Light by Projector and a Photoshop Lesson

A couple of months ago, Sophia, whom I've had the pleasure of working with before, approached me with an idea to shoot just by projecting an image.  The inspiration came from One Tree Hill.

The setup was very simple:

  • One LCD projector: 1024 x 768 resolution
  • A white wall
  • A whole host of images and handwritten messages
  • Camera (duh) and a tripod
  • Place Sophia as close to the wall as possible, so that there would only a small shadow

The shoot went very smoothly but once I got the photos into Lightroom, I immediately saw a problem caused by the projector.  The problem is that the resolution of the projector was very low compared to my Canon 6D and the camera picked up the individual projector pixels.  That led to a JPEG output like this:

Model: Sophia Lam

See the strange pattern on her face that's almost like a moire pattern?  So undeterred, I went to one of my favorite YouTube channel called Phlearn and found a tutorial on Frequency Separation.  This technique saved me a bunch of time and with a small amount of work ended up with this:

Model: Sophia Lam

I won't explain the full technique here as the Youtube video is super informative and has a great amount of information.  The one hint I have here is to adjust the Radius setting on the Gaussian Blur filter to just the right radius between wiping out the lines between the project pixels and retaining some skin texture.

Of course, you can use frequency separation to take out the other blemishes too!  Here are a few more photos from the shoot:

Happy shooting!