Alicyn Drew Photography | It's CompoSITing not CompoSTing

It's CompoSITing not CompoSTing

January 06, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

Lately I've been doing a lot of compositing. I post the images on my Facebook page and I hear one of two things. 

"What's Compositing?" Or "I thought you said Composting."

For the gardeners out there composting is awesome but our HOA doesn't allow it. 

So I will instead address the question about compositing. A composite is an image that is created from multiple images. In it's simplest form many portrait photographers use it in group shots to "Swap Heads". Basically you have a few group shots and there's one that's the best one, but Uncle Fred blinked. However, Uncle Fred looks really good in one of the other shots so you copy his head from that image and paste him onto the good image and VOILA, you have a group shot with everyone looking great.

The kind of compositing that I'm doing is more complex. I am creating a new work of art from multiple images. I like to call it digital art. The resulting image is an entirely new image. I love composites because they allow me to create what I feel. It's an artistic process to work with the images and create something new. I can choose to go for a realistic look or something surreal. 

I recently challenged my friends to challenge me to create something. I got lots of suggestions, some better than others but I decided to choose the one from my friend Sherri.

"I'd like to see a MINI in an alpine meadow, full of wildflowers, with snow capped mountains in the distance. And the sun rising. Maybe a convertible Mini. Maybe a beautiful blue one. Maybe with the top off. But I'm sure whatever you come up with will be amazing..."

I had to figure this out. The only mountains that I had were from Yellowstone National Park so I found an image with some good mountains. I also found another image with a grassy field, found some pretty wild flowers and finally the blue convertible MINI. While I have an extensive collection of MINIs the only one that would work was a pepper white, not a problem I can change the color.

I worked to blend the elements. Something that is a challenge in bringing all of these elements together is getting the lighting, tone and colors to work together. The resulting image was this

MINI in flowersMINI in flowers

I also wanted to create something more surreal. As part of my goddess series I wanted to create a storm goddess. I knew it had to be a composite because none of my friends would pose in a storm and I didn't want to shoot my camera under stormy wet conditions either. I started with a stock photo of a storm and added the elements of my friend and her MINI. We shot her in the studio using a fan to get her hair whipping around. For this image I was not going for a realistic look and the resulting image was this.

stormy weatherstormy weatherDark stormy clouds over road

The first image could be mistaken for a photo taken like it is but the second image is clearly not. For me as a digital artist both images are artistic renderings that I enjoyed creating. Those of you that follow my blog will be seeing more composites. I hope you enjoy them and if you have an image in your mind let me know. You can hire me to create your vision and have a unique work of custom art.



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