Photo Composites

One of the post processing skills I’ve worked on during my hiatus is Compositing. This is simply added elements to a photo from another photo and blending them so they look like they could have been part of the original scene. Just to be clear though, I consider the final product to be photo art not a photo and when I post these images I identify them as composites in the ‘tags’, comments or sometimes in the title. Having said that, it’s a fun, albeit time consuming, exercise.

I find, the most useful (for my purposes) reason to use compositing, is to switch out a boring or bland background with something more interesting. For example this image, which isn’t all that exciting to begin with, can take on a dramatic flair with a new background.



The foreground was shot here in Florida at a local electric substation and the sunset background I shot a couple of years ago in Illinois. By the way, I don’t intend to do a tutorial on how to composite as there are plenty of videos available that teach it. But, for information purposes, I used the layers feature of the ON One Photo Suite. I really like the editing tools in this software.

Here are a couple of other composites I shot using the local electric sub-station as the foreground…





Here’s an example where I replaced the background behind Japanese White-Eyes. This was a case where I sandwiched the image between 2 copies of the background image. The bottom layer is at full opacity and I used it to eliminate the original background. The top layer was applied at a very low opacity. The purpose was to apply some of the hue from the background to the bird without applying the actual texture of the background. Hope that makes sense.

Japanses White Eyes-3021

Sometimes I use a composite methodology to add elements to the foreground. Birds in flight is the best example. Sometimes,it’s kinda neat to show the flight path across the screen with multiple images stacked into one photo. This Osprey is a great example.

Four shot composite of an Osprey in flight

Or, just compile a whole bunch of shots like this Tern flying around the marsh waiting to dive bomb it’s prey

In any case, that’s how I’ve been using Composites. I hope I gave you some ideas and thanks for stopping by.

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