I’m not much of a Photoshop user, I try to abstain from using it on my clients because I feel that it doesn’t do my clients justice by hiding their true beauty with what society thinks is “beauty.”

But last night, I felt compelled to try a composite shot. I wanted to push myself out of my comfort zone and try something new.  And who better to try it on that my beloved MINI Cooper S, Cherise.

I started out with, one off-camera flash, a silver reflective umbrella (see previous post), and my camera on a tripod. The location was my driveway, at ~10pm.  The following “behind-the-scenes” picture was taken by my iPhone 4S camera, and as you could see, the setting was less than stellar.  I had a flood light from the garage on the camera’s left and I had a porch light on the camera’s right.  Not to mention that you could also see my neighbor’s house in the background, not a “look” that you would want in your picture…

2013-08-02 21.47.08-1

The following is one of the shots I got with my flash to the camera right. I can’t really remember the settings as I was shooting in full manual on my flash and on my camera.  The effect that I was trying to achieve in each shot was to light each side (left, center, right) separately.


I took quite a few shots, justifying the cost and use of my Manfrotto tripod (heeeeee).

I compiled the following picture with 5 pictures total, adjusting as I saw fit.  Although it was harder than I thought it would be to eye-ball the lighting and try to even out the layers.  I suppose this is why I would need a monitor calibrator.

More than five layers later, with a little bit of spot cloning and brush healing, I think I am satisfied.  Yes, I could have used more than one strobe to take the picture as is, but I only had one light modifier and the lighting would have been uneven. Also, it wouldn’t have given me the challenge that the photographer in me was craving.

2013-08-03 05.10.28


5 thoughts on “Composite

  1. Nice! I actually liked the first shot better. Has a sense of mystery about it. Perhaps you should try light painting next time. Works for those times when you just have one light.


    • Thank you for the kind words. I’ve tried light painting a very long time ago, when I was rather new to photography and I struggled with how difficult it turned out to be, lol. Although now that I am a little more experienced with how to set up a camera and a shot, I feel compelled to give your idea a try! 🙂


  2. This is interesting to me because this is exactly the shot that I’ve wanted to experiment with.
    I’m all about using as much post processing as necessary, but for this shot I really would like to achieve my desired effect with only the use of lights.
    The final result here is actually quite good.


    • Thank you for the kind words. I think I’ve warmed up to the idea of post processing as time has passed and I’ve gained more of a photographer’s mindset. I’ve found that Lightroom is so much more user friendly than Photoshop; though Photoshop was and still is extremely intimidating to me, the results are so much more gratifying. 🙂


Comments are closed.