Favorite Photo, August 23

Ellie-Marie. August 23, 2007. Three photos digitally combined.

My favorite photo for August 23 was another easy choice. I was doing a photo shoot with Ellie Marie at Battelle Riverfront Park in downtown Columbus, Ohio.

I have always liked the columns of the City of Columbus Firefighter’s Memorial as a portrait location. After doing several individual photos, I set up to do a triple set of images to combine later. The camera needed to be on a tripod so all three images would be in register (line up perfectly) when I combined them with my computer. We tried a bunch of different poses. I did not make the selection of the final three poses until I was home at my computer.

All three photos were layered using Photoshop, putting one layer on top of another, one at a time. Think of it as having three paper photographs on top of each other. Each one has the same scene, but the person changes position in each photo. You have to take scissors and cut out enough of each print in to reveal what you want in the prints underneath. But instead of cutting out pieces of paper prints, you are using digital photos and using layer masks in Photoshop to erase parts of layers 2 and 3 to reveal what you want in the underlying layers.

Photoshop has an “eraser tool” to erase parts of a layer but if you mess up you have to back up and erase again. Using “layer masks” you can erase but you can also un-erase so you don’t have to start over. If you erase too much, just correct the mistake by un-erasing the extra area where you erased too much.

With Ellie Marie on the right as the bottom layer (layer 1), I added a second image with Ellie Marie in the middle (layer 2). Once you add a layer, the layers underneath disappear. I had to erase enough of the right side of layer 2 so I could see through layer 2 and reveal Ellie Marie on the right in layer 1. Then I added layer three with Ellie Marie on the left. Layers 1 and 2 disappeared. I had to erase enough of layer three in the middle to reveal Ellie Marie in layer 2. Then I had to erase enough of layer 3 on the right to reveal Ellie Marie in layer 1.So I had to erase parts of two layers to reveal Ellie Marie on the bottom layer.


Series: Favorite Photos by Date