Dramatic Portraiture With Chris Knight

Dramatic Portraiture With Chris Knight

6 Seasons

Shadow, Emotion, Mood, Storytelling; all of these are foundational elements of a dramatic portrait. For photographers aching to improve their grasp on the tools of dramatic portraiture, knowing where, and how to start, can puzzle even the most sophisticated of artists.

PRO EDU partnered with Chris Knight, one of the best in the portraiture industry, to provide you with the highest quality educational experience possible. Chris shares his approach to using light, shadow, and mood to tell the stories of his subjects. This tutorial focuses on the methods to understand and craft light, and is perfect for photographers looking to take their portrait work to new levels.

In this tutorial you will learn:

About Advanced Lighting For Dramatic Portraits
Step-By-Step Lighting Diagrams
About Character Development For Your Subjects
The History Of Photography
How Chris Directs His Talent
How Chris Poses Talent
The Do's and Dont's of Posing Subjects
How to Shape & Control Light
Chris's Art of Storytelling
How to Dodge & Burn
How to Color & Tone
How to Cleanup Skin
Few things move viewers like the emotion and mood of a well-executed dramatic portrait. Chris takes you step-by-step in this all-inclusive walkthrough of his advanced portrait workflow. The story-telling centrality of his method lies in the understanding that crafting light should help to fulfill the narrative, not the other way around.

By the end of this tutorial you will be able to make an informed and intelligent approach to your lighting setup, light your sets with intent and purpose, focusing on direction, angle, and falloff as well as capture images rich in story, with cinematic lighting and styling.

This 13 hour tutorial uses Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom. Several actions are included: Frequency Separation (Pratik Naik’s Action), Sharpening, Noise, and Output. Raw practice images are also included.

Dramatic Portraiture With Chris Knight
  • Introduction

    Episode 1

    With theory, practice and plenty of examples, it's time to put it all together and create some amazing imagery. In this stage of Dramatic Portraiture, follow Chris Knight in creating an old Hollywood style shoot inspired by Vanity Fair. Use the techniques, examples and theory to create an image r...

  • The Gentleman

    Episode 2

    In this Vanity Fair, old Hollywood themed shoot, begin the process of creating The Gentleman image. Follow photographer, Chris Knight, as he gives a complete walkthrough of his set. Examine his lighting setup, modifiers, wardrobe, set, and color decisions to learn the what, how and why in creatin...

  • The Lady

    Episode 3

    Expand your experience with a subject change to create a dramatic portrait of The Lady. In this example, continue to develop the broad brush lighting technique. Use the lessons learned in shaping light through ratio, modifiers, and distance. Develop your skills in posing a female subject, creatin...

  • The Couple

    Episode 4

    With theme, set, and lighting accomplished, create a relationship between subjects for a Vanity Fair inspired portrait. Work through a series of standing and sitting poses. Put all of the theory into practice creating gorgeous, motivated imagery with confidence. Follow photographer, Chris Knight,...

  • Culling

    Episode 5

    With the studio shoots complete, transition your focus to the post-production phase. Follow photographer, Chris Knight, as he walks through his retouching workflow. Using Lightroom, cull through a series of captures to select the best images to be considered for retouching. Hear Chris explain his...

  • Quick Development

    Episode 6

    In the next stage of the retouching workflow, create a method to process your RAW imagery using Lightroom's Develop module. Learn to process a RAW image capture to retain fidelity throughout the retouching process. Move rapidly and efficiently considering dynamic range, exposure, manipulating vib...

  • Cleanup

    Episode 7

    Begin retouching a final select from The Couple - a dramatic portrait shoot. Leverage the power of Photoshop and its layer based editing capabilities to create a cinematic portrait image. In this phase of the process, follow photographer Chris Knight, as he begins first of seven steps in his reto...

  • Skin
    Episode 8


    Episode 8

    In this stage of retouching, work to refine the skin of your subjects in The Couple dramatic portrait. Utilize a powerful Frequency Separation, from retoucher, Pratik Naik, and Photoshop's mixer brush. Learn to effectively retouch skin, while maintaining natural texture, shape and tone for a cine...

  • Global Dodge and Burn

    Episode 9

    For this stage of the retouching process, utilize Photoshop to create a global dodge and burn pass for your image. Focus on preserving and enhancing dimension in your subjects skin tones, developing sculpted highlights and shadows for nuance and aesthetic.

  • Liquify

    Episode 10

    Liquify can sometimes have a negative connotation within photography and retouching. And indeed, there can be misuse and abuse of the tool. In this section, learn the subtleties of liquify as filter to enhance your subjects, shape, wardrobe, and perspective within the image, without losing contex...

  • Color and Tone

    Episode 11

    Push The Couple dramatic portrait into the final stages of retouching, focusing on color and tone. Manipulate contrast, blend modes, saturation, channel and luminance masking.

  • Sharpen, Noise, and Output

    Episode 12

    For the finishing touches, learn how to create a Photoshop action for sharpening, adding noise, and creating output settings to expedite and create consistency across your final deliverable images.