MIR­ROR MAGIC

Learn how to see right through a sub­ject

NPhoto - - Front Page -

Re­flec­tions are a great way to add in­trigue to your images by of­fer­ing a glimpse of the scene be­yond the edges of the frame. Whether it’s a re­flected moun­tain in a lake, a street scene caught in a shop win­dow, or a land­scape glimpsed in a car wing mir­ror, re­flec­tions show the world be­yond the edges of the viewfinder, a nat­u­ral frame-within-aframe. And this makes it all the more cap­ti­vat­ing when we see an un­nat­u­ral re­flec­tion like the one we’re show­ing in the mir­ror here.

Two pho­to­graphs were used to cre­ate this im­age: one of the model, and the other of the empty scene. (Ob­vi­ously, you need an in­ter­est­ing lo­ca­tion – a blank wall won’t do!) By putting the cam­era on a tri­pod, we can en­sure that both frames are per­fectly aligned. It’s then pos­si­ble to re­move the face of the mir­ror in Pho­to­shop, re­veal­ing the empty area be­neath. The re­sult is a strik­ing por­trait that forces you to look twice.

The best Pho­to­shop ef­fects have a sub­tlety that – if you’ll ex­cuse the pun

Re­flec­tions show the world be­yond the edges of the viewfinder, a nat­u­ral frame-within-a-frame. And this makes it all the more cap­ti­vat­ing when we see an un­nat­u­ral re­flec­tion

– adds an­other layer of mean­ing to the im­age. At first glance the re­flec­tion in the mir­ror here looks nat­u­ral, but on closer in­spec­tion it’s re­vealed to be the scenery be­hind the model. This is some­thing even a Pho­to­shop novice could achieve. All you have to do is copy the im­age with the model onto the empty scene, so that it sits on the layer above, then cut a hole in the mir­ror to re­veal the empty area be­low. Se­lec­tions and Layer Masks prove use­ful here, al­low­ing you to quickly se­lect the mir­ror, then re­move the area. It’s sur­pris­ingly sim­ple.

So if you’re feel­ing in a re­flec­tive mood, read on to find out how to shoot and edit your own stunning magic mir­ror por­traits.

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