Look no hands!

Fish floating

Look no hands!

Since I started to learn photography I have tried in many ways to get my family involved in my hobby. My wife constantly poses for me and my son and daughters are ready for any sort of paparazzi their future careers might engage them with. But really I have been looking for some photography to get them excited about seeing the image and sharing it with their friends and grand parents.

While looking through an issue of a photo magazine I found a simple technique that wasn’t new to me just showed a different way to use it and get the family involved a bit. So today I am going to demonstrate how to use mask edits to create the following type of pictures.

Step one you need to shoot two images and they have to be done on a tripod other wise you will have a hell of a time lining up the images. The first image I shot was the person or people propped up on a supporting object(s). In my case was an upside down toy container which is usually the state it is in in my house. I used my cameras lock focus to ensure that the two images have the same focal point and depth of field. You might have to do this if you are in a shorter room or not in front of a window. Next I shot the empty image as I call it. It is void of any people or props.

suject and props

Next step was to import the two images into Lightroom (Lr) before going to Photoshop. I do this for two reasons, one to catalog my images and two so that the final image is automatically cataloged into Lr if I do an “Edit in Photoshop” from Lr. Once my images in Lr I edit them in Photoshop via Lr.

The first step is to bring the people/prop image into the empty image via a copy and paste. After your new layer is created, create a layer mask over the new layer created via the paste by (Mac:option + clicking) or (PC: alt + clicking) the new layer mask button at the bottom of the layers palette. Next take your brush tool, with your foreground colour set to white, and paint in the masked image with out painting the prop objects that you used to elevate your subject(s). Zoom in to do the detail work around the edges. If you paint in the prop you can always hide it again by changing your foreground colour to black.

empty picture

Once you are done save the image and return back to Lr to finish up the editing. For my image I had to adjust the exposure a bit and I did some cropping. Simple and fun, plus the possibilities are endless.

Have fun with your family or if no one is still willing to pose for you, try floating objects in the air, either way you will have some fun with this technique.

Hope you enjoy this, until next time keep shooting!

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