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Composite Examples

Lesson 2 from: Portrait Compositing from Start to Finish

Matt Kloskowski

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Lesson Info

2. Composite Examples

Lesson Info

Composite Examples

So why composite? You know what are some some different reasons? I think I think we have a few different reasons that I see a lot out there. So the 1st 1 would be budget. You can't get the person into the place that you want. It's just budget wise. It just can't happen. You can't get there. They can't get there for whatever reason. But you can't get that person in the place that you want so you can composite if you have a photo of that location and you have the person available and you can start to work with that and make that location of shoot appear, that's one would be accessibility. Um, you just can't get their, you know, maybe you just don't have the accessibility to be hanging out of a helicopter with, you know, a person that's dangling out, getting ready to jump out of the, you know, repel down out of the helicopter. Whatever it happens to be, you know you can fake that stuff, you know, if you have a wall if you have a ledge. If you've got something, you can take a picture of yo...

ur feet over, let you can you can make some of these things start to happen with a composite. So accessibility is another one, and then the other one is It's just fun. It's just cool. You know, I think we all we're all here for varying reasons. Some of us do this for a job and you're here and you're trying to pull off composites for for your work on. And I think some of us air here just cause we love photography. And we like to play with and do different things. And sometimes it's just fun. It's fun to see what you can do. All right, let's see here. So So here's a couple of examples. I was kind of run through some of the one that I did This. This is this is an example that will almost never, ever happen again. This was one of those magical unicorn composite examples where she was photographed. You can kind of see if you look at the little thumb now there, you can kind of see she was photographed on a grey background. Um, the selection worked flawlessly. 10 seconds, and it's done plotter into the background. And it looked great. Never, Never, ever will happen again, but it does happen every once in lots. Like I said, it's that magical unicorn of scenarios that appear. You know, the other one that appears didn't happen to me on my way out here. But it happens sometimes. You fly through the Atlanta airport and you land in gate a 10 and you're connection. Is gay a 11? I call that the magical unicorn of air travel, because more often the case is I land in a 10 and my connection is in T 27 which takes 45 minutes to get to. I digress off of the magical unicorn. This is something that you won't. You won't see me do a lot. You won't see a lot of other photographers that do this type of work a lot, and that is feet on the ground. Um, and that is because is an incredibly difficult thing to do. All right, feed on the ground is one of the hardest things to do out there. So what you'll see in a lot of composites is they'll be waist up, you know, even if they have the appearance of somebody. When you look at movie posters, even they have the appearance of someone running. They have, like the action shot, but and they maybe put a little blur in the background. But they don't ever show the feet on the ground. It's an incredibly difficult thing to do angles, everything that goes into that. So but every once in a while, the with the certain photos you can you can pull it off there. But if you look it, I kind of put my layers palette next to that one. So if you were to look at it, it's a road with a city in the background. Um, the two or three layers that are on top of that are just me taking pictures of cracked concrete on the grounds and then laying them over on photo shop with a couple of blend modes and opacity. You're able to make that that crack look like it's in the grounds. Um, if you go a little bit above that, you can see you could see a thumbnail. That was just Ah, guy that I knew that played basketball, got him into the studio and just had him do some dramatic stuff where he's putting the ball onto the ground there. All right, let's see here. Another one. So a lot of times you can't you know, I said accessibility budget. I think this one kind of goes goes hand in hand with with this example. So you have certain offices, you know, doctors, office, a big doctors practice is a great example to try to get everybody to where they're all going to be in the same place at the same time. For the photographer to come in and take the shop could be a problem. So in this case, you could say I just had everybody come into the studio, had the everything set up, just left the lights set up, left a piece of tape on the ground, a piece of tape where I was standing, which is important. And we'll talk a little bit about that when we come to the set up. But start to take these pictures and then you can composite them together and make this group. And the cool thing about this one is you had different areas of the practice, so I was able to do the group shot and then that was able to take like the doctor and a few of the people that he worked with and do a smaller group shot for the pediatric part of the practice and then another group shot for another part of the practice. But you could actually mix and match and do these things and that this was a fun 12 This is one of those ones where it actually worked out really well. I didn't do anything to the portrait's just made the selections, but just put a little bit of a shadow behind. The doctor, you know, just basically took a brush, and Photoshopped just painted it behind the doctor. All right, on. And then I think there's there's a creative aspect that compositing, too. So rather than just taking a person and making them fit into a background that they might be in front