Dungeons & Dragons Back Lit Classes Part 2

Finishing the other Classes of Dungeons & Dragons

Dungeons & Dragons is a unique and interesting world and I really tried to capture that with these creative backlit portraits. It isn’t often that you see a back lit person photoshopped onto a fully lit background. But that’s exactly what I wanted to do. So I did. It turned out really interesting and I felt a call back to earlier in the year when I first started working with the speed lights.

I wanted to take a good look at the many classes of Dungeons and Dragons. I’m a bit of a nerd and so I wanted to make a project that took the player and sillouetted them against a back drop that matched the character that they played. I feel that this project shows a lot of passion that people have for a game that is all about creativity. To lean in on the creativity of Dungeons and Dragons I leaned into my creative side of photography and post production editing.

Cutting out a backlit portrait in Photoshop was actually more tricky than I had initially thought it would be but I think that in the end my Dungeons & Dragons classes turned out just right. I particularly enjoyed the contrast between the foreground and the background and how the font choice fairly matches the characteristic of each of the Dungeons & Dragons classes. It is amazing to me that there are so many small choices that can affect a project and change the message of what one creates. I learned a lot this semester and I feel that my command of light has improved the most. Obviously this project showcases that newfound skill.

Overall, I am pleased with how these turned out and I like to think that I made the fans of Dungeons & Dragons proud with these portraits I made of the classes. I hope that I will be able to move forward as creative in my professional field, as I am in my hobbies.

The Wizard Prepares for his next spell.
The Druid contemplates nature.
The Warlock summons their Patron

Backlit Dungeons & Dragons Classes Part 1

The Classes of Dungeons & Dragons

This project was an attempt to bring to life some of the classes of Dungeons & Dragons. For this post I have finished 5 of the classes which include the Barbarian, Bard, Fighter, Rogue, and Ranger.

A Barbarian stands raging in the sunset.
A rogue broods over his dark past.
The bard recounts the stories of old.
The Ranger looks over the forrest and his prey.
The Fighter stares down his enemy.

Overall I have been happy with the way that these backlit images contrast to their backgrounds. It’s something a little out of the box and shows that the classes of Dungeons & Dragons can be assumed by any person and that what they were before the game doesn’t matter. In Dungeons & Dragons, creativity is key, and so I wanted to do something a bit different with this project to showcase some of that creativity. Hopefully, most any Dungeons & Dragons player would think that I nailed the look of most of these classes in their simplest forms.

Yellowstone Landscapes and Wildlife

Taking Landscapes at Yellowstone

Taking Landscape photos is one of my favorite things about photography. Few places in the world make as great of Landscape shots as Yellowstone National Park! I had the chance to take an excursion up in Yellowstone and as I am sure you can see, the Landscapes around that area came out just fantastic. One of the tricks to getting an excellent landscape photo is to have a good understanding of foreground, mid-ground, and background. Thankfully, Yellowstone is an easy place to find exquisite landscapes that offer all of those elements. Between the geysers and mountains, Yellowstone landscapes are hard to beat.

A Steamy Stack in Yellowstone National Park.
A Star Burst by Buffalo River.
A Fire Sunset in Yellowstone National Park.
Sunrise at Buffalo River.
The Mountains and Trees of Yellowstone.
The Morning Breaks at Buffalo River

Want to learn more about how to take great landscape photography? Click here to learn from an expert!

Tetons Landscapes and Wildlife

Taking in the Landscapes at the Grand Tetons

While Yellowstone may have great landscapes, the Mountains of Grand Teton National Park are just as dramatic. I love landscape photography, and few places are as dramatic as the Grand Tetons. For landscape photography, it really helps to have some contrast in the images and different colors to make the scene interesting. With the snow capped mountains and the yellow grass and green trees, this fall was a perfect time to take landscape photos of the Grand Tetons.

The Tetons during a cloudy day.
A free range horse by the Tetons
The reflection of a rock on the lake.

While the mountains at Grand Teton National Park are epic, so are the lakes and trees. This particular landscape shot with the rock and the lake almost looks out of this world and I really love the way it looked.

A Lone Leaf by a Green Lake
The Tetons in All Their Splendor

Despite the amazing reflective lake, I love this mountain shot even more. I thought that the angle of the hill with the trees in contrast to the majesty of this mountain made this particular landscape shot the highlight of my trip to Grand Teton National Park.

A Stream Bubbling by Trees

Want to learn more about how to take great landscape photography? Click here to learn from an expert!

Men’s Fashion

Men’s Fashion Photography

Much like Women’s photography, Men’s Fashion Photography isn’t my favorite type of shoot. That being said though, Men’s Fashion Photography is just as important and uses many of the same techniques. I enjoyed doing Men’s Fashion Photography despite the challenges that it posed. There is a difference in men’s fashion compared to women’s but lighting and posing were still equally important. Men’s Fashion Photography, while perhaps note as popular and widespread as women’s is still featured on posters and some magazines. Men’s Fashion Photography, it’s yet another important part of photography and the following was a practice shoot I did to help hone my skills.

