefer to use levels and control them using layer masks. Colour work has begun on the eyes
At this point I have my full colour adjusted photo pretty much where I want it, with the background nicely placed and good place to start really finishing off this photo. If you look close, you should notice bits of the dress have been repaired, bits of hair placed to improve the balance, lips and jaw line lifted. The main change in this layer is the grey overtone that has been applied. This was done using a Duotone Layer made up from shades of Gray.
Skin Colour work has really begun to take form. Using layer masks, lighter colours are painted over the skin in Screen mode to help build the matt shine. Work on the finger nails and hands has begun. The whole frame is being duplicated and re-layered over the existing photo , then blended back down to start to give the soft transparent shine. A few more areas are targeted for the unsharp mask tool. A few of the gems are lifted off the skin to create more balance. The stones that are left are sharpened one by one and have the glue behind them removed. Shape of the eye is enhanced.
The whole photo is level corrected (duplicated, placed on top then merged down using layer blending modes, controlled with layer masks) , converted into CYMK, cropped into the cover ratio, logos added and printed. Simple !! ish !!
Photographer | Dave Kai Piper
Model & Make Up | Liv Free
Styling | Krishan Parmar
Dress | Joe Challita
Rings | Fei Lui