How I made this composite Image

March 14, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

When I made this image I thought it would be a good learning exercise for others who may already work with layers and would like to follow through my process.

There is a pdf available. If you would like me to send you a copy to follow along with or use as a guide, please email me.

18-Young Australian - Copy18-Young Australian - Copy

This is my final image. You ill see it in a club competition soon.

I will show you the parts that make up this image and how I manipulated them to achieve this result.

My inspiration was an image I saw on the internet of a young woman seated on the ground wrapped in an American flag with the US Constitution in the background.

I used part of a face, the Australian flag and the words of Advance Australia Fair to create my version of patriotism.

WORKING ON THE PORTRAIT

02-Original studio shot02-Original studio shot

This is my starting image. I shot Therese, my model, in my home studio.

I was looking for a serious expression for my final image so I chose this shot.

As I already had in my mind that I would use only half of Therese's face, I drew a rectangle selection over the part I would use.

I found that her face was tilted. I wanted the nose to be vertical and the line of the eye to be horizontal. I rotated it slightly, then cropped.

03-Original studio shot-rotated03-Original studio shot-rotated

04-Original studio shot-cropped04-Original studio shot-cropped

Now that I had the face straightened and cropped, I needed to make it high key. I used Silver Efex Pro.

I liked the high key result but there was a dark patch in the hair that I needed to lighten.

05-Therese silver efex pro105-Therese silver efex pro1

I made a loose feathered selection over the dark patch.

06-Therese silver efex pro206-Therese silver efex pro2

I increased the brightness on the dark patch.

07-Therese silver efex pro307-Therese silver efex pro3

More lightening was required so I used a curve adjustment.

08-Therese silver efex pro408-Therese silver efex pro4

That's the PORTRAIT ready.

WORKING ON THE TEXT

I created a new document in Photoshop 700px by 936px with a white background.

I copied the words of Advance Australia Fair and pasted them into the text box. I selected the font and size. Then I copied the words and pasted them again. The page was almost filled.

09-Advance Australia Fair-layers09-Advance Australia Fair-layers

That's the TEXT ready.

COMPOSITE STAGE 1

I opened the Portrait and added a gradient layer as per the screen shot.

I then added a layer mask to the gradient layer.

I copied the text and pasted it onto the layer mask. I inverted the layer mask.

The result was that the Portrait showed through the text and the text part displayed the colours of the gradient.

10-Gradient layer and mask10-Gradient layer and mask

11-Therese with gradient and words11-Therese with gradient and words

COMPOSITE STAGE 2

The text is overlapping the eye so I painted over the eye on the layer mask.

I also felt the black background on the right was too heavy so I painted it grey.

Here is the result so far.

11-layers111-layers1

13-Therese-Australian grey background with text13-Therese-Australian grey background with text

COMPOSITE IMAGE STAGE 3

The flag is the only element left to be added.

I rotated the original flag and painted blue over some of the wrinkles in the flag. I didn't have to be too neat because the flag is a background texture.

I copied the flag and pasted it as a new layer onto the composite.

14-flag114-flag1

The flag has been added and the blend mode is Overlay at 100% opacity.

16-Therese-Australian-almostdone16-Therese-Australian-almostdone

But I'm not quite finished because the red of the Union Jack is too bright.

I added a layer mask to the flag layer and painted over the red of the Union Jack with grey to mute it.

15-lastlayers15-lastlayers

MY FINISHED IMAGE

I added a red pinline, a white border, title and signature.

This is the finished image I've uploaded to my gallery.

18-Young Australian - Copy18-Young Australian - Copy

Composite images are so much more than just images stacked together. To be successful, they require planning and willingness to persevere to achieve your goal.

I hope this blog post has been useful and informative. Comments are welcome.

Denise

 

 

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