Photoshop Class Assignments
Lesson 8-3 Compositing, Retouching, etc.

(NOTE: The composite image shown below is a fabrication! :) It is not intended to depict morbidity or unsafe boating practices. It is solely a technical exercise in computerized image processing.) [ End of PC amateur legal speak! ;) ]

I chose these two images to work with since I thought it would be a technical as well as a creative challenge to combine them into one image which could be realistic in appearance, but yet too far out to be mistaken for an actual photo event, which was one of the requirements of the assignment.

 Niagara Falls

 Sailboat - On Lake Erie

The exercise involved many of the things we've learned so far, including compositing, selecting, erasing, layer masking, copying and cutting, painting, cloning, transform, image adjusting, and the USM. When finished, I resampled downward quite a bit, since the main image - Niagara's Horseshoe Falls- was ~3200 x 2000 pixels in size. I used the "optimize for web" feature in PS to convert to a medium quality jpg for this web use.

The background image is a scan of a faded slide of Niagara Falls which I took back in the '70's on a very hazy day. The boat scene was scanned from a (medium format) photo of my old Lightning (long departed), and me, from too many years ago to even think about! :)

After matching the image displays, I selected the boat and put it on its own layer, and then selected myself and did same. For effect, I placed the boat on the brink of the Falls, and located the front-to-back position where the scale would match the larger image. Then I flipped and rotated, and distorted the boat slightly to present an image of a stressed-out mast and hull. The lighting angle of the two images seemed to match OK. I think this is critical in order to fake our brains out, which is what I'm trying to do here! <smile>

One "trick" I stumbled across was that by selecting my arm up to the shoulder, and flipping it vertically, I could make it look like I was waving to shore. (The arm in the original photo was down at my side.) To "sink" the boat into the water of the background image, I duplicated that image, put it on top in the layer palette, and erased down till I reached the water level I wanted along the topsides of the boat.

It was difficult having to purposely fuzz up the second image to match the first, but I couldn't do it the other way round. In the end, I decided against using my Niagara Parks "NO Swimming" sign in the foreground! ;) All-in-all, a good learning experience, and a lot of fun as well.

O'er she goes!! Skipper out in time!

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