Talk - The 'Art of Composite Photography' 09/06/21

Over 40 members witnessed another stunning Zoom evening, arranged by Sue Gibson, entitled: The 'Art of Composite Photography'' presented by Sharon (MFIAP, MPAGB, ARPS, FIPF, ABPE, EFIAP/p) and Robert Prenton Jones (EFIAP/p BPE5, AWPF)

Both presenters were very generous and open with the tips they gave to members throughout the evening and made it clear that their philosophy was to share the knowledge they had acquired through their work.

Robert batted first and gave a detailed account of the tricks of the trade he deployed in the creation of his master pieces e.g., hidden light sources, lighting techniques inspired by classical artists such as Rembrandt and Vermeer.

Sharon, who only took up photography in 2012, also told us about past Welsh and Irish Celtic myths and legends that inspired her magnificent creative composites. Sharon too, took us though examples of her compositing techniques, live, from start to finish.

For a real appreciation of the evening’s content, you must watch the recording downloadable from the Members’ area on the club’s website when it becomes available. However, from notes made during the meeting here is a list of some of the tips from Robert. 1. It is the artists job to direct the viewer’s gaze. 2. The composition must tell a story, all the elements must be compatible with the story. 3. The direction of the light falling on the elements of the composite must come from the same direction. 4. Paint faces brighter than the light source. 5. If the dark side of a subject’s face is to be partially illuminated the light must come from a believable source. 6. Use a big light source near the face for soft lighting. 7. The secret of soft lighting lies in the diffusion of the light from the source 8. Light sources can be occluded in the composited scene. 9. Don’t let the environment catch the eye and become a distraction. 10. Shoot windows from a shallow angle to avoid the scene beyond the window being a distraction. 11. Shoot your models from a variety of angles. 12. Apertures in the range f8-f11 usually induce fewer optical errors. 13. The black on black technique: When creating a composite it is easier to blend foregrounds and backgrounds if both have black backgrounds