Today, I challenged myself and whoever else was interested, to conceptualize and produce one unique image. I came up with the concept of having a house in a flower pot, with a person standing near it using a shovel. As always, nothing goes as perfectly as planned, but I am still satisfied with the results. I ended up blending 4 images, 2 of flowers, one of my friend with a guitar (we did not have a shovel....), and one of a small house near mine. All images were shot with natural light. I'm a firm believer in using strobes almost all the time, so to part from them and shoot natural seemed like a crazy thought. It worked out well though!
To mix the shots, I used a combination of layer masks with lassos and painting to merge them as one. I will first do a rough selection of the object/person to be placed in the background. From there, I copy the object and paste it as a new layer. Then I add a mask to the new layer, and use a black or white paint brush, or lasso, to clean up all areas around the new subject without ruining the edges. After that, I clone stamped some grass, and painted some around the subject's feet. Followed by a quick selective adjustment of saturation, contrast, and brightness made easy using Nik Software's Viveza. I used lens correction to add a vignette on the corners, and adjusted the colors in LAB mode. The image was finished off with selective sharpening using Nik Software's Sharpener Pro 3.0 on the house and the person.
If you decide to take this challenge, please feel free to e-mail me a low-res copy at firstname.lastname@example.org . I will then post it on this blog! Also, feel free to contact me with any comments or questions about this image.