A Monochromatic Moment in Time | Post-Production

Check out these useful retouching techniques.

During this shoot, Karl photographed model Suzannah in a range of different poses. He also captured the bouncing ping-pong balls in numerous mid-air positions. These layers give him plenty to work with as he moves the raw files into Photoshop.

Karl’s first post-production task is to bring these components together using layer masks. As he does so, he demonstrates nudging and rubbing through while utilising Gaussian blur and adding noise. In this way, he’s able to remove the clamps and team members supporting the frame, plus extend the top of the cove background as well as the top of the frame diamond itself.

You’ll also see him use the lasso tool, cloning function and healing brush to smooth out imperfections in the floor, frame and background. As he combines layers to get the right arrangement of ping-pong balls, he notices a difference in exposure, which he corrects using curves adjustment and mask inversion.

He goes on to use the pen and liquify tools, as well as doing some burning and dodging on Suzannah’s clothing and elsewhere. He also experiments with contrast, exposure and colour in different areas of the shot.

This extensive, accessible demonstration takes you right inside the thought process and workflow of a pro. It provides a great example of how combining careful pre-visualisation, on-set spontaneity and creative post-production can enable you to achieve a final image even more spectacular than the one you first imagined.

In this class:

  • Post-production techniques for fashion photography
  • Common Photoshop tools and how to use them
  • How to use layer masks in Photoshop
  • Using Gaussian blur in Photoshop
  • How to use healing brush in Photoshop
  • How to use pen tool in Photoshop
  • Using the burn and dodge tool in Photoshop

Questions? Please post them in the comments section below.


  1. Ok, this sounds odd but I just did a marathon editing session and put this episode on for company and it made me feel less stressed about my work. Your meticulous attention to detail is impressive and inspiring, Karl. So happy I subscribed to this channel. Can we request episodes on specific skills?

    1. Hi Shanyn, thank you for your comments i’m happy to hear we can provide therapy as well as education!🙂 Yes we collect requests and often use the most popular to formulate future classes or live shows, of course we can’t guarantee that a request will be selected but we will do our best to direct you to the next best thing if it isn’t.

  2. Bringing the balls back in. Wouldn’t it be easier to use color range highlights/shadows for selection of the balls and clean up not needed parts or do it with screen and darken blend mode plus a mask?

    1. Hi AP, Possibly. There are of course many ways to make a selection and many ways to blend but I often play around with a couple to see which is going to be the most reasonable. Either I tried it and found it not favourable or I started down a particular path and stuck with it. Of course it’s generally better to go with the most efficient technique but for some people the most efficient technique is the one they know well which is why so many photographers/retouchers work in different ways. However the most important thing is the outcome and does the final result work.

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