Intro: 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
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
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
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
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
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.