Week 32 of the 52 Week Challenge: “Photo Compositing”

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My photography challenge this week was Photo Compositing. I chose this topic because wanted to experiment with photos from my Zapdos cosplay photo shoot and also try out a few techniques from a Photoshop course I’m currently taking. Photo compositing is a cool technique that involves combining elements from multiple photos into a single photograph.

In the photos below, a photograph of lightning and a photograph of cosplay model Winter from Winterlights Cosplay were combined into a single photo. Some of you might be wondering why I would choose to combine those particular photos! The answer has to do with enhancing the story being told by the photograph. In photography we often want to tell a story with our photos. This is especially true of cosplay photography, where the scenery, mood, etc. can often enhance the story of the character. In this case, Winter’s costume is an interpretation of the Pokemon character Zapdos. Zapdos is a large yellow bird that is able to control electricity and often lives in thunderclouds. So having a thunderstorm in the background really enhances the story of the Pokemon character Zapdos.

Some of my favourite shots are below:



A few tips from this week’s challenge:


Finding Photos to Enhance Your Main Photograph

If you don’t have the photos you are looking to add to your main photograph, you might be able to find them at free photo sites such as Pixabay. I found several fantastic lightning photos from that site that I am able to use. Make sure whichever site you choose has royalty free photos that you can use. And even though they are royalty free, it is still a nice gesture to credit the photographers whose photos you used. A special thanks to Oimheidi for posting amazing free lightning photos for public use.


My go-to program for editing is usually Lightroom. I find that it is a lot more intuitive and easy to use compared to Photoshop. However, you really need a brilliant program like Photoshop if you would like to combine photos together. I have included two photos below that I combined so that you can see the original photos as well as the finished project. 


Photoshop is one of those programs where you either need to watch countless YouTube videos or take a course (or several of them) to understand it. One of my favourite is Sebastian Michael’s Photoshop Artistry Fine Art Grunge Composition. I really like the gritty artistic tone of it, and its focus on teaching Photoshop techniques that let you shine as an artist. They also have a supportive Facebook community which is useful for getting feedback and encouragement. I am still in the early modules and can’t wait to see what I will be able to accomplish by the time I’m finished 🙂


The only way to really get good at using Photoshop is to practice, practice, practice! Get to know the program so well that you don’t need to think about the technical details of how to use it. When you get to that stage Photoshop becomes second nature, allowing you to focus on the art itself rather than on how to accomplish a particular effect. I haven’t gotten anywhere near that stage yet lol. 


Photoshop can be quite frustrating when you are first starting to learn it. Take a deep breath, and try it again. And also take a course.  And check out Youtube 😉 I still find that I accidentally hit a keyboard command and then have no idea how to undo what I did! But if you have patience, you can create some really interesting art 🙂


Have fun with your photo compositing!


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