Making of “Autumn Wind”

Could have had posted this yesterday but got so carried away with Sue & Lara’s workshop on CreativeLive 🙂

It’s not a very complicated image but it’s a couple of simple tricks/ learning that I want to share.

First one is – hair flip.

I love adding hair movement. It gives such a nice sense of life and drama to an otherwise a bit dull image. For quite some time I relied on using hair brushes but that never looked as real and when the same hair movement began to reappear in more images, it looked even weirder. So…I had to learn how to do real hair flips + at the location (which would make the photoshop work really easy).

Since I do more self portraits, I have to synchronize my hair flip  with the camera timer. I’ve got a remote now and that makes it much easier. It used to be crazy when first I’d tired with the self timer – to run, pose and flip hair in 10 beeps :O (had kind of given up on hair flips because of that for quite some time)

Although, even with a remote, it wasn’t as simple as I’d imagined. The results of first few trials were not very satisfactory. The hair strands kind of looked evenly spreaded and flat than moving with the wind.  What bothered me more was that moving around my head so much, made me feel really dizzy ;D . Well, what other might have had figured out just with commonsense, I learnt it hard way – a few head flips are oky but hand throws work as well. 😛  Take at least 3-4 shots before running back to the camera. At times, for more dramatic effect, I would take a small bunch, twist it a little bit and throw at the count. It creates a swirling kind of effect and I really love it. Yup, did the same thing for this image also. See the originals –


Of course, there are few more things that one would need to keep in mind. Like –

# Shutter speed should not be too low or the movement will be all blurry, unless that is the intention

# Avoid underexposed images for dark hair and overexposure for light

# If you flip the hair in the direction from where light is coming, it will give better effect

# flip dot right after the last beep

# if you are shooting with a model, multiple shooting mode is really a good idea. 🙂

Second thing – Soft light colors

I can’t recall from where I picked up this idea but it’s one of my favourite trick in photoshop. Would create a new layer, set it as soft light and start painting will different colors – depending on what kind of tones I want to see (warm or cold etc.)

You can use this to get the right tones, change the tones you don’t like in particular areas or create an illusion of a place that couldn’t probably exist but visually is so beautiful (like mix of orange and blue tones in Hugo)

Here is the Soft light layer that I used for color correction in this image –

Soft light layer

And here is before / after effect of this layer –

layer effect

As you can see that my work wasn’t done just by adding this layer. Another difference is, generally I would add this layer after having edited colors, tones, contrast quite a bit – Just to get the right effect… but here I used it just after I completed the construction of base image. You can use it whichever way you like – before, after or multiple times. Do try it out and let me how you liked it 🙂


A quick glance at the processing –

all layers

Final image (click on to view large) –

Autumn Wind


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