Sometimes it is fun to put two images together to make one super-cool image. For example, on Canada Day this year I thought it would make a great image to show the fireworks going off above the infamous Empress Hotel in the Inner Harbour. However this is an impossible image because if you are located in a position where the fireworks would be above the hotel, the hotel is too far in the background. Since there is a marina there, the fireworks are actually set off quite far away.
First I took a great shot of the hotel at twilight, before the fireworks started. I waited for the light on the hotel to go on, but didn’t wait so long that the sky was too dark. I wanted that cobalt blue colour.
Then I took a shot of the fireworks. I set up my camera for a very long exposure and used a black card to place in front of the lens. Then when the fireworks started I removed the card. This allowed me to get multiple fireworks on the same image.
Now the fun begins. Here are the steps to make the composite in photoshop:
1. The twilight image of the empress hotel was taken with a long shutter speed. I enhanced the sharpness and the contrast slightly in PS.
2. Then I selected the whole image and moved it down in the frame so there would be room at the top for the fireworks. Before moving the image, I choose a background colour that was a close to the sky as possible. This took a few attempts but there was still a visible line across the photo.
3. I selected the sky (including the new background colour at the top of the photo) and add a gausian blur so the line was no longer visible.
4. I added a new blank layer.
5. In the fireworks image, I erased the bright blast in the lower left.
6. I selected all of the black and then selected inverse so only the fireworks themselves were selected.
7. I pasted the fireworks into the new layer on the empress hotel image.
8. I changed the blend mode on the fireworks layer from “normal” to “lighten”.
This is the end result:
I hope you enjoyed the tutorial. Please leave a comment and let me know!