When Jeremy and Emma approached me about including a Story Art piece as part of their wedding day coverage I was initially hesitant. My composites often takes hours of pre planning, not to mention the time that would need to be allocated to the shoot itself, on the wedding day. I love to take a challenge and run with it though, so it wasn’t long (10 minutes?) before I was dreaming up ideas for their custom wedding Story Art piece
So I rarely do composite type images preferring to do as much in camera as I can. However sometimes it can’t be helped. Do do hate spending forever trying to draw paths or make complex masks though, so whenever possible I like to utilise this quick and easy composite trick.
It really is incredibly simple and uses the layer blending modes to create the composite. Ok, so first of we do need to plan ahead a little. As the composite relies on various blending modes, the tone of the images we aim to composite is vital. For example, if we take an image shot against a simple white backdrop, we need to use an image of a similar tonal value to achieve the best blending results. In the following example the subject is shot against a plain white wall.
The first thing to notice if we were to try to cut or mask the subject out, is the difficulty with the hair but also the shadow area. The image I choose for replacing the backdrop was this stock background image of a distressed textured wall. Notice that as it is mostly light coloured the tonal range is similar to the original images backdrop. (if you are looking for more textures or backplate, this is a great resource)
Being one of the most beautiful cities in the world, Venice, Italy would be a great location for a shoot, right? Trust us, Venice is a wonderful place to put a model in. Aside from being one of Europe’s most fashionable cities, it has great architecture and great sense of italian style. This makes Venice ideal for fashion and beauty shots.
Sadly, not everyone gets to go to Venice to shoot. Just the travel would be too much not to mention renting gear, loading it in a truck and walking around the city with a full suite from location to location.
But we do want everyone to be able to create venetian photos, so we sent one of the finest photographers we know, Rebecca B. to Venice to create our most wonderful backplate package yet – the Venice Package. Actually those are three packages with 30 backplates each.
Leaving behind his former career as a lawyer, Jonathan Diaz has taken the initiative to give back to his community using his photography skills. The Utah based photographer is making the dreams of children come to life in his inspiring project, Anything Can Be.
After taking the time to get to know pediatric cancer patients and unleashing their imagination, Diaz sets up a photoshoot for each of the youth. The photoshoots take place in various locations, depending on what the ‘dream’ is. Once all the photos are taken, Diaz heads into the digital darkroom where he composites in some of the magical finer details.
Having already worked with 21 awesome children, the collection of portraits has now become a book, True Heroes: A Treasury of Modern-day Fairy Tales. Asides from featuring Diaz’s photography, the book also contains original short stories from various best selling authors, all which were based on the children and the stories they tell through their portraits.
Here’s a sampling from the collection of the photographs for you enjoy. You can also check out the Anything Can Be website. Or, to learn more about Diaz’s work, you can visit his website, Jonathan Diaz.
When you look at a photo showing a fantasy world, there is often that moment of armament on how the final photograph looks so real and yet unreal at the same time. That is because good compositors use real elements from real photos and have the ability to blend them in well. Of course, there is more to this art than just selecting photo parts and throwing them together. In fact watching how a composite comes to life is almost as looking at a piece of art that is disconnected from the final photograph.
Photographer and retoucher Renne Robyn records her process of compositing a photo and they are a delight.
Tanya Musgrave edited those lucky newly-weds away from their comfortable lawn and into the planet Hoth.
If you look at the before and after it is quite a travel, even at Ludicrous speed. Tanya shares that the process took about 12 hours of actually working the image, without research object retrieval and getting council.
Lyn Caudle is a fan of The War of the Worlds, so much so that the photographer and visual effects supervisor decided to recreate the massive carnage in his hometown of Dallas. Unfortunately, nothing was actually blown up or destroyed during the process.
After creating lifelike replicas of the “Martian war machines” from both the 1953 and 2005 versions of the film, Caudle set about compositing them with scene from his favorite city.
Sasha Oleksiichuk is a young Ukrainian photographer (currently based in Belgium) that is gaining some much deserved attention after finishing up her enchantingly surreal 365 day self portrait project. Her portraits are creative, a quality that you come to realize is genuinely innate as you browse through her portfolio. The images that make up her 365 project range from surreal portraits to bright, colorful studio shots, with a healthy dose of composite images that send the imagination running.
Sasha O, as she’s more commonly known, takes her inspiration from the little things in life, she says things like paint, shells, vegetables, feathers, light, shadows, nature, and her surroundings. Even books, movies, and music, she explains, can inspire us, oftentimes without us even realizing it. “You can see some trees and you get ideas what to do with it. You just need to be open to new ideas and not be afraid to try it, even if it sounds crazy, because the results may surprise you.” Speaking to Sasha, you can’t help but to be inspired yourself. Much like the way she draws inspiration and courage from photographers before her who completed similar feats, Sasha O is a bit of a muse herself.
Darth Vader riding a streetcar; Luke Skywalker hitting a home run at Rogers Centre; Yoda piggybacking a youngster to cross the road.
For some impossible realities. For others, like Canadian photographer Thomas Dagg, a daily sighting.
Thomas takes the wonderful streets of Toronto and mixes it with his childhood memories. The city succumbs to Thomas’s strong memories of renting the trilogy over at Blockbusters, through almost dying to get a Chewbacca action figure.
There are few things in life more inventive than a child’s imagination. From an artistic standpoint, we could probably all benefit from the ability to tap into our inner child every once in a while. That’s exactly what French photographer, Laure Fauvel, has done for a recent collection of portraits titled “Terrors” that show children battling off monsters of nightmarish proportion.