We’ve seen some stunning work created by combining photography, Photoshop and lots of imagination. But when you start compositing images, one of the greatest challenges is to make them look realistic. In this video from Advancing Your Photography, Rikard Rodin shares five tips for raising your photo composites to a new level, and all that in only 90 seconds.
1. Match your elements
When you’re selecting the elements for compositing, you need to make sure that they match. First, choose elements where the perspective matches. And second, make sure that the light source is relatively similar between the elements that you’re compositing together.
2. Spend time on selections
When matching elements from several photos, you need to spend time on making selections. Rikard says that as much as 80% of his compositing time is spent on making accurate selections. It can make a huge difference in the final work, so don’t be lazy when it comes to selections and cutouts.
3. Pay attention to atmospheric depth
Another thing that adds to your composites is depth, especially atmospheric depth. Keep this in mind: the further something is in the background, the less contrast it has. The closer it is to the foreground, the more contrast it has. So, when placing the elements in the composite, make sure to edit them according to this.
4. Use color to pull everything together
When your image is nearly done, use a color gradient or a gradient map to pull it all together and give the final look to your composite.
5. Put your subject in the middle
The last piece of advice from Rikard is to put your subject in the middle, between the foreground and the background.
Now that you’ve heard these five quick tips, you can expand your knowledge with the longer version of this video and see some examples. Check it out below, and then open Photoshop and have fun creating something great!