Introduction: A Stroll in the Graveyard

Picture of A Stroll in the Graveyard

First 'ible, so hope I get submission all sorted out correctly.
This is for the halloween photo edit.
I had this photo taken on the night of the "super moon" in our local graveyard- a repository for ex gold miners and farmers. It was taken on the other halfs Nikon DLSR - 30 second exposure and flash- took quite a few shots to get the exposure right. It's reasonably creepy in it's own right but when I saw the comp I thought I could spice it up a bit

Step 1: Adding the Woman

Picture of Adding the Woman

I use JASC's Paintshop pro 7 for photo editing and drawing- a great program, very stable and it's been around for years- initially in version 3 as shareware, 8 is the last JASC software version, after that Corel bought it out and developed it- I haven't used the later versions but according to reviews it hasn't been improved much.
Next was finding the lady- or at least a suitably dressed person for my first "ghost". This shot was taken at The Gabriels Gully 150th celebration- lots of people dressed up in Victorian clothing including this lady and her baby.
First of all I used image>crop to roughly  cut the image down to size, then image>flip to flip the image as I wanted her to be facing the other way to match the lighting of the background photo.
I used the erase brush to remove most of the background from the lady- leaving the grass around her feet for later blending into the background. Then I copied her- Edit>copy- and pasted her as a new layer into the background- Edit paste as new layer.
Then using the magic wand tool I selected the white area and used Edit>cut to remove it, Selection>select none removed the selected area.

Step 2: Getting the Perspective Right

Picture of Getting the Perspective Right

Next stage was to use the transform tool to resize the lady to fit the background. This took a bit of trial and error, I also wanted her to blend fairly subtley into the background so found a gravestone that had matching features - a light patch that matched the babies shawl.
Next I used the magnifying glass to get in close and erase the detail I didn't want- including the parts of her skirt that were behind the gravestone. Then it was just a case of tunring down the layer transparency until she blended in nicely. I used the retouch brush to slightly desaturate the grass beneath her skirt.

Step 3: Adding Some Balance

Picture of Adding Some Balance

I wanted to add another figure to balance the woman and keep the focus point on the large tomb in the background. I decided I wanted a mysterious male for her to appear to be interacting with.
I picked this picture from some photos taken at a local steam punk event. I liked the pose of the guy on the left but he was facing the wrong way.
I copied the picture and pasted it as a new layer and then used Image>mirror to change the orientation. I then reduced the transparency on the mirrored top layer so I could align the head of the man I wanted to keep with the hat worn by the man on the lower layer. Then it was just a case of erasing the bits I didn't want.
I used the clone brush tool to pick up bits of his coat to remove the anachronistic mobile phone he is holding.

Step 4: Adding the Man to the Background

Picture of Adding the Man to the Background

The next step was to add the man in the same way as the woman.
This time I blanked out the background with the paintbrush in a contrasting colour so it was easier to see what I was doing.
The picture of the man was copied, pasted into the background shot, the magic wand was used to select the purple and these were removed- Edit>cut, from the selection menu> select none and then transform tool was used to resize him.
Extra pixels around the man were deleted and the layer transparency was set.

Step 5: The Final Cut

Picture of The Final Cut

Last but not least the image was cut to remove some of the foreground, leaving our mysterious couple lurking in the graveyard at night, a parted couple? a disgraced daughter and her stern father? or just a figment of the imagination? - your choice.

Comments

finton (author)2013-02-04

Nice bit of work jtpoutdoor. I especially like the way the woman's arm, waistband and dress below her basket all tie in with the brown stripes on the gravestone she's near, thus hiding her more.

maytel (author)2012-10-18

Hi! I can't see the people in the last picture, is that normal?

finton (author)maytel2013-02-04

They are quite subtle, but you can see them easily enough if you open both the first and last picture in new tabs and flick between them. Actually, if you open the last picture, zoom in some and centre the picture, the couple come up really well.

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