Last year, I was invited by my neighbors to go trap shooting. It had been a good 20 years since my last call to arms (dove hunting in ’92) so off I went.
I decided to bring my camera gear and for fun take a few pictures to process as a “Doomsday” theme. Once we arrived and the shooting began, I surveyed the best spots to place my off camera flashes. Below is the setup I used-
Some side notes about the setup: I typically like to use some type of modifier to lessen the harshness of the flash. However with the wind and more importantly the gun fire, I really did not want a large target getting in the way. I wanted the highest flash to be my main and the safest location for it was behind / to the side. This meant the camera view would be from an angle that would be hard to see a face. I watched them shoot a few times and I noticed as they followed the skeet, there was an opportunity to get to the side and capture a face.
After a few trial and error runs, this is the one I decided to work with…below is the picture out of camera and ready for post process in photoshop –
My first steps – I added some contrast using Nik pro contrast around 25%, then I added a bit of vignette and the barrel smoke.
My next steps – I added some tone mapping to the subjects (dodge and burn), increased the smoke effect from the barrel and I added some subtle smoke to the shell extraction.
Next it was time to work on the texturing to give if that grungy feel. I layered a texture (set it to multiply) and then added a mask to it so I could control how much of it I wanted to appear in sections of the photo.
At this point it was time to start getting the colors more uniform. For this I used channel mixer, hue/saturation, warming photo filter and a curves adjustment.
On my last step, I added a bit more punch to it by adding another curves adjustment layer and a vignette layer that I overlayed at %50.
Click here to see the larger version.