In this composite of a mountain biker in Boulder, Colorado, Mark S. Johnson’s goal was to capture the feeling of hopping off the bike after an epic (and muddy) ride. To accomplish the effect, he employed his standard composite photography light setup. This includes three Spiderlites. A 3' x 4' Shallow Pro Softbox (with no diffusion internal or external diffusion) served as the main light.
Two 1' x 3' Stripbanks (also with no internal or external diffusion) served as the edge lights. These edge lights were equipped with 40-degree egg crate grids to eliminate unwanted light spill. By positioning these lights behind his subject just out of frame, Brad’s subject really pops off of the background. This makes it much easier to extract the subject from the image.
Accentuating the mud splats during post-processing was crucial to achieving the desired look. Photoshop’s Curves, Color Balance, and Hue/Saturation adjustment layers made this possible. To finish the scene, Mark put Nik’s Color Efex Pro 4 Complete Edition ( Nik Software: Color Efex Pro ) to use, working specifically with the Tonal Contrast and Bleach Bypass filters.