Fallen Angel – Work Process

I really love creating composites in Photoshop which is the sole reason I purchased a course, to learn more about compositing and making it seem realistic. I wanted to try something really different from the previous image I posted, I had an image in mind that I wanted to use and I knew that I wanted to add a skirt and new background to the image.

My next question was do I re-shoot using the same skirt or do I add in something new, I choose to use some images I had shot for my previous concept.


Fallen Angel – Work Process – Before and After by Erin Applebee

The concept that inspired this image was one of my very first composite images that I did many years ago and while it looked really amateur at the time the concept stuck with me and I wanted to do an image inspired by it.

My original concept idea was a fallen angel on desert background with fire, I took the idea of a fallen angel with dark wings as I had in my original concept and went with it.


Fallen Angel – Work Process by Erin Applebee

One of the reason I wanted to reuse some of those fabric shots was so that I could try my hand at changing up the colour. I blended the fabric together using the same technique as in my previous experimental image and then used replace colour to change up the colour of the dress, its a great tool for this because it looks more realistic than using a filter.

I used the lasso tool and simply feathered using refine edge and creating new curve layers to help make realistic shadows in the skirt.


Fallen Angel – Work Process by Erin Applebee

Here I started adding in the background which was taken at sunset at a beach location an hour or so away from where I live. I took this image a long time ago but I thought it would work for this experiment as it was a dark image and had some interesting elements.

I felt like it being sharp was distracting and looked unrealistic so I played around with blurring elements of the image. I also wanted to blend elements together so I used the heal brush to blend the edges of the skirt, to give it a soft look.


Fallen Angel by Erin Applebee

In this final image I did extra blending and blurring to the background and finished up the image by adding some tonal elements, as well as adding texture.

One great thing I have learnt through these processes is to make sure that you can go back in your process, I love to create folders for my layers so that I can easily go back and review my previous steps, especially because I will flatten layers so I make sure that I have a duplicate with all my previous steps un-flattened. I flatten my layers so that I can more easily create a blended look for example with the skirt in this image I can then use things like the heal brush to help blend the fabric even more.

I’ve also learnt to use curves in different ways to create a dodge and burn look without being destructive to the image.

I just wanted to add that the textures I’ve been using on this image and Regal Red were from Brooke Shaden’s Promoting Passion website, she has quite a few on there which are great for practicing like this. One of my goals for this year is to take my own stock image including textures, I love the way a texture totally changes the look of an image.

There is a great video on Creative Live on taking your own textures and it was very eye opening and inspiring, it has definitely made me think about taking my own.

I love sharing these work processes it helps me reflect on my own work which is important to see where I can improve. Coming back to this image now I can see where I could improve and how I could have done things differently, for example the lighting on the arm was giving me a lot of trouble, I just couldn’t get it right and creating realistic shadows between the skirt and corset was also a problem, so I can see that these are both areas that I could improve on in the future.

I hope you enjoyed this, do you have any work processing videos or blogs that you would recommend, I love learning and improving so I’m always interested in check out the way other people work and how I could use different techniques to improve my work.

Erin xoxo


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