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Following on from my last post about compositing images, here, I’d like to show you how I created my “Snow Queen” image – quite apt considering the current British weather.

I had been looking at shooting a particular image to go with the composite I had in mind, however circumstances always conspired against either the shoot or the look I had in mind. I was doing some housekeeping in my shoot library and I came across an image that was marked as “throw away”. The image was part of a beach bridal shoot back in December and it didn’t quite cut the mustard.

However, the pose and hand placement were exactly what I was looking for for my snow queen idea.

This is the finished “Snow Queen” fantasy image with the lovely Miss Laura Mai

snow queen finished

This particular creation was (relatively) simple as I was using only a single background image. The following show the three main articles that went into making this composite.

snow queen composite


I explained in my previous post that the secret to successful compositing is getting the right perspective (with focal length of lenses) and lighting that matches foreground and background.

The other ingredient for successful images is matching colour between foreground and background images. Now while there are a number of ways to achieve this, this is the method I use. In Photoshop duplicate your background layer and move it to the top of the layer stack. With the duplicate layer still selected, go to the menu bar and select Filter>Blur>Average. Set the blend mode to “Colour” and then lower the opacity to around 20-25% – you may want to ad a layer mask to mask of the background – but that’s it, a simple trick that will match the colour of your foreground image to your background.

This image in total took around two hours to complete – there are only 17 layers in this image and the file size (unflattened) is 130MB.

The sparkles, wings, snow and staff were all added to the image for added realism and finally a small amount of mist was added to the lower part of the image to soften it up.

in my next post on Compositing images I’ll show you how I created a more complex fantasy image

Best – Colin