While taking images of a model and basically doing some freeform posing I captured an image that immediately struck me as something special. Seeing it on the back of the camera I was excited to see it on the big screen for editing.
Jojo Cottle was my enthusiastic model a few weeks ago and I mentioned to her I had an idea for this specific image. I have been moving more and more into composites and this was a perfect chance to do one.
The original image and the first edit are below: (click on an image to view larger size)
The first process is to extract the subject (Jojo) and the wings out of the background. From there I place each on its own layer in Photoshop. Next I used a selection tool to select each wing separately and move them to their own layers. Now I have two separate wings, left and right, as well as my angel on a transparent background.
Moving the wings in to place behind here, I then used the transform tool to allow me to warp the wings a bit to get a new and unique look. I duplicated each wing layer and applied a shadow and blur filter to each of these new layers. Moving them to be behind each respective wing, I adjusted their position to be slightly down and to the right so they would show. I repeated this with Jojo so she looked a bit more 3 dimensional.
Adding a white background layer behind it all got me close to the look I wanted. Now to add a clouds and blur/glow effect. A new layer was created as a composite of all the previous layers. On this one I use the Clouds filter on top of it. I expanded that cloud layer larger an beyond the image boarders. This made the clouds softer and larger. Duplicating this cloud layer I move the clouds again. Adjusting the blending mode to Soft Light and adjusting the opacity of each down to until I liked it.
Finally I took the image out into NIK Software Color Efex Pro to add some blur and glow to the image. Back in Photoshop I added a mask to this new layer and painted out some of the blur an unwanted stuff on her face. I actually had been doing this all along the process as not to lose the great eyes and look.
A few passes with a lighten and darken brush layer and I was now ready to flatten all the layers into one image. Below is the result. The Etheric Angel I envisioned weeks ago.
Click to view larger image:
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