Composite your shots
You can utilise Photoshop and combine all your desired elements into a single image
Having the ability to merge several photo components together in post opens up a vast number of possibilities for dynamic composition and exposure. In a genre where subjects are moving erratically and at high speed, it can be nearly impossible to capture a precise composition in a single frame. Capturing a well-positioned, correctly lit, inaction portrait of an athlete is not realistically achievable as they run around a track, but taking the shoot into a studio, where you can pose the subject and sculpt the lighting, makes it possible. A very common technique is to shoot an appropriate background, edit this separately and overlay a posed, studio-shot, in-action sports portrait in Photoshop.
The key requirement for compositing work is to ensure that lighting is uniform in each component and that the colour temperature of the light on the subject matches the background. It is possible to control the colour of studio lighting by using gels, but in the compositing workflow it is often easier to change the white balance to match each element, as this offers the greatest level of control. Photoshop has several powerful tools that are essential for successful selections and extractions of elements. The Quick Selection Tool (W) is a go-to feature, due to its speed of operation and ‘smart’ characteristics – the tool remembers when selections are modified and uses this information to generate more accurate selections. Using the Refine Edge feature allows precise selection of detailed edges such as hair, with a higher Smart Radius setting on the Radius slider corresponding to a more complex and detailed selection. If shooting the subject in a studio, try using a rim light to highlight their outline against a neutral grey background – this makes it easier for Photoshop to ‘find’ the edges of objects when forming a selection. In the Output panel of the Refine Edge dialogue, check the Decontaminate Colors box to remove any colour spilling onto the extraction from the rest of the image.
after some final global brightness and contrast adjustments, each element blends naturally in the final composite image
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Find a suitable background
Dave Lehl shot this Hong Kong street early one morning. Often it pays to shoot images with potential future composites in mind
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Pose the subject
Shooting your main subject in controlled lighting conditions provides scope for perfecting exposure and composition
above - top right Foreground rain
One way to add rain is to create a black Fill Layer, go Filter>Noise> Add Noise, apply a Motion Blur and change blend mode to Screen