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Monthly Archives: October 2020

Dianne took a photo of me at Silver Lake Park last weekend that I thought it might make a good subject for a composite image without messing with another subject’s portrait. So I grabbed a shot I took at Bikes & Breakfast about a month ago, and went to work on it.

First job is to create the mask, of myself. I’m getting pretty good at this. I sometimes think I get too deep in the weeds with it, but the end result is a lot more convincing if you take the time to get the details. Things like stray hairs (not really a big issue for me) can be included to make the shot more convincing, or eliminated to make the shot more clean. There’s a balance involved in that.

The second step is to add a layer to my base photo, copy the mask over to the new layer, and position it.

Then I  adjusted each of the layers so they looked right together, primarily playing with brightness and saturation. With more thought put into both the portrait and the background image, this would be easier to accomplish.

Finally, I merged the layers and did a little bit of final cleanup on the edges.

I’m happy with the results!

This really makes me want to shoot more backgrounds with prime lenses, so that the background images match the quality of the subject image I’m working with. There’s a few other ideas I came up with along the way, but I have to keep some secrets, right? There is one thing that bugs me about it, it looks like I’m missing an arm. But as you can see from the original image, it wasn’t lost in the process!

Compositing is a valuable tool, and as I mentioned, doing composite photos opens up a lot of opportunities to take a great portrait and combine it with a great location background to produce an interesting image.

So my question is, where would you like to be?

Fall day at Silver Lake Park

Dianne and I went out to one of her favorite local parks, Silver Lake. In an interesting turn of personal history, I first knew her name back when the county was working on the initial plans for this property, and the radio control airplane club was looking for county support for a place to fly. Of course she had no idea who I was.

That was a long time ago…

So with a forecast for a beautiful day, we went out just for some fresh air and a short walk. And of course I took the opportunity to take my latest camera lens for a little bit of a walk too.

WOW! Canon 50mm 1.2 L-Series, and it is amazing!

For those who may be interested:

ISO: 100
f: 8.0
1/125 second

It was a beautiful day to get outside, and there were a lot of people out enjoying the park. Masks were being worn by people whenever they were walking along with other people, seemed like appropriate “social distancing” rules were being applied. It’s a strange new world we live in, but it’s still beautiful!