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If you go down to the woods

By markst33    
A composite of a studio shot and a shot from down in a park near me late in the evening to get a suitably gloomy background. Thinking of entering this into our monthly themed competition "night"

I have spend hours doing this so if you see anything I have missed feel free to call it out.

Tags: Model Woods Lantern Watcher Horror Portraits and people Copyright Mark Stewart

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TanyaH Plus
18 1.3k 411 United Kingdom
14 Apr 2016 5:52PM
Nice job! Looking at this a wee bit lighter, there's one thing that really struck me ... the shadow is going in the wrong direction?

As you've currently got it, the shadow's going horizontally away from her to the right of her body. But surely, with that lantern held in front of her, the 'shadow' from it would be behind her and to one side slightly (the right side of the image)?

The other thing I do notice, and I don't know if it's my screen or not, is that there's quite a lot of blue in that green vegetation.

I've had a quick go at two mods - I've tried to move the shadow in both, though not sure of how much of a difference it actually makes?

Mod 1 - I've dropped the blues from the scene, simply by using a Color Lookup adjustment layer, and the 'DropBlues.3DL' present (rather an obvious one, that one!).

Mod 2 - I've tried the CL adjustment layer's 'FuturisticBleak' preset, to give it ... well, a futuristic bleak feeling Grin The trouble with this one is that it also takes out that warmth of the lantern, unless you used a layer mask to bring it back.

Just ideas, off the cuff Smile If you do submit it, let us know how it does? I'd love to know!

[Edit: thinking about it, I also spot healed a couple of odd leaves on the path that caught my eye, and also those lighter patches coming through the trees on the right of the figure. I know they're realistic, but they did snag my eye a bit.]

banehawi Plus
17 2.7k 4282 Canada
14 Apr 2016 8:51PM
Good work, - it should do well.

Thats pathway is damp in places so might be a red herring as far as shadows is concerned?

I would suggest a much darker image, its supposed to be a candle or paraffin lamp I assume?

I would add a little space to the top and crop from the right.

Two mods, darker and the background coloor more bluish in one, the other is a duo-tone


dark_lord Plus
17 2.9k 795 England
14 Apr 2016 9:40PM
I must admit I didn't spot this as a composite, so your selection and compositing work has been done well.

However, I can see the point about the shadow. As the vegetation is lit by low ambient light, a shadow may not show that strongly, and just darkening that area of the image would not only avoid the issue but add to the mood. You may not see a shadow in such dark situations, and if you were staring into the bright light as the person approaches you.
I'd clone out that branch right behind her head. that is the thing that stands out to me (as a distraction) more than those light areas that Tanya mentions and any shadow issues.

But I like what you've done and I hope it does well for you.
dudler Plus
18 1.8k 1895 England
15 Apr 2016 12:36AM
I can offer no technical advice on this: it looks good, and I hope it does well!
markst33 12 75 2 Ireland
15 Apr 2016 9:36AM
Thanks folks - I have

Cloned out the branch
Cloned out the bright spots
Burnt in the background to her right completely to take car of any shadow issues.
And spot healed the leaves on the path.
And finally I reduced the blues and bumped the Greens in a saturation layer
Otinkyad 18 2 7 United Kingdom
15 Apr 2016 3:54PM
It seems odd that her face is illuminated from her left but the lantern is on her right. Is there another source of light?
TanyaH Plus
18 1.3k 411 United Kingdom
15 Apr 2016 4:08PM
Now that's a good point Grin I know the figure was studio-shot from Mark's description, but maybe a little more light on the side of the face furthest from us would alleviate that?

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