There are plenty things about running a business that I don’t consider fun. Accounting, marketing, scheduling, repairs…bleh. But, taking pictures and playing with Photoshop are certainly fun parts for me! For most photographers, the fun ends when the camera goes back in the bag. I certainly enjoy the session itself the most. But, I also truly love editing your photos.
My life has been crazy hectic lately, but when Adnan’s mommy requested a special balloon picture for his two year old portraits, I welcomed the creative outlet.
She sent me this adorable image for inspiration:
Heck yeah, I’ll work with you on that! But, that basket doesn’t belong on the ground.
Up, up, and away!
When I posted this picture on Facebook, someone commented requesting that I provide a tutorial on how I created the image. My life is still insane, so please forgive me if I don’t go into a lot of detail, but I’m happy to give you an idea of how I made this happen!
My original plan was to combine two images. The first would be Adnan’s dad holding the empty basket up really high so the basket would be centered properly between the trees, off the ground enough to appear as though it’s flying, and far enough away from his body that cloning him out wouldn’t be too complicated. The second picture would be with Adnan inside of the basket in a way that I could crop out just the top of the basket with him in it and then paste it into the first image. I still wanted him high enough in the air that I wasn’t dealing with unwanted trees in the background.
I had to do a bit of editing to clean up the extra balloons, strings, and blending the wicker, but it was fairly easy for me to add Adnan into the basket on the right.
The next trick was to remove Daddy from the picture.
I carefully cloned areas of sky and trees to cover Daddy. I always try to avoid any obvious patterns created by cloning the same area and it was important to keep the bottom of the basket smooth. This wasn’t a terribly difficult edit, though.
This isn’t the picture I shared first, though. I wanted to get a teaser up quickly and actually found an easier edit. Adnan wasn’t as high in the sky, but for this one, I only needed to clone Daddy out of the picture. It was a more difficult clone job because of the amount of basket that needed to be recreated, but I was only working with one image.
The clone tool in Photoshop allows you to grab part of an image with a circular tool and move that pattern anywhere else in the image. So, I took bits of trees to replace Dad’s body and arms and then I extended the basket to eliminate Dad’s hands and the bit of his body just below the basket. A common mistake with cloning is to leave obvious duplicate patterns. So, once all done with this, I take a step back and look for little problem areas that might give away the fact that this image has been heavily edited.
Enjoy the rest of Adnan’s 2 year old portraits and family pictures!
Don’t be afraid to approach me with any fun ideas! I might need to charge a little extra, but I love learning new ways to use Photoshop and I’m always up for a challenge!