Photo Shoot Walk Through & Editing: Ole London Town

Written by: Glyn Dewis

Published: December 6, 2011

Category: General

Hi Folks,
Well as promised here’s a quick look at how this image of Actor/Model Tristan Roper which contains 8 individual photographs was photographed and then composited using Photoshop:

Studio Shoot
Ok, the lighting set up for this shot was identical to that used for the other images I took of Tristan during this session [Link] but knowing how I wanted this particular image to look before it was shot meant a couple of extra things were thrown into the mix.

I knew beforehand that I wanted this picture to have Tristan walking along a cobbled street out in the open air with a city scape behind him in the distance which in this case ended up being London. Anyway, as he was going to look like he was outside and as if he was mid stride, we placed a couple of fans into the set so as to blow his clothing and look as if it was a little on the windy side:

Also, just to add a little more interest into the picture I wanted to include some old newspaper or rubbish being blown around too so to do this, again keeping the lighting and camera settings exactly the same, with the fans still blowing a few torn out and screwed up pages from a magazine were dropped into the set; but not when Tristan was in place.

So, now with Tristan and the rubbish photographed, a few days later it was up to London to gather some shots to be used for the background:

The Background/Scene
Here’s a look at what images were used to build up the scene:

  • The roadway came from a side street opposite the London Dungeon
  • The City Scape is made up of 3 different shots taken from The Embankment across the River Thames towards the Houses of Parliament
  • The Sky is one that I happened to have on my hard drive from off a Joey L DVD 
  • The birds came from a few taken off a stock image
  • The newspaper was photographed in the studio once I’d finished photographing Tristan
One thing to mention about the cobbled street is that I photographed it from exactly the same shooting position (i.e. down on one knee) as when I photographed Tristan in the Studio. The camera settings were the same (F/16) and so as to ensure everything looked right once it had been composited together, my Buddy Noel Hannan who I was out with stood in the same general postion from the camera as Tristan had been in the studio. I then focused on him, he stepped out of the scene and I took the shot.
Once all the images were in the computer I then first of all edited the photograph of Tristan up to the point where he would be added into the new background, as from that point more would be done to make him fit into the scene such as colouring etc…
The photographs that went to make up the scene were then combined in a completely different document but one that was exactly the same dimensions. (You can see how to do that in an earlier post here [Link])
It was then a case of making a selection of Tristan using the Quick Selection Tool and Refine Edge and then removing him from his studio background so that he was then ontop of the ‘London’ background that had been placed as the layer below.
The newspaper/rubbish was added in by selecting each of the pieces I wanted to use and dropping them into place. Shadows for the newspaper and Tristan were then painted in on a new layer using a 50% Grey Brush and the Multiply Blend Mode. (I’ll be posting a look at how to do this in the very near future)
As for the birds, they were really quickly and easily placed into the scene by changing their Blend Mode to Multiply which removed the white, and then simply erasing those I didn’t want to see:
From that point on it was a case of playing around with the colouring, enhancing details, darkening edges, adding a gradient between the cobbled street and the building line etc until I was happy with how it looked. In fact, it was this ‘playing around’ stage that took the longest of all the editing…trying one technique and then another until eventually coming up with a finished image:
So there you have it…a quick look at what went into putting this composite image together. As always, if you have any questions or comments then please feel free to make use of the comments section below but just to give you a ‘heads up‘ all this compositing and more is covered in my From Concept to Print workshop and I’ll be posting the new workshop dates in the very near future, but in the meantime,
Enjoy 🙂
•     •     •
Keep up with Glyn ‘Day to Day’ and get more from ‘Behind the Scenes’…

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  1. Nat

    This is so cool. I would love to do the workshop. Can you not squeeze one in before PSW???

    • Glyn

      Hey Nat…Now that’s a cool idea 🙂

  2. David Anthony Rogers

    A good example of shooting with specific intent of the final image. Especially shooting from the same height/perspective.
    If I may suggest: Id like to see larger birds in motion about 30ft behind and above his shoulder as if he had disturbed them while walking.

    • Glyn

      Thanks for the kind words and the suggestion David; like it 🙂

  3. DaveT


    • Glyn

      @DaveT…Thanks Buddy

  4. Ronnie

    Great work. Thanks for sharing.

    • Glyn

      Cheers Ronnie 😉

  5. micheal

    hello and nice to see this thanks

  6. Andrew Keane

    Great work again, but you really need to travel some more. It must be cold in old England now, how about a workshop in the Australian summer? 🙂

  7. Klaas De Loose

    I like it! But your dropshadow on the floor does not match the shadow on your character…
    I know you tried to fake the shadow from the light of the sunset – but without at least a little of the “real” shadow on the floor, it feels a little off….

    4 the rest – thumbs up!



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