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The Matching Game

Unless you’re deliberately creating a fantasy image that is supposed to have a surrealistic look, you’ll always want the portions of your images that you are combining to match as closely as possible. Mismatches of lighting, texture, perspective, or any of a dozen other factors is a dead giveaway that an image is a composite. Although it’s unlikely that you’ll learn to create an image that will fool a forensic scientist, you can still create composites that are believable on first glance, second glance, or even close study by a lay person. This next section outlines some of the things to keep in mind when attempting to match image components. I’ll expand on most of these in later chapters, but it doesn’t hurt to give each of them some thought now.

Matching Lighting

With some interesting exceptions, most of the images we see are illuminated primarily from a single light source. Outdoors, that light may be from the sun or, at night, from the moon or some outdoor lighting fixture. Those light sources provide what photographers call the main light. There are almost never two main lights (that is, two light sources that are equal). You’ll see these at times in low-budget movies (the ones in which there are two strong shadows falling in different directions behind each person in the shot), or in some amateur photos.


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