Saturday, February 28, 2009

The Art of the Composite

If given the choice between taking a photo on location over making a composite I'd say I prefer the former over the latter, but taking photos on location, especially if they are elaborate, takes a lot of time, money and manpower. There are many variables that can go wrong or not go according to plan and if you are shooting for yourself on a shoestring budget, can't afford those highboys, a water truck and a permit to shut down a street, you need to start looking at making composites.

I never took composites very seriously. I naively thought every professional photograph I had ever seen, unless it looked unbelievable had to have been taken in one shot or maybe a couple but the subject and the background had to all be there because it looked so darned believable. Man was I wrong. A great majority of the photos used in commercial advertising and editorial today is comprised of numerous shots, sometimes taken in various locations, brought together through skill and the magic of photoshop.

I want to start taking the Smoke series out of the studio and onto the streets, landscapes and other interiors. Although I'm sure I can achieve the photos easily with a few assistants, it's cold out now and I'm impatient so I started making some composites using existing studio shots with some photos I took walking around NoLita after the rain one evening last week.

I think the most successful composites are those that start with a concrete idea before execution but I don't think these are half bad. I definitely chose the exterior shots with care, making sure there was no traffic or pedestrians and paying attention to the light, focus and depth of field. In the future I plan to carry a tripod so I can work at a lower ISO and play with the focus and depth of field more.

I would love to hear some feedback on these images.

No comments:

Post a Comment