Fush The Clown
This is ‘Flash Composite #4’, my fourth attempt at this type of image, inspired by the work of Joel Grimes (http://www.joelgrimes.com/Artist.asp?ArtistID=12191&Akey=P7FJP8B4
The subject is my brother Frank in a clown outfit made for him by my sister, Joanne. Frank use the name ‘Fush’ because that is what I called him when I was very, very young and could not pronounce his name correctly. The name stuck. Until a couple of years ago, Fush the Clown would suit-up and visit seniors homes and bring a bit of cheer to those unable to get out much, or at all. Unfortunately, in the past few years there has been a significant upsurge in scary clowns and seniors home are now reluctant to have him and other such volunteers visit in case they might frighten one of the residents. Pretty sad really.
The image is a composite of two images. The foreground is of Fush the Clown shot in a two-flash/softbox (with diffusers) strobist setup overlaid on an image taken back in September 2012 at the Winona, Ontario Peach Festival (on my D5000). The learning continues as this is the first of a series featuring Fush in various composite strobist images. - JW
Date Taken: Figure: 2017-01-13, Background 2012-08-11
This is a composite of two images taken at different times and in different places.
The background image details: the image was taken using a hand-held Nikon D5000 fitted with a Nikkor 12-24mm lense set to 12mm, ISO1000, Auto WB, Aperture priority mode, f/4.0, 1/320 sec. PP in free Open Source RAWTherapee from a jpeg source file: scale image to 9000x6000, brighten exposure about ½ stop, slightly boost contrast and significantly boost Chromaticity both in L-A-B mode, boost vibrance, sharpen, save.
The foreground image: The image of the clown was taken using a hand-held Nikon D7100 fitted with a Nikkor 35mm f/1.8 DX lense, ISO100, Auto WB, Manual mode, f/7.1, 1/200 sec.
Strobist Info: Two 47 inch octagonal softboxes fitted with diffusers, one camera left and the other camera right, facing straight across directly at each other, radio triggered flash units, white background, softboxes set so faces were parallel to the axis of the line between the lense and the subject and each about 4 feet off axis, large white reflector held below camera view to fill in deeper shadows.
PP in free open source RAWTherapee from Nikon RAW/NEF source file: crop off extraneous detail from the left and right edges of the frame, scale image up to 6000 pixels high (to match the vertical dimension of the background image), set exposure to very slightly brighter than as shot, slightly increase contrast, enable shadows-highlights and recover maximum highlight detail (no shadow recovery), boost contrast and Chromaticity slightly in L-A-B mode, sharpen, save. PP in free Open Source GIMP: load both images, background on bottom and clown on top, create mask to isolate clown from background, use selection tools as far as practical and then manually clean up edges with soft-edged eraser tool on mask, add a transparent layer above the clown and use a very large soft brush at about 35% opacity to brugh in some deeper shadows along the right and bottom of the clown, sharpen, create new working layer from visible result, sharpen, save, scale to 6000 wide, add fine black and white frame, add bar and text on left, save, scale image to 1800 wide for posting, sharpen slightly, save.
Note: This is a very simplified description of the process. The cutout effort is improving but is still time consuming.