This is where we left off.

Alternate Backgrounds (continued)     (home)

Let's get creative

I don't know about you but around this time of the process I start getting antsy to finish up. How about you?

Second thing - Endure if needed!

I count 7 more steps in the process that led to the final image - but they are all easy and fast.

I love this woman, I mean, it looks like she is actually flying and her arms should have wings attached, but behind her the smoky layer is distracting around her arms.







A little background blending.

I blended the background a little to rid the distraction.

Something is still wrong, not enough drama I guess. She is very bold, but the background doesn't seem to promote boldness, grace and beauty. I can make it bolder.











Adjusted the contrast using curves. (background only)

OK, I like this better, more contrast to the background seems to give her a space for flying. I'll keep this change.

Now I am thinking that I will add something else... another image to the mix. Let's see.











I want to get back some of the forest of the original, but the original photo is not adequate for this. Off to to find a woodsey, tree infested forest backdrop. I found one right away. Thanks gracey your swell.

Forest Photo by gracey
Desaturate and increase contrast a lot.









I de saturated the photo because I do not want it to affect the colors of the background we created. I am going to use it at very low opacity and I will also mask out some of it if needed, so I increased the contrast drastically so that the tree trunks would show up and be recognizable at such a faint level.


Tree photo on top of background (Multiply at 30% opacity)

OK, so the tree photo is in a layer over the background. It is set to Multiply mode and 30% opacity - adjust to suit your own taste.

About this time I am getting a sense for where the final image will go for me. Now I am thinking more in terms of this being a stage at a concert hall with special backdrops and lighting.

I know now that I need to create a lighted space under her and maybe a couple of light beams coming in from the side.








Elliptical light on floor adds energy to the figure.

To create a bright area under the dancer, I use the elliptical marquee tool to create a very flat selection just overlapping the curb and mostly over the golden ground area. I then clicked on the quick mask mode (everything turns red) and then used the Guassian blur at around 12 pixels to feature the selection. This is my preferred method for controlling a feathered selection as you can see how much it is feathered before applying it. Use the brush from before (Scattered Leaves) and choose a bright warm color and brush into the selection to form the light.

I'm liking it, how about you? Now a little more with some light beams/rays.







Final image - just the framing needed.

On a separate layer (see layers below) I used the polygonal lasso tool to create the light beam from the upper left. I filled the area with the same hue as the oval floor light and then reduced the opacity quite a bit. To add to the effect I created a layer mask and used a gradient to feather off the bottom of the beam.

I then duplicated the beam layer and rotated it slightly to add another light source .

If you inspect the layer palette below you will notice a noise layer. I like the effect of noise. It diffuses an image and adds some grain . The layer is filled with 50% black and set to Overlay mode. Then the noise filter is used and blurred a little to taste.

One more thing.





My final layers palette. Some layers were merged.

Notice the highlighted layer, second from top. This is the secret layer, the final touch for me. Can you determine what it does exactly?

Well, I knew if I started this I would go overboard. I hope it wasn't too boring. Not much here for Photoshop pros, but it might help someone.

I wonder what she would imagine - the dancer.