Building an Image: “Memories” deconstructed

Memories
Memories

Here is “Memories”, deconstructed. I hope you enjoy.

First I selected my foreground and background images. Originally I was intending to use a level cracked earth for this one, but it didn’t work with the back ground I had chosen. Images can evolve depending on what I happen to have in stock!

Foreground image was taken at Boscastle in Cornwall.
Background
The background is a winter scene of late light over the Saddleworth valley. The colours don’t quite match yet, but I can sort that as I go along. Colours can undergo several changes before the image is finished.
Hair and face and shading
I’ve added in some light rays radiating from the setting sun plus my main subject (Rachel of course) and started to bring them all together with some shading. At the moment I’ve made the foreground too dark. I don’t like the bright areas to the right of the model, which are a bit dominant and I don’t like the colours.
Mist
Graves and more mist were added to build a story and fill in the bright areas. I removed the bright water reflection. Other parts of the image were gradually refined using adjustment layers and layer masks and bits of cloning on separate layers.
Memories
As the model’s back is to the sun, we’ll need to suspend disbelief and imagine a second light source has been used off to the front right. Some more light and shading was added to the face and dress and a faint orange glow added around the figure (which is hard to see at this size).
Layers
…and finally, the layers. I don’t usually make so many layers in an image, but I did a lot of very small refinements to this one before it was “finished”. As you see, I don’t have a good discipline of naming my layers, which I always used to do. I also have trouble deciding when an image is finished and have settled on the idea that it’s when I don’t want to do any more to it!
© Christine Widdall