Creating Your Reality with Composite Photography


Creating Your Reality with Composite Photography


Lesson Info

How to Use a Stand-In for Base Plate Image

Alright, so the other thing that I like to do is if I'm not hiking by myself, and say I have somebody with me, which, admittedly, is usually safer if you're out somewhere where you're not necessarily you're out in the forest or something and there's a risk of getting lost it's good to have somebody else with you. So in this case, if I'm hiking with somebody, that means that I could actually have them stand in and so I can figure out how tall I can make my subject. So that's going to look a little bit more realistic. So then I'm not going to be sitting here going like, "Well, how tall do I make this person if there's no doorway or nothing that's gonna say how tall this person should be in my frame?" I can have whoever hiking with me, stand in in a shot, and then I can understand exactly the height that I need. Do you have any questions on that or I can just jump into the - No, actually I do have a few questions. How often do you, honest, do you just grab a man off the street? Have you...

ever grabbed a man off the street and - No, well 'cause I'm never photographing anywhere there's other people. Okay. Although, sometimes what I'll do is if there's other hikers ahead of me, I'll totally snipe them. I just make sure that their back is turned to me so that I can't see their face. But usually I'm not places, I go in off-seasons, so if I'm somewhere that's a very popular tourist destination in summer, I don't go until November. But that usually means the weather's crappy and I'm cold, but it just, it gives me what I'm looking for, which is not a bunch of people. So I was recently in Venice, Italy, and we were there doing the winter carnival and I had all of these amazing photos I wanted to take but there were way too many humans. And so the amount of humans, it kind of ruined a lot of it for me. Even though then I could've probably had accurate compositions of what the sizes of people could have been, I would've spent an hour and a half just clone-stamping out bodies, and I guess I just don't feel like doing it, so I was always going to places where there were no people and so in which case, then if you're using something like doorways, then you have a reference for how tall you can make somebody, and you can do like a scale. But otherwise, yeah, I'm not really I guess I don't like people enough to be like, "Oh my God, hey, how's it going? Can you do this for me?" I'd feel really awkward about it. But that's just my thing, I guess. I mean other people of course are more outgoing and brave that way. I'm not as much. Yeah. So when you're shooting these backgrounds in these locations, how often do you do it sort of like panorama style? Do you move around to give yourself some cropping room? Yeah, I do that a fair bit. So I don't ever travel with a tripod because the extra weight just fries my leg, but I like being able to just stitch together images especially when I'm shooting skies or something like that as well. I'll push the lens to 35 mill and I'll just shoot all the way across and then shoot up. And I'm just hand-holding it, and so I'm always making sure I have a fair bit of overlap, and the software right now is pretty good if you're stitching things together in panorama's. So there's a lot of options with the software. And then you can also, if you're half-way savvy with masking yourself, you can probably line it up using the warp tool and get it pretty close, and then clone-stamp some of the mistakes that are there. So, stitching is fun, but as soon as you make a really big file like that, then you're PSB file, cause there's no way it's a PSD file at that point, so people who are not sure of the difference between PSD and PSB a PSD will only save up to 2 gigs. A PSB doesn't have that limitation on it and you can save it a lot bigger. So if you're working on your files and you're like, "It's never saving, it always crashes." Save it as a PSB file as opposed to PSD and you'll be able to save a larger file. But yeah, if you're stitching, then your file is going to be massive, especially if you're compositing.

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