Composite Photography Guide : Let Your Creativity Run Wild
What is Composite Photography?
Simply put, composite photography is the creation of an image by combining two or more different images or elements and like many other photography skills, mastering the skill set requires investment of your time and a bit of patience! But, when you finally grasp the technicalities, it’s only a matter of imagination that stands between you and limitless creativity!
Composite Photography allows you to fully express yourself
A lot of us got into photography to fulfil a need to express ourselves and create the art we dream of. But, how many times have you been unable to combine imagination and reality with circumstances you can’t control? We’ve all experienced the hurdles, an ideal backdrop for your creation being too far away, too expensive to travel to, or might not even exist! Composite photography can help you combine the aspects you can control, like your subject in the desired pose, with the previously out-of-reach elements like, a magical waterfall, or a full moon!
Enjoy Limitless Creativity
Even when everything runs totally smooth, location shoots can be costly to do. Of course, we should invest in our craft and the thrill of an on-location shoot coming together is a rush that should be experienced, However, it’s not always an option. Lugging equipment to and from the location, praying to the weather gods that the conditions are in your favour, all before you even take the first picture! But with the help of composite photography, that idea you had for an ethereal fairy on a frozen lake? With one studio session, a few stock images, or a digital creation of your own and you can bring your creation to life! The satisfaction that comes along with that is a beautiful feeling
What does it take to create Composite Photography?
Like many of the skills you’ve learned in life, Composite Photography requires knowledge of how to expertly piece together each element of your creation. Learning something entirely new to you can be a little daunting, but nothing good comes easy!
Key practises to keep in mind when you’re creating your composite images;
- Pay attention to the lighting in all aspects of your composite, make sure to twin the lighting in your background to the elements of all your added components.
- Use continuity in the colour grading of each layer. (you can view our colour grading actions here)
- Be aware of shadows, angles and the positioning of the additions to your background
It’s easy to feel a little overwhelmed, but take it step by step. Composite photography is a process, and once you’re familiar with the technical aspects of the composing, the rest is up to your imagination.
Finding / Creating Elements for Composite Photography
Chances are you probably already have a decent amount of backgrounds to play around with whilst you learn. Or if not, challenge yourself to a couple of days outdoors to shoot some landscapes, buildings, textures, trees, skies etc… If you’ve experimented with still life or creative shoots in the studio, you might have some components you can layer in already at your disposal. You can also make the most of the vast library of stock images available online! Websites like Pixabay have lots of creative elements you can use to create virtually any background/elements you can imagine!
Nothing is impossible when it comes to composite photography!
Bring your imagination to life!
The most important thing is that you let your creativity run wild! Every one of you reading this will have a different interpretation of what you’d like to create using Composite Photography. Technological advances enable us to bring our daydreams to life! So, whether you learn the skills as a fun hobby, or you want to expand your services and offer surreal type portraits for clients – learning Composite Photography should definitely be on your to do list!