Monday, September 7, 2015

Composite imaging in Photoshop

During a photo session this past week I took some time out to grab a number of photos of one of the models so I could use them in assembling composite images. Below are two variation of one of the first attempts. It is a triple exposure (quadruple in the image with the cloud), one of the model photographed in a dramatic light against a white background combined with two photos of the city, one in focus, and one out of focus. I added the star to the models eye to complete the image.

To blend the images I experiment with the various layer modes available in Photoshop, generally using Overlay, Hard or Soft Light, or Screen to merge the images. Sometimes the merger is as simple as turning down the opacity of the layer to allow the layers beneath to show through. To fine tune the blending I add a layer mask and paint areas in or out.

When working on these composite images I like to start with 16-bit RAW files converted to TIFs. This preserves the greatest color and detail and helps keep artifacting to a minimum as the image is manipulated.

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