There are several approaches to creating composites, and whichever you choose, it takes some time and effort to make it look good. Young photographer Kaiwan Abdulrahman will guide you through creating a realistic composite from two images using Lightroom and Photoshop. In this 12 minute tutorial, he makes it look easier than ever. I’m sure you’ll find it useful if you’re searching for a good method for combining the images and creating composites.
Kaiwan uses two images for the composite – the one of the waterfall, and the one where he jumps. He first opens them in Lightroom for some quick adjustments.
He applies the same presets, adjusts the exposure and shadows, and adds some vignette to the waterfall image using Graduated Filter. And that’s pretty much it. When you’re editing the photos, make sure to be consistent in editing and match the exposure and tones of both images.
When you’ve done this, it’s Photoshop time. Export the photos from Lightroom, and you can set them to be automatically opened in Photoshop.
Kaiwan first crops the waterfall image and adds some minor adjustments with clone stamp tool. Of course, you can do it as well if your photo requires it, but if not – leave it as is.
The essential part is the selection of the subject. He cuts himself out from the “jumping photo” and uses the Quick Selection Tool. He selects the subject, but the brush selects parts of the background as well. This can be resolved by clicking on the negative brush and painting over the background, but the simpler way is just holding the Alt key whenever you need the negative brush.
When you’ve made the selection, add the layer mask, and you’re automatically going to get a cutout of the subject. The selection isn’t going to be perfect, but you’ll fix it with the layer mask.
Kaiwan drags the selected subject to the waterfall photo, and then uses the Brush Tool on the Layer Mask to remove all the selection mistakes. Of course, if this approach doesn’t work for you, there are other selection methods you may find easier or more logical.
Finally, when the selection mistakes are removed, there’s one more step to make the composite more realistic. Adding a bit of the Tilt-Shift blur to the background will create the depth of field effect. Kaiwan uses this filter so he doesn’t blur the foreground of the waterfall image, only the background, which makes it look more natural.
In the end, he additionally adjusts the brightness of the subject to match the background, and you can do it for your images if you estimate it’s necessary.
And that’s all, folks! Here’s Kaiwan’s final result:
Although cutting out the subject can be quite a troublesome work, Kaiwan’s method seems relatively easy. How easy it will be for you depends on the subject, but – take your time. This is one way of creating composites, and hopefully, you’ll find it useful for your future work. If you create something this way, don’t forget to share the results with us.
[HOW TO make stuff FLOAT Using Lightroom & Photoshop | K1 Production]