Breaking Down a Composite.

Today I thought I would do something more technical and breakdown a composite I did last year, it is one I want to talk about because it required techniques I never knew about; ones I learned on the job. We will dive deeper into these techniques as we go through each step of the edit and how we got to one of my favourite photos in my portfolio…

The original, unedited photo. I chose this one because the post and expression perfectly matched my vision. I shot it an early morning with my partner kindly stood behind the camera on a step with a black blanket that was at the Air B&B we were staying at! I then used a remote clicker to take the photos so my partner could just focus on covering as much as he could with the blanket. I chose to shoot this way because it meant that there were less reflections from around hitting the window I was behind. 

Test of the composition, you can see that we had a STUNNING view! But it would have been too distracting if that was reflecting on the glass.

…So thats why I ended up taking photos like this (or my partner did!) I jumped around to try and cover every corner with the blanket, this meant in photoshop I could put these pieces together to ged rid of all the reflections.

Some honourable mentions on poses. I loved all of these, but I wanted the feeling of shrinking, these seemed too relaxed and posed- where as I wanted to seem like I was tensing and resisting the shrinking. 

So my first step in the editing process was to begin removing the reflections. I focused this more on the top portion of the glass, as thats where the brighter reflections were, I decided to keep the reflections of the floor on my legs as it gave is a good balance of believability and fantasy. I mostly used the photos I had taken with the backdrop to fill the reflecting areas. 

The next step expanding the frame, I shot on a tripod so I could take photos with the same focus, all around where I had shot, this meant that I could expand the frame where I needed, instead of shooting farther away, cropping in and loosing quality/detail. I did this with layer masks in photoshop and painted out where I didn’t want the layer to be, blending the photos together. I them added the curtain at the top part of the window, mostly because I never got a photo on my hand without the sky reflected, and painted would have just removed it. So the curtain was a nice coverup for that! It also looks like everything is closing in on the subject, so also worked thematically!

The most interesting step for me is to play with light, I wanted more focus to go on the subject, so I decided to create a vignette adjust layer with curves and darken the edges of the photo, to darken the light grey brick, I repeated this step but inverted this selection to create brightness and contrast on the subject and everything inside the window. Finally I faded the shadows for more of a vintage old timeless look. I then took the photo into Lightroom to play more with the lighting and the colours. 

I hope this has helped give an insight into my work and the process to getting from the first photos, to the final composit, ready to share? <3

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