HOW I MADE THIS: PYRO - PHOTOMANIPULATION
In this post I will let you look into the process of creating photomanipulation. I called this piece PYRO - so it will have to do with fire. Only virtual, but still. I had a background that I wanted to use. I borrowed a collector's figure of an Alien from a friend. And it all began to take on some contours, meanwhile only in my head.
I started with background. What I knew right from the start was that I wanted the scene to take place at night and the whole picture was to be widescreen. I waited for it to darken and went to location armed with a tripod, a fixed 50mm lens and a camera. I shot the entire background as a panorama composed of 6 separate portrait-oriented images. I didn't worry about white balance, knowing that after some time playing in Photoshop, it would look completely different from what I took. The only thing I wanted at the moment was that the individual photos were sharp and sufficiently overlapping, for better stitching of the panorama.
I opened individual background shots in Adobe Camera Raw - I sharpened them, used lens corection, adjusted the histogram a little so that I had no clipping in white or dark areas. I stitched all the raw files into a pano using photoshop.
In the next step, I cropped the panorama so that the aspect ratio was 16: 9. I added some smoke to the background to create a somewhat mysterious atmosphere
I have color graded the whole background into cool blue colors to evoke the night.
I have added some lens flares to this modified background. I also used a technique dodge and burn to lighten and darken some areas to increase background plasticity, give it a larger 3D dimension. In next step I poked a spot where the whole action will take place.
With such a modified background I could continue further by shooting the main hero - Alien. The light sources of the environment were clear and served as a draw for the lighting of the model. I knew I was going to put the Intruder in a big puddle between the columns, which implied the following. The object should be illuminated from behind and we should give a mirror reflection in the floor. So I placed the object on the black glass, which perfectly mirrored and illuminated it from the back using the headlamp. As a studio I used a table at home in the kitchen. Then I masked the intruder from the background and a little retouched - especially I had to remove the plastic joints typical of such toys.
In the next step I did put the object into the prepared background. I found him a nice place to match the method of the golden cut, and I adjusted his size to match the background. Of course I did not forget the reflection in the puddle.
Our model suppose to be burning, so I had to add a yellow color to the whole composition. I also used the so-called "complimentary colors" or opposite colors in the color spectrum. This is widely used in color grading films. Objects do not merge with the background, but they attract the attention of the viewer. To increase "realism" / in this sci-fi photomontage, this word seems a little funny / I added ripples to the puddle around the legs of the object which are used to form on the water.
In the last stage I added fire, sparks and the piece was done. Then I’ve prepared the photo for printing as a photopanel in 90x50cm format :-)
If you are interested in this post and have any questions about this, please feel free to contact me. I'll be happy to answer them.