STEP BY STEP
Blowin’ in the wind
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.