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Oh boy, this was a tough one! I tried to force myself to stop working on it when I hit day 5 or 6 but I was just so unhappy with the results I went back and spent a few more days on it lol! I was planning on doing a detailed breakdown with screenshots on why I didn't like the previous edit, what I changed and why I made those changes. Buuut I realized that I deleted the previous edit... whoops !😅
SoOOoo I've never been good at those epic fantasy scenic edits and this was definitely a challenge for me! I imagined this to be a captain exploring a world with floating islands/castles. The castle was created from photos I took in Hungary, Czech Republic, and Taiwan (too many hours spent on digging up and trying out these photos 🤣). The clouds were from Yellowstone and Alberta, and the original photo was shot in Seattle.
I had a lot of problems with the depth of field of this image; initially, I made the floating castle way too blurry and 'flat' which not only hid all the details of the composite but also made it look like a shitty copy/paste job of a random illustration I stole from the internet 😂 This was further exacerbated when juxtaposed with the subject, which looked very 3 dimensional and realistic. They just didn't look like they belonged in the same world. So, I did the following:
1. Removed most of the blurring from the floating castle
2. Removed the desaturation that made the castle look flat
3. Added color overlays on every element to make them more vibrant
4. Hand painted over EVERYTHING to add depth, color, and a stylistic illustrative aesthetic
When I was painting over the image, I purposely left my brush strokes a bit rough instead of completely blended in order to create that illustrative look. The floating fabric behind Duncan was surprisingly a large amount of work; it looked very, very flat so I had to do even more painting to bring out its depth. Man I wish I had the original edit to show the all the changes!
Model: @duncanclarkmenzies - 19 minutes ago