Sunday, 12 February 2012

Autumn Composite

Remember : Click an image to see a larger version

Hi All,

It's been a while since my last post. That's because I've been getting used to my new PC and I've also been trying to catch up with post processing some of the image I took towards the end of 2011. 

During the Autumn months I took the opportunity to go out and about and collect some leaves. My idea was to try to capture the leaves as they took on the Autumn colours. I managed to find a tree that had begun to shed its leaves. On the floor beneath the tree the leaves were piling up. Some of them were still green whilst others had begun to turn brown. 

I managed to find three leave that I liked the look of. The first was still green but with a hint of brown, the second was brown but flat and the last was brown and curling at the edges. 

The first job was to photograph the individual leaves. I decided to photograph them against a mat black background to avoid reflections. I then set up my SB600 flash above directly above then to produce as little shadow as possible. I also added a Lastolite softbox to further reduce shadowing and also to give a slightly softer light than the flash on its own. 

The three leaves I shot can be seen below.

Once I'd got the images into Photoshop my first task was to separate then from their black background using the Quick Selection and Refine Edge tools. I'd already decided that I wanted to  create an autumnal triptych (three images on one sheet). I had a triptych template already selected but when I added the leaves the final image seemed a little stark. The leaves needed a background. A couple of years ago I'd shot a collection of autumnal leaves that were floating in an animal feed trough (seen below). So I decided to use that for my background


I brought the triptych, the three leaves and the background image into Photoshop and work on them. I added a very slight Gaussian blur to the background to make each leaf stand out. I also added a text layer with the word 'Autumn' placed in the centre at the bottom of the image. I also added some text about the photographer.... me !!

Below is a screen shot of the layers in Photoshop 

Photoshop Screen
Once I was happy with the image I saved it off as a jpeg, printed and framed it. The image below is the final image. For some reason the watermark has appeared twice on the blog image but it doesn't on the final print. 
Final Image

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