December 16, 2010
For this year’s Christmas portrait, I put my girlfriend inside a snow globe. In the last entry I talked about the hard part: photographing the snow globe. Today’s entry covers photographing Danie and actually getting her into the globe, which was really more drudgery than anything.
The photo of Danie was pretty straightforward. I just posed her on some seamless paper so that she would fit into the scene with the figurines, threw up a shoot-through umbrella on the left, and pointed another light up at the ceiling for fill. Aside from the cat coming and messing up the background paper, it was just a matter of shooting until I got a pose that I thought would fit in well.
If I were shooting a standalone portrait, I’d put a lot more attention into the lighting, but I had basically no room to work with in my cramped living room, and I knew it was going to get shrunken down to a tiny size anyways. I’d normally be trying to get the background just right, but since it was just going to be cut out in the end, why bother?
Once I had the shot I wanted to use, I had to composite the two together. I made a layer mask to get Danie off of her background, which was just mind-numbingly tedious, as layer masking always is. Once I had her masked out, I went over to my snow globe image and made a new layer and copy/pasted the figurines in the area she would go onto it. I made a mask for it, showing only the figurines that I wanted to be in front of her, and then dropped her into that image, and put her layer right in between the foreground figurines and the background. Then I just scaled her to the appropriate size, and moved her into the position I wanted. With all that done, my 2010 Christmas portrait is complete. Next year, I’m thinking I may go for something a little less time-consuming.