So, the rain hasn’t actually stopped here yet, so I have to use Photoshop for the first episode of my Up Above tree house story. I’m hoping I’ll still get one or two good days before Friday for a few of the shots, but I’m starting out just fiddling around with Photoshop to get my fake outdoors shots.
Here’s the picture I’m fiddling with:
It’s the two sisters starting to sketch out the design of their tree house.
The accessories – blue blanket, notebook, ruler, and pencil – are all courtesy of Our Generation dolls. That’s Amy nearest the camera – I’ve changed her wig to blond with braids – and that’s her little sister Strawberry behind her.
I started out with this photo:
Because, apparently, I can’t be bothered cleaning off my surfaces before I take photo. I paid for my sloppiness in a lot of extra time getting rid of extraneous elements. Note to self, don’t place white paper on a white surface and expect Photoshop to be able to figure out where the paper ends and the surface begins.
I added it to a free stock photo (from Pexels) of trees in a grassy expanse.
I did very little to the background photo, other than blurring it slightly and upping the midtones. On the layer with the girls, I softened the edges around their hair with a little bit of light erasing and a tiny bit of blurring.
The most significant change I made, though, was one of the simplest. With the background layer selected, I chose the Burn tool, and then I drew a shadow on the background beside their blanket, their book, and under Strawberry’s hair. It was a tiny change, but it made a huge difference – the shadow makes it look as if they’re resting within the background, instead of existing in an unrelated layer.
I know there’s more I can do with feathering (again, especially around their hair, particularly the crown of Strawberry’s head) to soften the edges between the two images, but that’s another lesson for another day. For this day, I’m happy with the result for a small investment of time.