of, there's more of an artistic and artistic version of it. And I think you see a lot of these types of composites. I think of all the types of composites. Something like this is is actually a decent money maker. If you're shooting kids, sports and different things like that because this was just a photo taken out of football game and in broad daylight, you know, But cut that person out of the background. You know, throw. It's the same exact photo in the background. Just a texture, a little bit attacks. But that's a very repeatable thing. It's a little bit difficult of, ah, oven area to really start toe to make money, cause you think about it this way. How are you gonna crank through 100 composites? There's no automation tools for this stuff. There's no automated selection tools, so you're gonna have to do each one by hand. So if you can come up with a formula, especially for sports portrait's like that, you can come up with a formula that makes it nice and easy. You can have a lot of fun with it, too, and this was my fun project. This was the member on the list there. It says sometimes because it's fun. This is my fun. Project had no reason in the world to do this, other than I knew. If I had a friend with a motorcycle and I had him come into the studio with motorcycle, um, you know, I had an idea of, ah, tunnel that I had photographed. And just because it was kind of fun, kind of fun to do it. You know, accessibility. Tough camera angle is a little bit different now with the GoPro's and all the things that we can attach. But, um, still just kind of fun. Teoh experiment a little bit with all right, the background. So common question. What comes first? What comes first, the the photo of the person or the background? Um, here to tell you it's about 50 50. All right, 50% of the time, I have an idea of like, I see a photo background on like that Be really cool if I could get a football player and put him in front of them. So 50% of the time I see a background picture and I start thinking about what I could put into it the other 50% of the time. It's, you know, I have. I have a person with a lot of character that I know or, you know, just somebody that needs the composite done something that says, Hey, I want to be in such and such type of a photo might have a photo for it yet So take the composite knowing that I'm gonna have to go find a photo to drop it in. But it really is a 50 50 thing. If if you can have the photo first, you kind of have a leg up the background photo. First, you have a little bit of a leg up because then you can start to shoot your composite and try to match it to your background a little bit better. Otherwise, you're taking your composite and you're limited to the backgrounds that you can use because you have to make it work for that specific image. Photograph it yourself. You know, that's a cool thing about compositing when you and I was e think we all kind of go in and out of come, not compositing but in and out of different areas of photography. I don't hope I'm not the only one that, like, you know, you go through phases, and I think that's normal for people. Um, one of the cool things about when when you get into compositing, I was never a guy that said, I got to keep my camera with me at all times. Um, you know, I don't consider myself much of a journalist. So if a newsworthy event happens in front of me, I don't feel like all men. I'll have my camera. I can't take a picture of it. So all those ah landscape nature guy. So it's like I take my camera out when I'm in landscape in nature. But if I'm driving, you know, to the gas station and back, I don't feel like I need my camera with me. The cool part about compositing, though, is everything becomes a backdrop. You know, like I found myself when I was really when I was really working on a compositing project I found I carried my camera everywhere because everything can be about like I be Look, I'd be walking down the street like, Oh my God, That garage door will look awesome behind somebody for this or, you know, you see, you see ah statue like a The air Force base near we live has a plane. You know, when you're driving, buying like dude, I could take a picture of that plane and cut it out and make it look like it's in the air and stuff. So I think it opens up the possibility for you to Ah, have your camera with you all the time. And then, you know, Adobe stock is a great place because the nice thing about it, um, you're not gonna be able to take a picture of everything, all right? There's gonna be a time where maybe you want a plane, maybe you want a helicopter, Maybe you want to fire, I get I can say there's 100 different things out there that you could want toe add into your photos that you're just not gonna be able to go take a picture off. And that's where I think a stock photo website comes in from. The creativity side is you go on there, you can source the different images for it. And, uh, and a lot of times, some of the some of them already have him cut out for you. Depending on what you're looking for, you'll actually see a lot of them have, ah, images either shot on white or their pre cut out, which is kind of nice to

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Ratings and Reviews


Matt is just so easy to listen to and follow, this course was particularly good to give you a well prepared framework to create a composite. Really fine step by step details on unifying the composite, creating lighting & atmosphere. His tips are clever and give great results.


The class was good for me as a beginner in this field, it covered the studio shot well and the use of photoshop, lightroom is clearly very powerful. I would have liked a segment on shooting the background particularly getting the angles correct so that the subject fits the background, just the pitfalls and must do's would have been nice. But overall I learnt a lot. Justin

a Creativelive Student

Not a big fan of this class...didn't offer much

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