Creating a pre-visualized image. (What my mind saw)


In creating the image I had in mind, I would need several photographs. To really get what I wanted, it was not possible to shoot one image and have it come out the way I saw it in my mind. Timing, available crew, restaurant policies etc. played a part in how this image had to be created. I took five basic images I knew I would need: sky, pavement, car, car’s undercarriage and the horizon reflection in the body of the car. Along with a few adjustment layers (color balance and levels) I got the shot I pre-visualized.

I started with capturing the horizon reflection in the car (a half hour before sun set) and then the sky I wanted (just after sunset). Moving on we set about lighting the car, building and truck behind the car which took some time to get it where I liked it.

To create the image I wanted, I took the base shot of the car then added the other Images to it by copying and pasting as layers. Using the pen tool I outlined the necessary areas of each layer/image and deleted the rest of that layer/image so the different layers would show through.


This is the base image I chose

I used this image because it is lit the way I wanted the car, truck and building to be lit. You can see in the reflection on the side of the car my assistants. He needed to be there to hold up the boom which you can see in the upper right hand corner of the image. The boom is lighting the car from above, illuminating the rooftop and hood of the car. There are three other lights also:  two on the right side and one on the front of the car.

I started by retouching the obvious parking signs behind the car, some of the light reflections on the building and taking out the yellow umbrellas and a street light.


The next step was adding the Pavement. This was done for a smooth normal looking pavement. As you can see from above the lighting of the car casts lots of reflections.


A few adjustment layers (color balance and levels) to the pavement made it look believable.


Moving on, I worked on the reflection in the side of the car, darkening the truck and retouching the remaining signs as well as adding the undercarriage. The reflection was added by simply placing the reflection layer behind the main layer  and using the eraser tool on low opacity to remove the front layer in the areas I saw fit.


Finally it was time to add the sky and tweak the layers for a final image.

I hope you have enjoyed this little bit of insight into how I created this image.

Stop back from time to time as I demonstrate with other shots how I create my Imagery.

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