I Vote Earth.

Completed two more composite images.  The first image I created, “I Forgot…” is going to be a hard act to follow, because it was dramatically lit and made for a dramatic final image.  My original idea was that these other images would be attractively presented people holding *unlit* light bulbs as a visual representation of their participation in Earth Hour.

Unfortunately, “attractive” is not so very far from “common” – we’re bombarded with images of attractive people all the time, and often they’re lit with diffuse “beauty” lighting, just the same as the way I’ve shot my models.  So it’ll be a challenge to see if I can make any of the remaining images as interesting as my first one.

The first of the “beautiful” images was hand-masked.  I can’t tell you what a horrible time I had hand-masking the hair on this one, but it’s still not perfect and I’ll try to revisit it to polish it up before I have to submit it next week.  I actually did this image twice – the first one I did was on a very serene and, well, boring background and couldn’t display next to “I Forgot…” without looking like a poor effort.  So I recomposited it on a more dramatic nature background:

The model has been positioned with her head in front of the brightest part of the sky, and I’ve added a lens flare behind her head so that it appears that there’s a bright light source behind her, forming a “halo” around her and achieving the goal I set out in my project proposal, to make my subjects look like sources of light.

Exposure Data
Exposure: 1/125 sec.
Aperture: f/2.8
Focal Length: 50 mm (Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM lens)
ISO Speed: 400
Lighting: Flat light/beauty portrait setup.  Tungsten studio light on left diffused through large diffusion panel for full-length diffuse light.  Tungsten studio light through tall, rectangular softbox high on right for  full-length light from right, but mostly illuminating face.

After that horrific time with the hair in that last shot, however, I realised that there had to be an easier way to mask hair. I mean, you see it in magazines all the time for goodness sake – so I did a search on the web.  The best and most popular method involves shooting the model on a high-key (white) background, then using an Overlay brush on a copy of the image to get a near-perfect mask, even with fine detail like hair.  It certainly seems to work a lot better (and possibly faster) than hand-masking.:

I’ve also hand-shaded the model’s clothing so that it looks almost like she’s standing in a pool of light coming through the trees, with the upper part of her body and her head in the light.  In a dim, cool forest, a lens flare would be out of place, so positioning her head in front of the brightest part of the background image creates a very subtle suggestion of a “halo” around her.

Exposure Data
Exposure: 1/60 sec.
Aperture: f/2.8
Focal Length: 50 mm (Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM lens)
ISO Speed: 200
Lighting: Flat light/beauty portrait setup.  Tungsten studio light on left diffused through large diffusion panel for full-length diffuse light.  Tungsten studio light through tall, rectangular softbox high on right for  full-length light from right, but mostly illuminating face.

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~ by Q on June 5, 2009.

One Response to “I Vote Earth.”

  1. […] and some other forground element behind the forest image, to see if these (compositionally) tie the last two images together […]

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