I can't quite believe it's Christmas... again! I'm sure with each passing year time seems to fly by quicker than the one before. Anyhow... because the weather has been a tad awful I decided to do a semi indoor/outdoor project. The week before I was walking past a charity shop and spotted a couple of nautical themed objects.. BOATS!
I've not done that much in the way of water based compositing so it was a chance to practice. I didn't know how this composite would turn out, but as long as I learned something from the challenge, which I did!
I used a deep tray lined with black fabric and filled it with water. Using the black fabric will help change the colour of the water and make compositing easier later on. I sprayed the boat with water to make it wet. The idea behind this is to add visual elements/clues that the ship has been in a storm.
The battery in my remote trigger had ran out... annoying! So I asked my other half to act as chief grip. The boat was shot at different angles and with different interactions with the water i.e. calm vs. choppy waves. The final composite of the boat was made from two shots so I could mask out the hands that held the boat in place.
The light wasn't great so I had to push my ISO up to 800 while my f/stop was at 7.1, even with these settings I only just had enough depth of field. In the final composite I first put the boat together then dropped it into my background plate. Originally I was going to do one of those split views where you can see what's under the water. But for the plate and shots I was working with I just couldn't get it to work. Something for next time!
I masked out the water beneath the boat, put my flow down to 1 percent and blended the background plate and the boat together. Talking of masking, I have to say masking out the areas around the netting of the boat was very time consuming. I think I might try and use a green screen next time and see if I can get a cleaner mask.
To enhance the lights on the top of the boat and the port holes I made the scene darker to give a night time/stormy feel. Because I was working with the actual reflection of the boat I could easily add the lights there was well. To enhance shadow and lighting around the boat I used dodging and burning.
When I released the image the feedback I got was quite interesting. One person felt that I should have used a real boat to add to the realism. A few weren't sure if the image was actually a composite, quite a few didn't' like the cropping and one felt I was making the image too dark to hide mistakes. One point that was made that I agree with was about the difference in water texture/tension between that of the boat and the sea in the background plate. I'd certainly agree that there is a disconnect there and would work better if the water around the boat was more rough. I was pleased that people took the time to look at my work but also to write back with their comments.