How I Got Started with Glamour Compositing

Having dabbled in closeup photography of insects, landscape photography and of course portrait photography, I was ready to expand into something new. Every year, I would bring a portrait setup to the office Christmas party and shoot several rolls of film. With the advent of digital, it was now possible to do incredible post processing with images, and I wanted to try my hand. I purchased a green chromakey background and a copy of the keying software Primatte.

Oddly, it was one single photo that got my glamour compositing juices going. At the very next Christmas party, on December 2, 2006, I brought my new green background along with the standard black velvet. After some special pleading, I literally took my hesitant friend Anne by the hand and led her from her table to my makeshift studio. Because of her popularity at the office, she immediately drew a crowd of onlookers. She gave me a grand total of seven images before she declared she was done and abruptly walked off the set:

The seven images Anne gave me. 

The seven images Anne gave me. 

As you can see, she was goofing around in front of her friends in several of the shots. But that last one, #7, that one was golden… I was totally hooked. This singular image inspired me to not only learn glamour retouching, but also to learn ways of masking out the studio background.

An early result from image #7, using techniques and software I no longer use.

An early result from image #7, using techniques and software I no longer use.