I am compositing images. I really got into this art form long before my HDR endeavors. I really enjoy taking my own stock imagery and using it in my composites. I would intentionally go out in search of certain things to make my composites. One time I went on a shoot specifically for stop lights and red light surveillance cameras.
Some of these composites can be outrageous, I am talking 100+ layers. The project may only contain 5 or 6 image pieces but getting them all to blend well requires several layers on top of that. It is fun, but can get pretty taxing pretty quickly!
Recently I went to Kansas City and shot one of the most well known fountains in the city. The JC Nichols Memorial Fountain near the Country Club Plaza. It is a beautiful fountain comprised of 4 horsemen and several other smaller sculptures of playful cherub kids and fish. It is quite the site, I managed to shoot it in the winter when the water was off so I could really get in close to the four horsemen. After shooting the fountain I wanted to pay tribute to it by placing the four horsemen against the Kansas City backdrop. This was a fun composite as I incorporated HDR in the images before compositing them.
Tip For The Week:
When compositing images the layers build up fast! Ensure you label the layer by alt+double clicking on it in the layers palette. It may seem trivial, but it can really help when you have to walk away from the project for a while. If you make a new curves adjustment to modify the shadows in a small area rename it something like “Modified Shadows in Small Area”. It will really help you along the way.
Another helpful tip. You can color coordinate your layers as well by alt+double clicking on the layer and changing it’s color in the layers palette. I find myself doing this pretty regularly to keep certain layers together.