When I plan a shoot, sometimes I plan a composite image in advance.
It helps to know what type of subjects you will see where you are going so you can be sure you capture the different components that you will need to make your final image.
Ansel Adams advocated the idea of visualization (which he often called “Previsualization”, whereby the final image is “seen” in the mind's eye before taking the photo, toward the goal of achieving all together the aesthetic, intellectual, spiritual, and mechanical effects desired. (Wikipedia)
A short clip entitled Photography Visualization Advice by Ansel Adams can be found on YouTube http://youtu.be/gT-G42cskH4 explains Visualization in the Photographers own words.
In my composite images, I try to keep them within the realm of what you may actually see in the real world (Nature), not some Bizarro World as is too often the case. One rule I usually set for myself is that my composite images are shot at the same location on the same day so the context of the final image holds together.
In the example to the left, of a Boardwalk by the bay, I first captured the Boardwalk picture, Photo #1 being well aware that the sky at the time was very flat and needed some work, in other words, it had to be swapped out. The final image also needed a Seagull on the nearest light pole, so I had to track one down. On the other side of the Park, (Captree State Park near Jones Beach, Long Island New York) where there are docks for Day Charter Fishing boats, where I managed to get a couple great shots of Seagulls sitting on pilings in the bay. Photo #2.
My Dad and I took a lunch break and the sky afternoon became a lot more turbulent and interesting, which resulted in Photo #3. I finally had the three components for the image as I had Previsualized it.
Photo #4 is the result of merging the Boardwalk scene with the replacement sky (Photo #1 + Photo #3) The final result is Photo #5 where the Seagull was added to its perch on the top of the light pole..
All the photos were taken during a Photo expedition with my Dad, the Summer of 2003 while I was vacationing in New York.
Guest Author Art Skopec
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