Men's Fashion Photography
Men's Fashion Photography
Men's Fashion Photography

Want to learn more about shooting men’s fashion photography? Here is a useful resource.

Group Fashion

Group Fashion Photography

Group Fashion Photography is actually more fun for me than individual photography for fashion. Group Fashion Photography involves more dynamic poses I think, and that is what I focused on. I think that it’s easier to do shots like this in groups for fashion photography because the subjects can interact with each other and feel more emotion more easily. Group Fashion Photography can be tricky though, because lighting more than one subject at a time may require both more planning and more lighting set ups. Despite those difficulties a good series of group fashion shots can really amplify one’s portfolio. This series I did some group shots and really enjoyed the way these fashion shots looked.

Group Fashion Photography
Group Fashion Photography

Want to learn more about shooting group fashion photography? Here is a useful resource.

Accessories and Location in Fashion Photography

Fashion Accessories

While I may not have the most comfort with such things as women’s fashion, I do enjoy fashion accessories photography. Fashion Accessories Photography is basically just that, taking photos of different accessories such as shoes and the like. For my series on fashion accessories photography, I focused on a unique angle to showcase some Converse shoes that a classmate was wearing. The lighting was great and seemed perfect. Fashion Accessories Photography is an important part of a photographer’s resume and while I don’t anticipate working in that particular aspect of photography Fashion Accessories Photography is still fun and useful for a lot of other things as well.

Location in Fashion Photography

Sometimes being on Location you focus on the subject you bring with you. But there are a lot of times where the location can be an even more interesting subject to shoot. Location is important and while on the fashion shoots I particularly enjoyed the barn we were shooting at, it was a prime example of why location matters.

Locations can vary, and sometimes they are not the focus of shoots, but sometimes, I really like taking a moment to appreciate my surroundings. Locations such as a weathered barn make for great shots like this one of the wreath, that oftentimes people overlook.

Need ideas for locations for your fashion photo shoot? Here is a great resource.

Women’s Fashion

Women’s Fashion Photography

This was a tricky series for me. Women’s Fashion Photography… It’s not something I would initial state as a strength of mine. But, women’s fashion photography while not at the forefront of what I love to do, is a great way to work on my lighting skill and color. With women’s fashion photography there are a couple things I felt were important to get right. First, I think that it’s important to showcase the model in a real way that still highlights the fashion. This isn’t easily done but with good framing and a decent pose this can be achieved. While I was working on women’s fashion photography the smoke from the California forrest fires was clouding the sky so the lighting was very warm and hazy, but I used that to my advantage, especially in this first photo.

The last thing to consider in women’s fashion photography is the brand. What does the brand stand for and what is the look that goes with it? Those were all questions I had to ask myself while practicing on this shoot.

In the end, I think I got a decent handle on women’s fashion photography and I was genuinely pleased with how this series turned out.

Women's Fashion Photography
Women's Fashion Photography
Women's Fashion Photography
Women's Fashion Photography

Want to learn more about women’s fashion photography? Here is a useful resource.

Studio Quality Invisible Black Background

Getting the Best Out of Jade

I really enjoyed learning how to use speed flashes to create a studio quality look right on my kitchen counter. This is easily attained with the use of a flash or two placed at the right spot. And that right spot can be difficult to find. I needed the light to hit my subjects just right without spilling too much into the background. For the Jade statuette I had to use a reflector as well to give a nice edge light on the right side. I’ve had these jade peices for a long time and my family got them while stationed at Okinawa some 19 years ago.

Funnily enough, with the camera raw file, I could actually up the exposure enough to bring the background into view. It just amazed me and reaffirmed to me that shooting in raw is a great way to get the most pixel depth you could out of an image. Having that large amount of information stored allows one opportunity to do a lot in post. But besides the smoke be hind my little jade statue, and some slight color adjustments, there was not a lot that needed done in post production. Getting things right in camera is a good way to work and was for the most part how I got these images.

A jade statuette
A jade sword.
Erin doing up her hair
The “Studio”

Post Production Texture

Adding Texture in Post Production

Adding a Texture to an image is a good way to make some creative shots. Behind Merritt in this picture is actually just water, but that is boring so I added a texture in post production to amplify it. The texture I used was a picture of cement which I blended into the background of the picture. It’s not the most drastic of changes but I like what the texture adds to it.

Post Production without Texture

I got this texture here.

Post Production Texture

Austin Riley Miller

Austin Riley Miller

About Me

I am currently a senior at Brigham Young University-Idaho majoring in Communication and will be graduating Spring 2021. My primary emphasis in my degree has been in Video Productions but I have also done a good deal of graphic design and photography.

I’ve had the chance to direct two short films during my time at school (one 3 minute short and another that was 8 minutes and won “best in class”) as well as a host of smaller -dare I say- less impressive videos too.

I am currently working on a podcast about flags for my senior project. Episodes of “Unfurled: The Story of Our Flags” are currently live on Apple podcasts, Spotify, and Google podcasts.

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