(X-Post Photography and Landscapes)
Every so often the wife and I drive over the mountains to the village of Greyton for lunch. Whilst there, the background mountains and the dwellings both in Greyton and Genadendal often provide a good source of photographic scenery.
On a recent trip I took photos of some buildings in Boesmanskloof. Then we drove back down to the main road and headed towards Caledon. On the road we passed an interesting horse cart, which I decided to photograph. Unfortunately, the horse cart was on the tarred road, and the background was low hills with the large white roof of a storage building - not that good as a straight image.
In post-processing the vision was to use the image of the horse cart, but to set it upon a dirt road against a bluish mountain background. Looking for a suitable donor image I was actually surprised to find that I have taken very few mountain scenes that do not have some serious foreground centre of interest; and even less that have a dirt road going across the bottom. So we went for another drive in order to capture some such suitable images.
When I studied my newly acquired background images, I decided that I wasn't quite happy with what I had. So I changed my vision and reverted back to an earlier idea where I had envisaged putting the horse cart in front of one of the buildings photographed in Boesmanskloof. And so it was that these two raw files taken within 10 minutes of each other became the starting data for the final image.
The first task was to make a mask to isolate the horse and cart from its background. Another mask was made to isolate the shadow cast by the horse and cart. Separate masks are required for these, because two different processes are bound to be applied.
The image of the house was flipped horizontally. This improved the angle of the dirt road, but more importantly, it resulted in the angle of the sunlight matching that of the horse cart. (It is amazing how ones eyesight picks up wrong light angles - you might not be able to identify what the problem is, but you just sense that there is a problem here!)
The dirt road did not quite coincide with the angle of the horse cart. So a copy was cut out and stretched/distorted and toned/coloured to suit.
Some serious electrical wires and poles were cloned out of the scene.
After some colour/contrast adjustments the resulting image was processed in DAP (Dynamic Auto Painter) using the Golden Age Finer standard preset. The result was OK except that more detail was required for the horse and cart, and this could not easily be achieved on that image. So a copy of the background without the horse cart was run through DAP, and a new version of the horse cart was built by blending the earlier file and the "photographic" version. This horse cart was then pasted into the last DAP image.
The shadows were added to the road, and a fair amount of touch-up cloning was carried out.
regards - Peter