Answer: a beauty portrait where elements have been added. What follows is an example of how one is made. First, we need a portrait. Here is an image of my friend Charissa:
The above image has been retouched. Believe me when I say this was a very short process - Charissa is one of the most beautiful women I have ever met. A green seamless background was used in conjunction with studio flash units. Our goal is to place her in front of an interesting background. The next step then is to mask out the green as best we can:
We need an interesting background. Perhaps this image of Skopelos Island in Greece
Instead of using this, let's take four more images at different exposures and create a high dynamic range (HDR) image:
Getting interesting, but that sky is terrible! The obvious solution is to mask out this sky and look for something better. Here is the masked sky image:
Here is a shot of a dawn sky from Skiathos Island, Greece:
Perhaps a five-shot HDR version of this scene would be more interesting:
The problem is that the camera was pointed up for this, but the sky we need for the Skopelos image is far out over the horizon. The simple solution is to compress the sky vertically:
When the Skopelos image is placed over the Skiathos sky image, we get the background.
Charissa must now be placed into the image:
After adjusting the color of light on Charissa to make it look a bit more like she belongs in the scene, plus vignetting, we get a glamour composite of three images:
The danger with this kind of glamour composite is that the somewhat surreal background can sometimes distract our eye from the model. Moreover, many people despise the look of HDR images. As for me, I enjoy images that are colorful and interesting - images that are nearly impossible achieve any other way.