5DayDeal Review:
Portrait Composites Workflow by Serge Ramelli

Part of the Complete Photography Bundle 2016

Environmental portraits are two things in one: 1) A shot of a location (architecture, landscape etc.) and 2) a portrait of a person in this environment.

You can shoot these kinds of photos in a single shot by applying a lot of artificial light to the environment and to the person. But you can also create two images (one of the environment and one of the person) and then composite them into one image.

The latter approach is particularly intriguing as it gives you total freedom with respect to shooting both elements at the perfect time of day, positioning your subject in the environment and try different environments with a click of your mouse.

But this requires quite some knowledge, not only of the shooting process, but also of the post-processing that’s necessary. Serge Ramelli teaches you both in this course.

Quick Facts

Type Length Skill Level Retail Price
Video 4:24 hours 1-2 $97

*1= Beginner; 2=Intermediate; 3=Advanced

This product is currently available as a part of the Complete Photography Bundle that runs October 14 - 19, 2016 only. The products in this bundle have a combined value of $2,500 (actually quite a bit more than that) and the bundle is sold for only $97. That's a discount of more than 96%.

If you want to learn more about the bundle, please visit the 5DayDeal website.

The Instructor

serge-ramelliSerge Ramelli is a French photographer and movie producer living in Paris, France and L.A. He became famous for his colorful HDR photography and his weekly video podcast where he offers tutorials about various post-processing techniques in Photoshop and Lightroom. His photography and his tutorials have inspired thousands of photographers all over the world.


At the beginning of the course, Serge Ramelli shows you what you need in terms of gear if you want to take proper portrait shots. For example, he gives you pointers to inexpensive but capable speedlights, light modifiers and stands.

In lesson 2, he shows you how  to use the gear and how to set it up for an outdoor portrait composite. The intriguing thing about this type of image is that you are totally free in setting up your lights. You can bring them very close to your subject to create very soft light. In a normal environmental portrait, you would need to make sure they’re not visible in the scene. But since you’re going to take only the subject itself and put it onto a shot of the background alone, that’s not an issue. The result are great images with beautiful light.

In lessons 3 to 10, Serge takes you through the entire post-processing workflow where the actual magic happens (combining both images). Now anybody can cut our a person from one photo and put them onto another photo. But if you’ve ever done that, you have noticed that it can be extremely difficult to match the lighting and the color of both elements in such a way so that it is is believable and doesn’t scream “composited!!!”. That’s the art in this type of photography.

Serge shows you how to extract your subject from the background perfectly and how to prepare the background and the subject for the composite by correcting and color differences. Then you’ll learn how to create shadows and lighting effects that help “sell” the effect.

Serge takes you through five projects overall with different subjects so you’ll learn about the specific challenges of different shooting scenarios. This includes things like outdoors shooting, indoors shooting, back light etc.

Summary and Verdict

Rating: 4/5

This course presents an interesting mix of two concepts. You’re going to learn how to take good portraits with very inexpensive gear, and you will learn advanced photo editing skills that let you put your subject onto any background in a believable way to create stunning environmental portraits.

Learn more about the other products in the bundle here.

Pros Cons
  • This is for small budgets, so everybody should be able to break into this genre with very little money and the same results Serge gets.
  • The portrait shooting lessons teach you how to set up lighting and create nice portraits irrespective of whether you’re going to use them for a composite later on.
  • The post-processing lessons show you many tricks and tips to do composites the right way.
  • A better overview of the course right at the start would have been nice

Look Inside

Related Products in This Bundle

The Free Bundle Bonus

off-limits-workflow-secretslightroom-to-photoshop-and-back-boxIf you purchase the bundle through any of the links on this website, I will send you a free copy of my upcoming video course Off-Limits Workflow Secrets - Lightroom to Photoshop and Back.

In this course you will learn a completely non-destructive workflow for taking your images back and forth between Lightroom and Photoshop. No matter at which stage of your workflow and how often you do that, you will be able to change any adjustment (both in Lightroom and Photoshop) at any time.

This will unleash your editing work. Check out this announcement for more information.

The course is nearly 2.5 hours long and will be sold for $29.95 when it launches later this month.

About the Bundle

Since the first Complete Photography Bundle by the 5DayDeal team in January 2014, a number of copycats have emerged and vanished again with their own product bundles. But not a single one of them came even close to the standards set by the team at 5DayDeal around Valerie and Griffin in terms of selecting only high-class products, customer-friendly delivery and customer support.

If you've ever been to this website, you know that I don't do any affiliate marketing at all. So why do I promote this bundle? Because I have my own product in it (Ultimate HDR Master Class 2017). So, in a sense, I am selling my own product at a reduced price with lots of other world-class products added to the mix.

When you buy the bundle through the link http://frb.li/5dd16, I will get a commission that compensates me for having contributed to the bundle. But no matter which link you're using (here or elsewhere on the web) to purchase, you will always pay the same price.

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about this product or the bundle, please send me an email through the form below.

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