Exercise – composite image

This image is titled “We’re back!” and is a creation in Photoshop, composited from three originals, assembled using layers and layer masks (which are more tweakable than using the eraser tool.)

Morgan fantasy

Working from the background layer upward:

The background layer is the churchyard outside Stokesay Castle in Shropshire. I applied a radial blur centred on the position of the car.

The smoke behind the car is entirely artificial, created using the ‘clouds’ filter.

The two skulls are cut out from an image taken in the ossuary in the crypt of St Leonard’s church in Hythe, Kent. This image was shot on medium-format FP4, which was partially responsible for the decision to apply a mono treatment to the whole composite.

The Morgan 3-wheeler is in a motor museum in Rolvenden, Kent. It was in a  garage, surrounded by clutter. The intricate cutting-out required, including suspension members and brake hoses, was the most time-consuming part of the exercise. I used mid-grey in the layer mask to make the aeroscreens semi-transparent and reveal the skulls. The original number plate was blacked out.

The new registration number, RIP1, was applied using the text tool.

The decision to make a contrasty monochrome conversion was partially dictated by the skulls being monochrome already, partly by a desire to avoid colour-matching and partly because it fitted the overall feel of the image.

Finally, I applied noise layer overall to integrate the slightly different noise levels of three different images, shot with three different cameras.

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