Many images to edit before I’m done
Is my desk right now.
On the left are stacks of pull-quotes from the novel, no images attached. On the right are the pull-quotes with images in place, or with direction for making the images. The two on the right are multiple images glued together that have to be edited in photoshop to make the one image I want. On the computer screen is yahoo messenger, a direct line to my AD who is currently on vacation in Texas and one of the images not previously selected for the edit, but which happens to fit one of the pull quotes on the left. Then there are stacks of images with no quotes yet right in front.
This morning I made composite images for two singles. One image which is pivotal to the story just didn’t quite have what I needed. There were two, one with the expression in the face, the other with the expression in the hands. I did that one first because it was only two images — easy.
The second image was made up of three separate images. One for the eyes, one for the upper hand with the hanky and a third for the lower hand. Most would say I didn’t need the lower hand. But I am to durn picky. I want the lower hand. I thought I would share my personal compositing process. Keep in mind, I haven’t learned anything in photoshop I haven’t figured out for myself or pulled from the interwebs.
Step one is opening the three images together in Photoshop RAW, I then select all the images together and edit the color, vignette, exposure, etc. for every image as a single image so the final piece flows smoothly. This is important. It helps that these are studio images and therefore have a specific lighting and controlled environment, but minute changes will become obvious in a final image. Two of the images happened to be taken within seconds of each other, the third was taken far before the others, and was the wild card for editing the light.
These are the original images processed through RAW:
I’m not going to get into the tiny differences and reasons each of these images wasn’t good enough on its’ own. I’m just going to explain how it all worked together.
The first thing I did was add the complete finger to the upper hand on the other image so i had two complete hands in the final image. The background image is the upper hand (mostly just a knuckle), the layer is the complete lower hand (it is cropped in this image). I nudge the layer on the background to match up existing lines and angles as closely as possible before moving forward. I then decrease the opacity in the layer so I can see those matching lines and angles and erase the parts of that image that are blocking the parts of the image that I want to keep. This is the image of the lower hand with parts deleted:
I erase edges of the image at 50-70% to blend into the back ground image. Once placed over the background there are no definable characteristics that would separate one layer from the other. You can see the edge of the existing upper finger is partially erased, allowing the image with the complete finger to show through. These two images are then copied as layers to the third image, that of the eyes.
I keep them in layers, to be sure that everything matches perfectly before flattening anything. To bring the eyes into the picture more erasing is done, this time on the upper hand layer:
When all is said and done, I have a jigsaw puzzle from the three layers:
This image has actually been cropped so the final image for use isn’t actually displayed in this blog. But once flattened I can adjust the layers together as a whole, to create the final image:
It still needs a little work. But you get the gist of it.
As always I like to give credit where credit is due:
Derek Hutchins: Model — happy to lend his hands to his characters nemesis.
Cora Kemp: Model — terrified is not easy for this woman.
Monika Graf: Make up artist — check out those gnarly hands and beautiful hair!
Elena Brown: Art Director