The Crusader

September 23, 2010 Comments Off on The Crusader

At the end of August I went to the Sheffield Fair, an event run over the bank holiday where lots of re-enactors put on displays of historic battles and drills from various periods of history.  These events are always good for a few portrait shots and by and large if you have a chat with the guys they will gladly pose for you.  I try to get a contact name and email from them if I can, then send them a copy of any images which turn out to be reasonable.  That way we both get something out of it.

Anyway, having been up to Dumfries and photographed Caerlaverock Castle I had the idea of combining this with some of the characters performing at Sheffield.  One group were representing Norman Knights over four centuries and it was one of these which caught my eye.  In order to make the final compilation image work I had to ensure that the light came from the same direction and was something I could work with in photoshop. I quickly checked the castle image on my iPhone, logging into my online flikr account and worked out where I needed to be positioned to take a compatible shot of the knight.  In actual fact I couldn’t get the angle I wanted, so had to think about reversing the light direction and flipping the image in photoshop.  It is actually quite easy to visualise your image when you have the iPhone and access to your stock images on-line.

Here is one of the series of original images of the knight. Yoy can see I’ve also tried to isolate him from any complex background, making it easy to extract him and place him alongside my castle.

Doesn’t look too promising does it?   Well, with a little bit of photoshop magic, and a good few hours playing around with it I think I finally came up with a workable result.  First I prepared the castle image by blurring the image, replicating the effect of a shallow depth of field. Next I placed the image of the knight on a second layer and flipped him to suit the lighting conditions. (The one I used was a slightly different angled original to the thumbnail above). After that it was a case of making the colour of the light match using adjustment layers and tones.

So here is the result …. I’ve called it ‘The Crusader’ and I’ve given it its first run out in competition in the Guernsey Open Exhibition. Lets see what the judges think.

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