Creating Your Reality with Composite Photography


Creating Your Reality with Composite Photography


Lesson Info

Composite Test with Final Shot

So just put the background, the beach layer, over top of my model. I'm gonna throw this onto overlay just to see how we're looking. And it's not too shabby. How do you guys think that looks? You know, from the bird's eye perspective. Do you think we can sell that? Do you think she's little bit to big in the frame, think she's a little bit too small? I'm asking you guys too, because I want you guys to critically think. It's a little big, perfect. So what we're gonna do, we're gonna duplicate it. I never like to shrink down my original layer. We could get into smart objects, but we'll do that on another, that's way more complicated. I'm gonna shrink down my middle layer. Let's make her a little smaller. Now we're starting to look not too shabby. And actually I like her over here. Now if I move her back a little bit further she's gonna get a little bit too tall again. Shrink her down a little bit. Lookin' not too bad. What do you think? For bird's eye view? Looks a lot nicer with the mo...

untain in relation to her in the background. Before the mountain looked really tiny compared to her. Yeah, so in this case here we're kind of splitting the difference. I'm getting close to that threshold that I tend to not want to play in too much where I'm getting, you know, model and background competing for each other. But if I find that, I'm just gonna crop it in. So if I'm sitting here going like oh man I really like this here and this is looking really nice, I like the size of her compared to everything else, of this, what's going on here. I might just crop it in the end. Because I don't want, I don't have enough landscape here for it to be a landscape with a person, but I don't have enough person for it to be a person and a landscape. So I would make the decision and I could either put this little tiny version of her onto this landscape, which could also work. I'm gonna put her on multiply. Right so we could put her here. And actually that's not too bad, that actually looks even better. So this could work. Now one thing that's a little bit off about this is what? From where I have her placed right now. Light? Lighting's not too bad. It's relatively close, so this is similar to what was going on here, but we just have a fill light. Right so this is our natural light. But then we're pretending that we brought in a fill. Right so but there's something that's a little bit off. Does it change the focal point there? Change the focal point? No, this is within that tolerable allowance. She's pretty close. Is it the angle of the beach? Not so much the angle of the beach. If we had been photographing her on this location we would see more of this side of her body than we would see of this side of her body. We photographed her, I photographed her quite straight on. So there's a little bit of tolerance there we could probably, you know, fake it a bit, but what I might do is I might flip her and see if that works a little bit better. Because here with her head turned we're creating the illusion that we're seeing more of this side of her body, right? So you could probably fake it a little bit easier this way. So it's not exactly perfect, because when I was photographing this remember I was like okay I'm gonna do this in portrait. Sometimes this happens in composites where it's like oh well you know what, it's not bad but this is better. So this is one of the reasons. So I'm sitting here going like okay if I move her around a little bit, right here she's dead center of the scene. And so there, I think that could probably work. But I mean we'll know more once we get into the post production side of this, once we start masking, once we get closer. Yes? But you flipped the lining, the lighting, sorry. Well if you remember when you look at this shot here of her, she has more light on this side of her face than this side of her face, this side here is actually darker. So it actually works. I'm just curious, because you set up all the lights to like, a little bit brighter on the-- Yeah, because I did plan on flipping it. Oh. And then when we were working on the portrait one here, oh where is it, one more, there. This was actually working, this was like oh it's actually not too bad, I kind of, you know. It doesn't, it's not conflicting right? Because the lighting is so, it's so general here, right, we have so much tolerance. Whereas if we had had really directional harsh light there would be no tolerance for, we couldn't flip that because it would be completely against it all, so in this case here this is working for us. So that's, that's why I wanted to do this with an overcast day, because otherwise like when the sun came out, it just all of a sudden everything gets a lot more complicated. And we're not gonna get into that this class, so. [Man In Plaid Shirt] Thank you. Yeah no worries. Yeah I really want this to be like, if you're just getting into compositing, and you're just trying to, like getting your feet wet and you want to learn some new stuff, that's what this class is designed for. I'm not, I don't want to throw anybody into something that is like elbows deep right off the bat because then it's just frustrating, right? This is already, there's a lot to consider. So if you're just getting into this I don't want to scare anybody off of like, nope. Not doing that, right? I mean I'm not here to intimidate anybody away from making this stuff. I'm trying to make this accessible so that every single person here who's listening actually kind of wants to check this out and see if it's their thing, and if it's not their thing that's cool and if it is your thing like let's run with it. Right so, I'm pretty happy with this. I'm totally digging it. Ms. Lady, how do you feel about it? It's good? Awesome, could we give our model a round of applause, she's awesome. (audience applause)

Class Description

With the right Photoshop know-how and studio shoot experience, you can merge fact and fiction into a reality that lives up to your imagination. Renee Robyn has made a career of turning everyday photos from her travels into eye-catching images. Robyn will teach you how to add people and other elements to your existing landscape photos using ethereal custom effects.

Join us for “Creating Your Reality with Composite Photography” and you’ll learn:

  • How to choose or set up a shoot for your background image
  • How to direct posing during a shoot, and work with directional light in studio to make your subject fit into the background image
  • How to composite your subject into your image using Photoshop

Photo compositing allows you to breathe interesting ideas into your photos. Open your hard drive, walk into your memory, and turn past experiences into fantastic new realities.


1Class Introduction
2Why You Should Sketch Your Composite
3What to Look for in Your Background
4Posing Your Model
5Communicate with Your Team
6Elements of Compositing
7Learning from Failure & Criticism
8On-Location Safety Tips
9How to Nail the Right Perspective for Your Composite Photo
10Gauging Light & Exposure On-Location
11On-Location Posing
12Cliff Shoot Location Final Thoughts
13Tips for Culling Images
14Culling Images Q&A
15Preparing Your Image for Composite
16Composite Image Cleanup
17Adding Background Image to Composite
18The Difference Between Flow & Opacity
19Composite Sky Elements
20Using Curves to Color Match
21Adding Atmospheric Depth to Image
22Using Color Efex Pro to Manipulate Color
23Using the Liquify Tool
24Color Theory & Monitor Calibration
25Adding Smoke Layer to Image
26Selective Sharpening
27Crop Your Image
28Goal Setting for Digital Artists
29Review of Location Composite
30Understand Angle & Height for Your Base Plate Image
31Base Plate Focus Point
32Base Plate Lighting Tips
33How to Use a Stand-In for Base Plate Image
34Capture On-Location Base Plate Image
35Student Positioning Demo
36Base Plate Sketching
37On-Location Sky Capture
38What to Look for in a Base Plate Model
39Building Composite Model Lighting
40Composite Model Test Shots for Angle Matching
41Composite Model Shoot: The Art of Fabric Throwing
42Composite Model Shoot: Working with Hair
43Composite Model Shoot: Posing Techniques
44Composite Test with Final Shot
45Lighting Setup Overview
46Culling Model Shoot Images
47Adjusting Skintone Colors
48Merging Background with Model
49How to Mask Hair
50Creating a Layer Mask with the Brush Tool
51Creating Shadow Layers
52Removing Visual Distractions with Stamp Tool
53Replacing Sky with Layer Mask
54Drawing Hair Strands and Atmospheric Depth
55Creating Contrast in Your Composite
56Adding Atmospheric Elements
57Using Particle Shop
58Selective Color Adjustments
59Cropping, Sharpening, & Final Touches
60Closing Thoughts