Thursday, December 22, 2016

2016 Photochallenge Week 50: Levitation

Nearing the end of the year now and I've played along with at least 50% of the 2016 challenges!  This has been a really fun way to push myself to try new techniques and take shots of things outside my usual comfort zone.  I have not done many of the portrait challenges though.  Meh.

Photochallenge Week 50: Levitation

This past week's Challenge was to use levitation in a photo.  This was open to interpretation and several methods could be used for it.  Some where simply fast shutter speeds to catch someone in the air while jumping.  Others were using people or items on stools or hanging from strings and "erasing" the connection to earth in post production.  

I've been doing some on-line Photoshop CC classes through Creative Live and have been learning some fancier techniques of masking and creating composites, so I thought this would be a good time to try this out.  

I took a small monkey table (yes I just happened to have this tacky piece of furniture laying around to my wife's dismay) and removed the glass top.  Placing this against a black back drop with simple one-source lamp light, I took a few base shots of the monkey.  Next, with the same set-up I took pictures of several of my ape and monkey themed books.  Who knew I had so many in my home library?  Next up I fired up Photoshop CC and started a base layer of the monkey.  I opened each book photo on its own, did some minor tweaks to it, then selected the book out from the dark background and copied it into a new layer over the monkey.  Repeat.  I added a drop shadow to the books on top to add 3 dimensional effect to the floating stack.  It isn't perfect but I got a chance to try some interesting effects, including rotating and transforming a few of the books.

And there you go!  A monkey in a fez (fez's are cool again)  levitating a bunch of books!

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