MAKING OF MIDNIGHT
If you can't tell already, I am a big fan of Disney, fairytales and princesses. In 2018, I completed a 12 Days of Fairytales project over the Christmas period. You can view the entire project over on my Behance page. Midnight was my retelling of the famous Cinderella tale. Below, you can find the entire editing process for one of my favourite creations.
This was shot in the middle of December, and so I was left cold, soggy and muddy! But it was worth it to see the final composition come together! When working on a composition like this, I always make a shot list. For Midnight, I knew I would need to the following pictures: Cinderella (me) and the clock for the main composition, as well as extra dress, hair and background shots so I could expand the image in post-processing.
The first thing I had to do was expand my image into a square canvas, which is my preferred method of framing photos. I stitched together bits of the forest from the extra background photos taken, and used the clone stamp tool to fill in any areas that had been missed.
Of course, we then need the clock Cinderella is running away from! As the feet of the clock dug into the mud, I used a fluffy brush to paint some of the mud from the original clock photo back into my main composition. Doing this also helped me retain some of the original shadow under the actual prop, so I didn't need to create a fake one later in the process.
Do you remember those extra hair and dress shots from earlier? I always like to take lots of these because I feel bigger dresses and bigger hair enhances the fantasy feel, adding movement and realism to any photo. Cinderella is famous for her blue gown, so here I used the Hue & Saturation tool to change the colour. I used a mask, so only the gown would be affected by the adjustment layer.
Once the composing was finished, I moved onto my favourite phase – colour toning. I can spend hours playing with different adjustments layers, but for this piece I knew I wanted dark blue hues. I am a big fan of the colour toning actions from The Color Lab, and I will happily build stacks upon stacks of adjustment layers until I am happy with the result.
Next I will apply Dodge and Burn to my image. This allows me to emphasise the highlights and shadows already in the photo, whilst also giving me control over which parts I want to be brighter or darker. I also added in a burst of light from the top left-hand corner.
Now all that is left to do is make the final tweaks in Lightroom. I use Lightroom to tweak the photo's overall lighting by making my darks lighter or dimming the too bright whites. I also apply lens and orientation correction and a subtle vignette. Now we have one Cinderella themed composition!