Blowin’ in the wind

NPhoto - - Nikon Skills -

1 Wait for wind

For this project you’ll need a will­ing model and a windy spot to shoot. The space should be wide enough for the fab­ric to flow, and with enough of a breeze for it to catch in the wind. Hill­tops, open fields, high build­ings or beaches all work. A sim­ple, un­clut­tered back­drop is best.

3 Use a tri­pod

We need a tri­pod to keep the cam­era po­si­tion fixed. As for ex­po­sure set­tings, a wide aper­ture, like f/2.8, gives a nice shal­low depth of field and blurs the back­drop. We had our Nikon in Aper­ture Pri­or­ity mode at f/2.8, ISO100, re­sult­ing in a shut­ter speed of 1/1600 sec.

5 Hide the legs

Open your main im­age and empty frame in Pho­to­shop. Grab the Rec­tan­gu­lar Mar­quee tool and make a rough se­lec­tion of the empty area that cor­re­sponds to the sub­ject’s legs. Hit Cmd/Ctrl+C to copy, then go to the other im­age and hit Cmd/Ctrl+Shift+V to paste in place.

2 Shape the fab­ric

The fab­ric needs to be light, but not too trans­par­ent. We used dress-lin­ing ma­te­rial – fab­ric shops sell it fairly cheaply in var­i­ous colours (our 5x1-me­tre piece cost less than £20). Once cov­ered, ask the sub­ject to pose so that the fab­ric shows the shape of the face and body.

4 Work the poses

Af­ter tak­ing a few shots of your sub­ject in var­i­ous poses (we tried straight-on and side-on), ask them to move out of the frame. Switch to man­ual fo­cus to stop the fo­cus snap­ping onto the back­ground, and fire an­other shot, mak­ing sure the ex­po­sure matches the other frames.

6 Paint a mask

Go to the Lay­ers panel (Win­dow>Lay­ers), hold Alt and click the ‘Add Layer Mask’ icon to hide the layer be­hind a full black mask. Grab the Brush tool and set the colour to white then paint over the legs to re­veal the empty space. If nec­es­sary, tidy any messy patches with the Clone tool.

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