One photo.. 3 edits

This sometimes happens to me. I take a photo and when it comes to editing I realise that it can go in directions that I may not have initially intended. That realisation and this unexpectedness is what makes me love what I do so much. Personal work for me an outlet to be more experimental and playful. I had planned the image above. The images below I hadn't and in this case were happy accidents. All are mine and I wanted to share what happens occasionally.  

Scroll down to see a step by step instruction to how I created the image above ^^

I absolutely love the way the girl fades the closer she gets to the sky. So much so that I wanted to bring her closer.. 


Ok! Here we go. This is a step by step of the first image. I went back and took some screenshots to give you an idea as to how I work and my editing process for this particular image. I hope you find it useful and before we being I want to apologise for my incredibly artistic messy handwriting :)


Here's the original. I shot this with my 50mm f.18.

So the first thing I always do is create a square crop that would work for the composition I would like. 

Using the crop tool I extended the frame, in this case to continue the road til the corners..

Road extended, check. Adding the stool, to create the illusion of a floating stool I took a separate image holding it where I wanted it.  

As you can also see from the side there I work using layer masks instead of the erase tool. If there was one thing I couldn't work without in Photoshop it would be layer masks. I barely use the erase tool and this allows me to not only blend seamlessly but also to be able to correct any over enthusiastic erasing. 

I then duplicated the layer with the sitting girl and navigated her to where I wanted her so that both images make sense.

And that's it we're done! Haha :P

Another thing which I would recommend and in most cases I do this is to take an 'empty' photo. That way when it comes to adding and erasing elements it's A LOT easier. I actually didn't remember to grab this shot so had to make my own empty photo combining other photos that I took. Just shows that if you don't get it's not the end of the world. Instead of one minute it'll take you 5. 

So now I have the basic image but there's more..

The light was fading when I finally managed to light the smoke pellets. 

Blended into the scene using layer masks! 

New layer > Stamp visible (Cmd + Alt + Shift + E) > B/W

Combination of experimenting with curves, colour balance and brightness/contrast.

And that's about it! In total it took me a lot longer than it should have but I had fun learning and experimenting. 

I hope this helped! Let me know what you think.

 I don't mind sharing what I know and in turn if you have any suggestions for me that would be very welcome too ^_^