Shoot the breeze

James Pater­son ex­plains how to make your sub­jects dis­ap­pear into thin air for a ghostly por­trait ef­fect

NPhoto - - Nikon Skills -

Make your sub­jects dis­ap­pear into thin air for a ghostly por­trait ef­fect

Some­thing as sim­ple as a piece of light­weight fab­ric can add an in­cred­i­ble burst of colour and shape to your por­traits, es­pe­cially if you can find a windswept lo­ca­tion and a will­ing sub­ject who doesn’t mind be­ing buf­feted by the breeze. Not only is the fab­ric fan­tas­tic for con­ven­tional pho­tos, it can also be used to cre­ate beau­ti­ful ef­fects, like our ghostly fig­ure. In this project, we’ll ex­plain how it’s done us­ing a cun­ning com­bi­na­tion of shoot­ing skills and sim­ple Pho­to­shop tech­niques.

The fab­ric in ques­tion here is a shiny dress lin­ing ma­te­rial – light enough to get picked up by the wind and thin enough to de­fine the shape of the fig­ure un­der­neath, but also not so trans­par­ent that it gives the game away by show­ing the per­son in too much de­tail. Af­ter drap­ing the fab­ric over our sub­ject, we’ll use Pho­to­shop skills to re­move the legs and re­place the area with a por­tion of the empty scene taken from an­other frame. Even for Pho­to­shop begin­ners it’s a sim­ple job that takes just a few min­utes...

The mis­sion ● Shoot a per­son cov­ered in fab­ric then re­move their legs Time ● One hour Skill level ● Be­gin­ner ● In­ter­me­di­ate ● Ad­vanced Kit needed ● Tri­pod ● Light colour­ful ma­te­rial

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