Fantasy Angel – A first attempt at photo compositing


Composite Angel © stephen cotterell photography  12901

This image is my first attempt at a Fantasy Photo Composite. My intention was to create something, beautiful, otherworldly and curious looking.

To get here took a lot of time and effort. (Many hours were spent on learning, experimenting, selecting, editing and adjusting the components).

It started a few months ago with a post on my facebook page saying that I had been inspired by a fantasy woodland image and idly wondered if anyone would like to model for me.

Elena kindly stepped forward and I travelled to Hove on the English south coast to chat about the project and create some starter images for the composition.

At the time I was thinking that there could be three different images for this project; 1) Woodland Nymph, 2) Angel and 3) Mermaid.

Obviously as this is my first attempt at an Angel photo composite and I can only plan for better results next time.


p.s geeks like me might be curious what went on behind the scenes in my digital darkroom …..

…. four of my photographs (three from my extensive archive) were combined in PS after carefully creating cut-outs of Elena, the wings and body armour. The armour was contoured on to Elena’s torso using Photoshop’s displacement map function. It was important to match colours and lighting so I created a series of layers and masks to “fix” each colour and lighting element. Just before I finalised the digital darkroom work I felt that the picture was too perfect so I added motion blur to the wings, arms and torso to create a not-quite-perfect look that would support the fantasy feel.

If it were not for the likes of Glyn Dewis, Aaron Nace and others who really understand the intricacies of compositing with Photoshop then I would not have even attempted this photo piece.

p.p.s. If you would like to experience your own fantasy photo composite, simply get in touch now

Thank you

stephen cotterell photography
07990 525 814
020 8549 3693

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  • Sarah Kiwan Kingv cool Stephen Cotterell xReplyCancel

  • Maggi Marmionthis is amazing! would love to see you do the transformation in PS ! 🙂ReplyCancel