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Compositing

Compositing is no longer the exclusive domain of million-dollar advertising campaigns and supermarket tabloids. Those who want to combine several products into an exotic collage, or show Tony Blair shaking hands with a space alien, can now do it on their own. If you want to mock up a photo that seems to imply that you drove the family car to Samoa, the task is within your reach. Or, perhaps your goals are less lofty: all you want to do is excise that clod of an ex-brother-in-law from the family reunion snapshot. Compositing is the key. You can perform this magic in minutes using an image editor. Photographic masters of the past had to spend hours double-exposing images in the camera, or toil for days to meld negatives, transparencies, or prints. Today, the chore takes only a few minutes, as you can see in Figure 1.6, taken from my book Digital Retouching and Compositing: Photographers’ Guide. It shows a castle on a cliff overlooking the sea. The castle, cliff, and clouds are from three different photos, yet on first glance, the composite is fairly convincing.

Figure 1.6. This image combines three photos into one composite.



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