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I’m beginning to do more work in composite images. This is a process where two or more images are combined in one picture. In this picture, which I named “Open and Shut,” three images were used.
I photographed Catherine in the studio on a white background. Here’s one of the unedited pictures. I took two pictures in rapid succession, asking her to close her eyes after the first picture, but not move anything else.
The first picture, with her eyes open, is at left. The one with her eyes closed is exactly the same – well, except her eyes are closed. With the image of her eyes closed, I flipped it horizontally in Photoshop. So, as you can see in the final image above, she’s almost a mirror image of herself. Then, I needed a background, so I searched many stock image sites and perhaps looked at a thousand or more pictures.
I wasn’t quite sure what would work well with the two Catherines. After a few hours, I came across the image on the right. With the open windows on the left and blank panels on the right, it seemed the perfect reflection of the two model images. The blue would not have looked natural with the warm tones of the Catherines, so I changed the color of the room in Photoshop.
Then – the problem was how to cut Catherine out of her white background. With her hair, this would be really tricky and time-consuming. I’d heard about a service in Thailand that is expert in masking. I sent them the two images and they sent me back cutouts of Catherine on blank backgrounds. Every hair was included – an amazing job.Then I combined the three images in one Photoshop file, placing her in what I felt was a realistic position relative to the background.
One photographer I really like who does a lot or work with composite images is Joel Grimes. Check out his beautiful and creative photographs on his website. Grimes’ work has really inspired me.
Even though I used a stock image for the background and farmed out the masking, this picture took about 6 hours to create in Photoshop. But it was a labor of love. Thanks, Catherine, being such a great model for this project!
Working both in the studio and on location, photographer Blake Robinson serves the Connecticut communities of Darien, New Canaan, Stamford, Norwalk, Westport and Greenwich.
“Individual, Indelible, Iconic Images”