Compositing Images…Which One Do You Prefer?
September 9, 2013 § 12 Comments
I was playing around with some images I shot years ago…a couple of scenics. I had an image of a bay in Hawaii with sailboats in the water. I also had an image of a small peninsula in a lake from only God knows where! I’ve always loved this shot for it’s peaceful, tranquil feel. Both of these shots were from slides that I shot many years ago and finally scanned into my computer about a month ago. A couple of days ago, I happened upon some images of people boating, fishing, and swimming at sunset, turning them into silhouettes. I thought back to my tranquil image and decided to add a person. I asked my son if he would pose in my studio on white seamless while I shot some images of him holding his fishing rod. We scheduled the shoot for later this week, but I decided to look through my files for any people shots that might work…and I came up with Kate…again! If you look through my previous blogs, you’ll see Kate sitting on a rock in an image I called “Alone”. You’ll also see Kate sitting on a rooftop drinking beer…I never figured out a cool name for that image, maybe…”Kate Sitting Nude On a Rooftop Drinking A Beer”. It doesn’t really flow and besides if you look closely, it’s not a rooftop, but actually she’s sitting in a dried out swimming pool, looking off into the sky…with a beer. Crazy, I know, but it’s my stuff and I can lose it every now and then…just ask my wife and son, they think I’m nut’s…o.k. I’m rambling again. So, I’m getting a lot of milage from my one session with Kate, but if it works, it works. Back to the images. I uploaded the two scenics as layers into Photoshop and used the bottom half of “Scenic 1” and the sky from “Scenic 2” by making a mask and brushing out the sky from “Scenic 1”. Next, I added Kate. In the studio, I had an image with a perfect exposure, but I decided she needed to be a silhouette to fit logically into the final image. I made a selection of her and dragged her into the scenic background image. I used the “transform” tool to scale her down and position her where I wanted. Now for the final image using some plug-ins. First I went to OnOne’s “Perfect Effects” and under “Landscape”, I chose “Autumn”. It seemed to be way too much, so I lowered the opacity to what you see her in “Kate & Scenic 2”. I loved the results, but then I wondered what it would look like if I went “more colorful”. I went back and took the original composite into Topaz’s new “Clarity” program. I found one preset that enhanced the color and contrast very nicely. So now I had an “Autumn” version and a more “colorful” version. I then decided to stack them and keep the “Autumn” foreground, but brush out the sky, revealing the more colorful sky. O.K. for the sake of clarity, I have “Kate & Scenic 1” which is a combination of an autumn look and a colorful sky, and “Kate & Scenic 2” which is an autumn look from top to bottom. Every time I look at the two images, I change my mind as to which one is my favorite. One of them will go into my portfolio, but not both…I’ll leave it up to all of you, so if you have the time, please vote. You can say either “1” or “2”. Thanks!