Fantasy Fashion Photography Without Photoshop

Ever wish you could get stunning fashion images straight out of your camera? No Photoshop or Lightroom; no touch ups. Sounds pretty close to impossible, right? Well, that’s exactly what the team shooting for the brochure for the new Nikon D810 set out to do. In the video below, they take us behind the scenes on a photo shoot which mixes fashion and fantasy to show us how it’s done:

If you’ve done any photography at all, you know that getting professional-quality shots straight out of camera is intensely difficult. The lighting, exposure, and focus have to be spot-on, and since there’s no cropping allowed, the composition of every shot has to be perfect. This is particularly difficult in fashion photography. As photographer Natalie Dybisz (professionally known as Miss Aniela) puts it,

“Of all the genres fashion is the one that is the most contrived, the one that takes the most effort. One must boil all those efforts down into something that looks effortless.”

Perfect skin, perfect tones, perfect wardrobe appearance—everything that we take for granted as fixable in Photoshop has to be done on set in real time.

Fantasy Photography Without Photoshop

White Witch Awakening, one of the two shoots done for the D810 brochure, is a merging of fashion photography and fantasy. It’s meant to spark both the imagination and create images full of mystery and beauty.

Fantasy Scene Setup

Behind the Scenes of a Fantasy Portrait

The equipment Miss Aniela used on her shoot is pretty standard: a set of Nikkor Prime Lenses (50mm and 85mm for portraits, 24-70 zoom, 200mm telephoto lens), Nikon’s Speedlight system, a studio flash, various set lights, gels for color effects, and, of course, the new Nikon D810.

White Witch Photo Shoot

Photoshop was not used for this image.

As you can see, an amazing amount of time and money goes into a shoot as complex as this. Most of the rest of us—with or without the D810—will probably continue using post-processing software for the foreseeable future.

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