Blog

Compositing Without Masking Your Subject

Sometimes even I forget exactly what the term “composite” actually means. Technically it’s just combining more than one image to make a single final picture, like when you do a family picture and Grandpa is looking confusedly off into space like he doesn’t know how to be in a picture. (He always does that. GRANDPA LOOK HERE!!) So, you take the one image where he is mostly looking at the camera and kinda smiling and replace his head in the other photo where everyone else looks good … That’s a composite. (Not to throw shade at my Grandpa, he is an 80-year old champion, whom I love.) I’m so used to shooting a subject in the studio and then clipping them off of their background to place them somewhere else, that in my brain, that process has taken the place of what it (my brain) believes is a composite. For the above image (and also below, I guess), I created the finished composited piece of art without ever cutting out the subject.

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Letting the Image Inspire the Story

As I sat at my computer (almost exactly a year later) staring at the photos trying to decide which one to edit, and what exactly to do with it, I got inspired by a certain capture. There was just something about Loren’s pose/face/posture/movement that looked like she was leaving the cave on a hunt. When I showed the work-in-progress to Loren she said she did seem to be “channeling her inner velociraptor.” Then I thought to myself, “hey self, why would there be a lovely lady in a pretty pink dress leaving a cave like a glorious velociraptor?” My creative gears started to churn and I cranked out an idea that I’m quite pleased with ….

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How I layered Elements to Create a Magic Light

I had recently picked up these nifty blue shades for 3 dollars (because I have a nose for clearance sales). I brought those and a blue sweater I have and decided to base my image around them. Normally while creating a wizard image one might not think to include sunglasses, but I was imagining him summoning some crazy bright blue magic light and he would need these spacial glasses to be able to see by the light without his eyeballs melting out of his face ... or something. My brain is weird. So anyway, here is how I created said magical blue eye melting orb...

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How Different Artists Shot Self Portraits Using Only Home Lighting

About a zillion years ago (ok, it was February ... so same thing basically), I created a self portrait image ( ... ok, so it was several images) using ONLY lights from around my house. I wanted an exercise in something outside my current comfort zone and to challenge myself to get back to my photography roots. I did a whole post about it. I encourage you to go and enjoy that blog post before reading this one, but it's not required... or is it!? No, it's not, but do it anyway. I then challenged any takers who might have felt like taking to also create a self portrait image without any traditional photography lights

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Shooting Composites with Your Background in Mind

As an artist who shoots mostly composites, more often than not I'm going to be cutting out my subject and placing them in a different scene. A lot of the time I only have a rough idea of what kind of a background I'll be using, so I just shoot my subject as best as I can and figure out the backdrop later. Sometimes I have no idea what I'm going to do with my model, but a wise and incredibly good-looking man once said, "You don't always need a plan." ... HOWEVER, if I do a shoot knowing full well what my background looks like before I even pick up my camera, it makes everything a million times easier. 

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