When I was teaching on creativeLIVE I shot a boat in the studio. We couldn’t turn all the lights off in the studio so the subject and boat had a lot of unwanted light on her, and I was a bit confused in editing about what to do with the shot. It is neat on one hand to have a boat in an indoor space. But, I thought, since I’m not totally happy with the setting or the light, I might as well change it to something I do like!
This revelation didn’t come until 6 months later (as in, a couple days ago) when I was looking through some stock shots I had taken and was struck by a picture of the ocean. It had beautiful light on it, and I could see the light matching the studio setup. I went to work dropping her into the setting, which took some jigging. I had to match the light correctly in the sky, making sure to choose a cloud photo (or in this case, two photos) that would accurately act as motivated light for the scene.
After that, I had to blend the boat into the ocean, which proved to be the easiest bit of the editing process. I did a lot of work to the ocean and clouds to create really dynamic light by using curves to adjust contrast in select portions of the image. I felt instantly that the scene needed a cool hue over it to show the near-nighttime colors and storminess of nature.
Finally I added a texture, as I so often do, and these two textures are from my “Textures of White Hill Mansion” set.
It was so satisfying to finally see this picture come to life in a way that it had not been intended. I had always thought I’d keep it in the studio. But the time came where I could either throw it in the trash, or do something with it, and I was fond enough of it to set out on an editing journey.
I don’t usually like to create like that, but if an image isn’t working, who says you can’t breathe new life into it. I chose the elements I did based on themes that I love – dealing with the open sea, starting a treacherous journey, and finding beauty in a dark situation. I hope you enjoy the resulting adventure.