Everyone has heard of Photoshop. I started using it in school in 1990 – version 2. Little did I know that my world of photography with film and my fabulous chemical darkroom containing potassium ferricyanide + many more gnarly chemicals (don’t worry dad, I always wore a chemical respirator mask), would now be replaced with stupidly expensive digital cameras, a massive Mac tower computer with three drive in it, two 30″ Apple monitors (which are no longer made by the way, and the closest to them that I can find are made by Eizo for a whopping $3000 each! and that’s for a 27″ not a 30″, lord help me when my monitors die!) and a large format printer (epson preferred) + Photoshop being used every day.
The way we shoot commercially has totally changed. In the days of film we had to get the shot as perfect as we could. Now, the saying, “oh, we’ll fix it in post” is unfortunately the answer to everything. That being said, shooting digitally now can also enable us to create shots that were soooo difficult in the days of film but much easier now knowing we will “finish it in post”.
Here is an example. This finished shot seems simple enough, right? You slap a biscuit on the white table and start pouring honey on it and just get a great shot.
Sorry, that is not how this happened. This shot is actually a composite of four images. These four images where the selects (favorite images of 103 shots) that I shot in about 1 hour. You can see the “selects” below.
The image on the left is my base image – I’m using the biscuit and all the honey that’s on it. Then with the image on the right the only thing I am using is the big drip on the left. You can see this is actually a different biscuit.
The shot on the left was only used for the beautiful honey base as it hit the biscuit. The shot on the right was only used for the honey column as it poured over the biscuit. Notice the lovely honey pond surrounding the biscuit. I think we went through 5 large bottles of honey that day. Each bottle was put into the squeeze bottle on the left and we had to cut the nib of the bottle to get the size of the column we wanted.
I put all of these together with Photoshop using layer masks and stacking the layers in the image and erasing away the parts I did not want. This is an advance technique but there are tons of tutorials about it online if you google it. I probably spent about 1 hour putting the four files together.
So if you are trying to do a shot like this on your own and are struggling with it, please know, the way they do it is with multiple shots pieced together to look seamless, as if its one shot.