I accompanied three more photographers to see the start of the Edinburgh festival this year. Our favourite location during the Festival is the Royal Mile, a main street in the old part of the city that runs from Holyrood Palace up to the Castle. During Festival month it is populated with street artists and groups of actors from the Fringe shows, all eager to tell you about their performance and to put a leaflet in your hands. I found carrying the leaflets round a bit problematic, so instead I photographed the ones I was interested in! A couple of us spent some time poking around the old alleys and graveyards, looking for backgrounds for our images, because, although the street provided lots of opportunities for photographing the artists, it was very difficult to exclude unwanted backgrounds and other photographers, many of whom seemed to be huddled together playing a game of “sardines” in the cobbled streets. Backgrounds would need to be replaced!
It was a couple of weeks before I even had time to evaluate what I had taken. Choosing images to work on can be time consuming, so I marked up the ones I was interested in as I went along, using Lightroom and chose a couple of pictures that I had ideas for. Here’s the result.
The first (above) is called “The Dawn of Knowledge. I thought the girl looked rather “classical” in her pose. She was actually holding a bunch of adverts for her show, so they had to be cloned out. The up-stretched hand needed to be holding something like a flaming torch and I knew I had just the thing! On the first evening, we had photographed a Scottish piper and, every now and then, flames shot up from the ends of his bagpipes…I had to use about three separate flames to create the shape of flame I wanted, emulating a torch blowing in the wind. The girl’s hair provided a challenge to separate from its original background, but after doing that, the rest of the cut-out was easy. I’ve never been to Rome or Greece, so didn’t have the hilltop background I was looking for…then I remembered some medieval hill towns in France and that would have to be OK. Although taken in the daytime, I would need to convert them to dawn…lucky I had a couple of dawn skies (since I doin’t do early, they don’t come naturally!). I then created the lighting I wanted and there we are. Simples!
The second picture (The Proposal) was less easy. I’ve so far had two attempts at this one…first choosing a rather colourful sundown background but later going for a more neutral background to complement the heather colours in the foreground. Adding a little subtle mist effect helps me to reduce the background contrast to better isolate the figures. I’m much happier with it now, until I decide it needs yet another tweak!