We Simplify The Technical!

Seasoned photographer Bernie Hynes joins us to talk about creative composites.

Bernie gives us great tips on making your composites look more authentic.

Shell Point Aerial View

Creative Photography Techniques 

Episode 107 with Bernie Hynes

“The best thing that ever happened to my photography was retirement.”

Creative Composites

  1. Start by coming up with a concept.  Browse the web for ideas: 
      Pinterest – search creative photography

        DaggerBay.com – look through contest entries on the “Effects Deck”

2.  Search for images to create your concept.
        Start with generic, free-to-download images or images from your own files.
        Create a general paste-up of your idea to see if the concept will work.

3.  Find your own images for the final creation. (Looking for something that you wouldn’t see in nature, like a dinosaur, a fairy or a spaceship? Even gift shops and toy stores have great pieces to work with!)

“When you’re out photographing, learn to see all of the possible pieces in a scene.”

Images for a Composite

  • Lighting needs to be consistent for each image within the collage.
  • Shoot all of the separate parts of the collage with the same lens.
  • Use the same focal length and angle of view for your subjects and the background.
  • Pay attention to the backgrounds.  Simpler backgrounds make it easier to select and remove your image.

“When I find a subject, I shoot it from every possible angle.”

  • Be a keyword fanatic.  Create files of images that are easy to locate when you need them.
  • Save some cut out images on a transparent layer for later use.

“One of the qualities of an image is it’s storytelling power.”

Tools and Techniques

  • Bernie creates all of his composites with PhotoShop.
  • A tablet is highly recommended.  (Bernie uses a Wacom)
  • Enlarge your image and use the pen tool to carefully outline down to the pixel level and select each piece for your final image.
  • Layer your images, mask and blend (Multiply is Bernie’s favorite blending tool.)

– Look at all of the different blending modes.  Dabble, play, and get creative!

  • Edit and Transform tools such as warp or skew can work for minor changes in angle or point of view.
  • All of the rules of composition still apply for composites.

“An authentic, believable looking composite is totally different than a more artistic and creative composite.”

Finding Bernie

Email – [email protected]

Flickr Album – Composites


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Ladies Only Trips:
Mt. Dora – December 5-7, 2018
Cuba – February 2 – 9, 2019

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Florida’s Forgotten Coast – May 13-17,  2019

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creative Painting with Light
Shattered portrait of woman
Old car in a field creative filters

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