How This Image Was Made –
In this 2nd installment of Smoke Photography, I will show you an easy way to create this image.
Composites are usually a combination of two or more images or parts of images that are blended together to create a new picture. Photoshop allows us to work with these different components in their own layer and then overlay or combine them using different blend modes. To get you started, let’s use the following step by step tutorial with just a single, multiple exposure image from part 1.
Step – By – Step
First we need to make sure the smoke image background is black. In Lightroom or Bridge, open the image in the Develop Module. Press the Alt key while moving the Blacks slider to the left until most of the background turns pure black (-33 for this image). This will be done in a slightly different way in older versions of Lightroom.
Now edit a copy of the image in Photoshop (A shortcut to go from Lightroom to Photoshop is – Ctrl + E).
In Photoshop, with the layers palette visible, increase your canvas size (Ctrl+Alt+C). Enter height and width values to give you some elbow room to move the various images. Be sure and check the background color as black. As an option, I also gave the image a slight counter-clockwise rotation by pressing Ctrl+T and dragging a corner.
– Make a copy of the Background Layer by selecting it and pressing Ctrl + J (Creates Layer 1)
– Click on Layer 1 in the layers palette and press Ctrl + I to invert the Layer 1.
– Change the Layer 1 Blend Mode from Normal to Luminosity.
– Press Ctrl +Alt+Shift+E to create a new Layer 2.
– Turn off the Background Layer visibility. (Click the eyeball.)
– Change the Layer 2 Blend Mode to Darken and flip Layer 2 (Edit- – > Transform- – > flip horizontal).
– Use the move tool (and/or arrow keys) on Layers 1 and 2 until their intersection pleases you.
– Select Layer 2 and press Ctrl+Alt+Shift+E to create the new top Layer 3.
Variety – The Spice of Life
There are an infinite number of possible results from changing blending modes and moving the images. I often save a result on a new layer (Ctrl+Alt+Shift+E) and then go back and try new combinations of blends and/or move – rotate – resize the images for different intersections.
This is where smoke images can really burn up your time at the computer!
Next Part 3 – Smoke Photography
Hope you are having fun with smoke and the next blog post will feature tips on making my “Smoke Boat” composite.
Check the Archives on Denise Ippolito’s Site
This article was first published in Denise Ippolito’s Creative Photography eMiniMagazine.
While the e-Mag is no longer published you can still find the archives for the articles at: Denise Ippolito – A Creative Adventure
This RefineEdge Photography Blog contains more articles I wrote for the eMiniMagazine. Just look in the sidebar for the eMag category.