A Secret History

I really would like to get into the area of compositing, but know I have a heck of a lot to learn about Photoshop before I can do that; plus a lot more shots to take if I want to purely use my own images for them. However, over the weekend I felt in the mood to give it a try, and after processing one image that I felt needed something a little extra – I ended up with the above shot.

It started out with my processing a shot from Iceland; it was taken in an area where there was a lot of sulphurous steam and I liked that I could make out a fence post in the right hand side of the frame; here’s the shot I started off with:

Though I liked the image I did feel that the fence wasn’t quite visible enough to make it the sole focal point of interest in the image, and I wanted to try and add something extra.
As the shot was taken in Iceland my mind immediately went to the downed plane that we found there and I thought it would be a perfect fit; so I returned to square one and re-tonemapped a few of the shots which included a second set of brackets for this scene and a set of brackets of the plane:

Once I had these, I drew a mask around the plane and cut it out into the new frame, reducing it in size as I went. I added shadow underneath it and then went to work on the Color Efex (by NikSoftware) and Perfect Effects (by OnOne Software) filters to get the feel I was after. I preferred the ground of the original image I had processed so I brought some of that into this shot also.

Finally I needed to add a little more of the steam to the shot than what was in there so I went ahead and did this using a combination of some smoke type brushes I added to Photoshop and a little cloning also.

I’m pretty happy with the result, and though there wasn’t too much missing from my originally processed image I did enjoy adding the plane into the scene and hope to do a lot more of these – likely with more surrealism – in the future.

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