As I confessed last time, my new self portrait is not one pure, single-image self portrait… it’s four. My scarf and legs are from test shot one, my arm is from test shot three, my face came from test shot four, and a few extra folds and details of my scarf were taken from test shot two in order to smooth out the final image. There were only four test shots though, and I used them all to merge into one final image. It’s just a shame that I didn’t use any of the actual bootless shots instead, but that’s the way it goes sometimes. Sometimes our test shots surprise us.
Actually, test shots have never surprised me before, because that’s all they are; they’re the shots taken to make sure everything is in focus, I’m in the correct place, the lighting and settings are all good to go, etc, etc, etc. I keep complaining about how cold it was to stand with almost bare feet in the four-inch snow, but really, I ought to stop – it definitely made life easier, knowing exactly where to stand. Much more effective than the faint chalk mark left when location managers simply won’t allow a cross of tape.
I’m not really one for excessive use of Photoshop. I prefer to go au naturel as much as possible, attempting to perfect the lighting, colours and overall look of the image in camera, so that that final Photoshop Curve/Level tweak is there purely to manipulate my colours a touch. I like my shadows with a hint of blue.
Therefore, cutting and merging so many images in this way was quite a rare thing for me, but I am definitely pleased with the final result, after about three hours of carefully pasting image upon image, blending limbs with limbs and hiding third arms with feathered brushes. Finally, a quick curve layer gave my colours a slight ‘pop’, and voila. I hope you like the final result, which can be seen here, as much as I do.