I’m often too lazy to search for models so I did yet another self portrait. This time I decided to try the Joel Grimes style HDR background composite portrait with double rim lights.
The first thing in making a composite shot is getting a good background. The image I used is a shot of a random doorway under a bridge in Budapest, which I HDR-processed with a software called Dynamic-Photo HDR 5, then continued processing it with GIMP, where I adjusted curves, sharpness and saturation.
The second step for me was getting a new haircut, because making a composite image with my usual crazy hair is way over my post-processing skills. Just so you see what I’m talking about:
After getting my hair organized I set my little studio up, used my white seamless background (AKA bed sheet), and placed my two rim lights, my YongNuo 560 IIs (without light modifiers, only flagged to avoid flare) to the sides of the backdrop. I also set my 80cm octabox overhead on a boom arm, with my ChangYin CY-20 inside it.
I used my Canon 40D with a 50 millimeter lens, set it on a tripod, set it on 12 second timer and started taking shots of myself. After several tries and sets of clothes I uploaded the pictures to the computer and started the hardest part of the project: post processing.
I’m not much of a Photoshop wizard, I only learned how to use layer masks quite recently, so it took me 1,5 hours to do the post process part (actually I don’t own Photoshop, I use a free software called GIMP). I opened the background and the studio shot, cropped myself out of the studio shot and put it onto the background. I later on added a white glow around myself to separate me from the background even more.
Settings for background shot:
Focal length: 50mm
Camera: Canon 40D + 50 F1.8
Settings for studio shot:
Focal length: 50mm
Camera: Canon 40D +50 F1.8