With a series of images in the bag, head back to the digital darkroom…
01 Spot the difference
In Bridge, go through your images and find a series where there’s a clear difference from frame to frame. We used 16 frames in our shot. Cmd-click (Mac) or Ctrl-click (PC) to select the ones you want. Go to Tools> Photoshop> Load Files into Photoshop Layers, and your images will be opened in Photoshop, already piled up for you.
02 Mask the layers
Select any layer in the layers tab, then go to Layers> Layer Mask> Hide All. Repeat this for every layer except for the bottom one. This is also a good stage to mark out any layers which contain a point of interest that you’ll want to use in the final image. We have marked each frame containing a person by right-clicking on the layer, then colour-coding it.
03 Cut out some triangles
Using the Polygonal Lasso tool, found under Lasso in the toolbar, draw out a triangle from one corner, clicking once for each point. Select the mask thumbnail for a layer, go to Edit> Fill, set to white and 100% opacity, then click on OK. Repeat for every layer. Try to keep the segments even, and include the points of interest from colour-coded frames.
04 Add some Curves
Select the image thumbnail in each layer to tweak different segments. To darken the image from left to right and add the feel of the passing of time, go to Image > Adjustments> Curves, and then drag the line down to darken and up to brighten. We have gradually lifted the Curves across the image one frame at a time.
05 Tweak the colours
Following the same process as adjusting the Curves, select each layer’s Image thumbnail and manipulate the colours. Go to Image >Adjustments >Colour Balance, then move the sliders to tweak the colour cast. For a complete cast, tint the colour on shadows, highlights and midtones. We have done this at random across the image.
06 Flatten and finish
When you have finished with your layers, select the very top layer. Hit Cmd (Mac) or Ctrl (PC) + Shift + Alt + E to merge the layers into a new layer. This will give you a complete image on top of your layers so that you can return to the segments if required. We finished by dodging around the rockpools to lighten them, and burning in the sky.