Cre­ate a big­ger bang

Paul Gro­gan ex­plains how to pro­duce a fan­tas­tic fire­works com­pos­ite in a mat­ter of min­utes

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One or two fire­works not enough? Cre­ate a com­pos­ite im­age in min­utes

As we re­vealed in Project 2 (page 48), shoot­ing good pho­tos of fire­works re­ally couldn’t be eas­ier, but shoot­ing great ones is more of a chal­lenge. This is be­cause fire­works are, by their very na­ture, un­pre­dictable: you can never be sure ex­actly where or when the best, most pho­to­genic ones are go­ing to ex­plode, and leav­ing ev­ery­thing to the fi­nale can re­sult in shots that are blown out. Of­ten the best you can do is keep shoot­ing un­til the last fire­work fiz­zles out, in the hope that one or two will hit the spot.

With the power of Pho­to­shop, how­ever, you don’t have leave it to chance – it might be that you’ve got a shot that’s almost per­fect, but just needs one more fire­work to bal­ance it out; or you might have lots of shots of sin­gle fire­works that look lonely on their own! In ei­ther case, merg­ing mul­ti­ple fire­works into a sin­gle im­age is as easy as shoot­ing them; the trick lies in how you merge images us­ing Pho­to­shop’s Lay­ers and Blend­ing modes. Read on to find out how it’s done...

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