It’s #TravelTuesday with Dave (that’s me) right here on ScottKelby.com, and today is all about why we should have a crack at compositing!

I’m going to refer to the work of a good friend in this post, as well as touch on the reasons why compositing can enhance our work. What I’m going to refer to can be found here on Layers Magazine. It’s by JR Maddox, and it won him a Guru Award at Photoshop World in 2013, so it’s serious business!

Compositing, first of all, is what we’re doing when we combine elements from two or more images together in Adobe Photoshop to create something a little different. It could be something taken to a radical extreme, or it could be something as simple as switching out a sky or just adding the moon, for example. When we create composite images we use layers, layer masks, blend modes, and a whole host of other features. Take a look at this example: –

A photo merge of husband Bill and wife Mandy to create this beautiful creature “Billandy.”

Here we see a composite image of two people, both shot in the same place with the same light, blended together to form a human-hybrid. JR explained that one of his sources of inspiration for this project was Mr. Potato Head. With this project, JR used the Lasso tool to select the components of the face and body that he needed, then blended those images together. He made the point that he had no firm plan, just a loose idea, and at many points throughout the process, he had no idea what would stay and what would go or what would be used from each of the two images. When it came to blending the elements together he used tools such as the Warp tool in Free Transform and ensured the colours were correct using the Curves Adjustment Brush.

Here’s one of the images he began with: –

A photo merge of husband Bill and wife Mandy to create this beautiful creature “Billandy.”

This kind of project can translate across the board in photography and applies to every genre, and it’s amazing what you can create if you put your mind to it. Whether it’s as part of a personal project or something bigger, it’s well worth broadening your skill and knowledge base in getting a grip on compositing. This example from JR is a great demonstration of what’s possible.

There are tons of resources out there that’ll help you learn how to get a grip on compositing, including KelbyOne and Photoshop User Magazine.

For those in the photography community who aren’t aware, we sadly lost JR this past week, and he is sorely missed. As he was a friend of mine, I didn’t receive the news well and one of the first things I did was call my mum. She said this: – “Life is short. If you want to do something, and you can afford to do it without hurting anybody, do it. You don’t know how long you have to get it done. And when it comes to the people you have in your life, remember this: We love our family; they’re given to us and they’re so special and important, but our friends are the ones we’ve made a decision to have in our life and they’re just as special and important. Give love, treat people well, be the best person you can be, and whatever it is you want to do according to the above—do it.”

If you have five bucks to spare to help JR’s family, that’d be awesome. Let’s show what our little community can do. You can leave a little gift right here.

Much love 

Dave

About The Author

Dave is a travel, lifestyle and commercial photographer, a tutorial and blog writer, and a social media influencer, based in London, UK.

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