Bieber Photographic

Christmas Portrait, Part II

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 Shot

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?

The Compositing

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.