Our current Fstoppers Photographer of the Month, Felix Hernandez, recently shared a simple and easy, but highly effective technique for compositing objects into different images and transferring textures and shadows along with them.
If you haven't yet checked out Hernandez's work on Fstoppers, I highly recommend taking a look at his profile here. His composite work shows a strong technical mastery and highly creative eye for storytelling, while his methods are often quite clever, as is the one below. Flour is an interesting substance; it's of uniform color, and it's relatively dense and will fracture easily without falling apart immediately, making it ideal for creating images of objects "breaking into" materials. For example, in the image below, Hernandez wanted a coffee mug that had broken a road surface.
After shooting the mug in the flour, he took the image and placed it in its own layer above the road. He then switched the blending mode of the top layer to "Multiply" and simply masked out areas in which he didn't want the texture and shadows to transfer. Here is the result:
Here's another image composited using the same shot from above.
The technique also works well for transferring any texture; one needn't shoot in flour first.
For more of Hernandez's work, be sure to check out his site, Facebook page, and Instagram! Also, be sure to use the Fstoppers community, where you can meet great photographers like Hernandez, share your work, and interact with Fstoppers writers.
All images used with permission of Felix Hernandez.