I was looking through some photos on my phone recently and came across this hard-case photo of my boy. This is his “I’m stuck to the floor” pose but to me it looked more like kung-fu … and an opportunity to try a little more photoshop compositing.
There were a number of steps in putting this image together, and though I wont go through each of them I’ll mention some of the more interesting ones.
1. One of the first things that I had to do was cut Ash off the background of the original photo. This was just a camera phone shot and was pretty noisy and blurry. I used the quick selection tool to get a pretty close selection then tidied it up by manually painting in black or white where required.
2. Ash’s shadow was repainted. I selected a shadow color from the background image rather than just black as that helps to keep things a little more believable. For the shadow layer make sure the blend mode is set to multiply.
3. I applied some back lighting to Ash using the same technique as in the luminous butterflies image. I also dropped the intensity of the original highlights on him to try to better match the light in the background image.
4. Because Ash hadn’t had a haircut for a while I decided to go for a sort of “70’s look”. I adjusted the overall colour with curves and then applied some orange-ish gradients. I set the blend mode on these to ‘color’ to blend them in a bit more and get the effect I wanted.
5. Lastly I added lots of lens dust and some vignettes to seal the deal.
You can see the final composite below. Click for a larger version.