Friday, August 21, 2015

Helicopters, Explosions and Beautiful Women; Birthing a Composite

Not too long ago I got the wonderful opportunity geek out a little bit. I've been watching James Bond movies since I was a little girl and I've always loved the action and intrigue. When one of the models I love to work with, Miss Amberlyn, contacted me with an idea for a shoot and tossed out the words "spy" and "helicopters" I was on board without having to think twice.
We were lucky enough to work with Northwest Helicopters Incorporated who gave us access to the Tarmac, and Yellarich Productions on hair and makeup.
If you've been following along on my Follow Sarah Blogposts, you'll know that I've got an intern, Sarah, who is really hitting the ground running in her photography business. She got the fun job of being VAL, my Voice Activated Lightstand, as well as grabbing bags and making brilliant suggestions like, "you might not want that bright orange flag in the shot."

I wanted to approach this shoot with a very cinematic feel, using my vast knowledge of spy movies as inspiration. And while the photographs were stunning strait out of camera, (SOOC, for all you photogs out there) I couldn't help but think...what is a spy movie without a good explosion?

*Cue mad photoshop skills*


Unfortunately, you don't just get to have explosions on a commercial Tarmac in the middle of your state's capital, so I knew I would have to composite one in. I first needed to find a stock photo of an explosion since I don't have a very good chance of photographing one of my own...unfortunately. I searched around on to find an explosion that I liked the look of but was also on approximately the same angle as my photograph was.

Here is a fun look at the image from start to finish.

This shot is SOOC (straight out of camera)
I shoot in neutral, which means that no contrast, sharpening or saturation is added to the image in camera. It will look a little bit dull, but it gives me a lot of range while editing.

This is the stock explosion

And the image after compositing the explosion in and adding a bit of reflection on the helicopter and some orange light that would be there if the explosion were really there, adding a sense of realism

Finally, I needed to do some color work to give the image a more cinematic feel.


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