Jul 28, 2008

Head Swapping

It's been a full week with my surgery and a sick baby on our hands. We've taken a break from photo shoots for the time being. However, we wanted to post a little about some of the work Jacob has done in his Special Edits work including head swapping. It's a little trick photographers use in post processing to get all the faces looking right. It takes some work, but the results are very nice.

First, you have to have two (or more) photos that you can use to form the composite. That's why I often take several shots of the same pose when I do group portraits (like this shot from a kids photo shoot earlier this summer). Obviously, the goal is to make sure all the people are looking at the camera and smiling at the same time without any help from photo editing. But when that doesn't work, I try to get at least a nice shot of each person looking and smiling at the camera in the same pose so we can "head swap" if we need to.

Here are the two photos Jacob used to create the composite above:

Good expressions on both of the little ones' faces, but not so good on the two oldest

Pleasant smiles on the two oldest, but "deer-in-the-headlights" look on the two youngest

Next, Jacob finds a place where he can swap one part of the image out for the other. Sometimes, head swapping is as easy as taking a head from one photo and putting it over the other photo, then blending the background to match. In this case, Jacob had to swap out whole bodies, so here's how he ended up editing these originals.

Put the two jigsaw pieces together and ta-da! After all that work, we had fun playing around a little with the color levels and added a bit of a vignette to the one at the top of the post. But the full color one below looks just as good, and hopefully doesn't draw any attention to the photo editing that was done to it.

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