How to Add Mood and Style to a Composite

Colin Anderson is a composite photographer from Australia whose work is super stylistic and conceptual. He has worked with many large companies including Adobe, the Discovery Channel, and IBM.

He is also on my list of top composite artists, which is why you should all be happy that we have a full-length tutorial from the master himself on YouTube.

Follow along as Anderson shows us how he created one of his more complicated composites, including planes and a female heroine. We start with instructions on how to create the background first with the use of various images. By mixing a sunset at sea and some concrete, we get a dynamic background for the model. To create more interest in the background Anderson adds crashed planes he created by using toy models. If learning how to create real smoke is your thing, then you will not be let down when Anderson shows us how to use stock photos and extract the smoke into your image. Very cool.

Anderson finishes the tutorial by guiding us through his techniques of how to create the mood and style of the image using color and adjustment layers, including the use of sun flare. If you like this tutorial, then make sure you check out the second part in which he shows us how to add damage to the plane.

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2 Comments

David Love's picture

Problems I see, shadows are too soft for such harsh sun, things in background would be more out of focus, the outline of the plane should be softened so it doesn't look like a cut out and the smoke tone is off. The problem with building from stock pics is they are already processed and most people don't bother trying to match the lighting from the pics they bought or stole off the web. And depth is usually ignored.

Clinton Lofthouse's picture

This is isn't the finished image. And I would check out his website because Colin's work is great.