Baby and Bubbles Composite-How To
To do a composite, which is 2 or more images combined, there are a few things you will need. If the subject is going to have things surrounding it and you need it to stay stationary to make the scene, then you will need to use a tripod. First get the scene set, lit, and composed beforehand especially if it includes children or babies who have such short attention spans. I use my other children as stand ins when working with my own baby, but you can use your assistant, or an extra person present, or even something stationary to just focus on and get your lighting right. You do not have to use off camera flash for these types of images, so keep that in mind as well. I'm just going to go through what I did to achieve this result. (I will cover other ways of making composites in the future, but this method is easy for photoshop beginners.)
Materials I used:
Nikon 85mm f1.8
Crappy Tripod-no seriously
Yongnuo Flash Triggers
Nikon SB600 Flash Unit
First Set Your Scene and get your lighting how you want it. For this image I have one flash unit camera right. Here are my settings:
Shutter: 1/640.. a little fast for the conditions, but I wanted it to be a little darker, so the subject is brought out a little more.
Aperture: f1.8..I love shooting wide open. I can't get enough of that.
The next few images are showing you how I build the final image. I start with the camera settings and the flash, then I add some of the props. If they are larger props, you may want to start with that first. I like to use a human to see how the light will fall on them, but if you don't have a human, then use what ya' got! I add other elements such as the bubbles before, during, and after the baby is removed. With babies, you always want to ensure that you don't have to worry about anything else but the baby during the actual shoot. The bubbles can always be added post. If you have assistants that can use the bubble machines or blow them, then fine, but just don't get bogged down with all the extras while you're in the moment. The images are later combined in photoshop by using the move tool and the erase tool.
The image posted above is my final background composite, meaning I combined lots of bubble pictures to make my base to insert my favorite baby pictures. Bubbles don't just magically blow where you want them toartistically lol, so if you ever see the pros with these phenomenal compositions with babies just remember that most of the time they don't just magically happen. The forces of nature aren't just coming together to grace these individuals with magical things and leaving you out. You can get the same images, you just have to put them together.
I wanted to put the above image in, so that you can see that even people can be taken out.
The next few images are some of my finals from the shoot. Enjoy! And after the images I will do a short photoshop tutorial.
To make the composite in photoshop:
1.) Get some bubble images together and open them in photoshop.
2.) Pick one with a good bit of bubbles to be your base image.
3.) Take your base image and use the move tool to drag it onto another bubble image. You can take the opacity down on that layer to ensure when moving it that you line it up perfectly.
4.) Take your erase tool and only erase the individual bubbles you want to show.
5.) Take your opacity back up on that layer to see your composition and where you need to add more bubbles.
6.) Flatten the image. (The only reason I say to do this is to make it easier for you in you're not used to working with layers.)
7.) Repeat with other bubble images until you get the bubbles arranged how you want.
8. ) Save your image as background or whatever you want to call it. Just make sure you have it saved as something else, so you have to insert your baby into.
9.) Pick your favorite baby image, use the move tool once again to move the background image on top of the baby image.
10.) Take the opacity down so that you can see the baby a bit.
11.) Use the erase tool where the baby is.
12.) Watch your masterpiece unfold!!
In the future I'll show you guys a different method in photoshop with the screen/lighten mode.