cloning photography tutorial irfan hussain thereddotman

Cloning photography tutorial

Multitasking

Mai aur meri tanhai, aksar kuch pagal pan karte rehte hain.

So many things to do yet so little time. The day job’s good. I am doing what I love, pays well, yet I only wish I had more time for my self. Life’s too shrot. I can feel it burning away by the second. To such an extent that I would sometimes wish I had a clone. Who would help me multitask at things. Something like this.

cloningree

Cloning Photography Tutorial

The biggest feature that adobe ever came up with that revolutionized the design and photography industry must have been the introduction of layer masking in photoshop. If you are not familiar with it don’t worry, I’ve got it covered in this tutorial. It’s very easy to learn, and this one technique opens up a window to a lot more new photography techniques.

You know how a mask works, right? The wearer has holes for eyes, nose and the mouth so they can see, breathe and speak. Basic principle is, you stack one image, over the other in photoshop. Then you poke through the image on top, to reveal that portion of the image below.

So what I am going to do is, I am going to take these images,

cloning photography tutorial irfan hussain thereddotman
Shot with a tripod so that the scene doesn’t change

stack them all as layers in photoshop, poke through each image so I reveal the picture of me in a different position, repeat that on all the images and combine them to get all my clones in one image.

Sounds easy?

Great!! Let’s get started.

Things you will need

  1. Tripod: An absolute must to ensure that the scene doesn’t change.
  2. Camera:  Any camera will do.
  3. Photoshop: It’s where the magic happens.

Shooting

  1. Place the camera on the tripod and dial in the necessary settings.
  2. Ask the model to take their first position and take your first shot.
  3. Now let the model take their second position. Without changing the settings or the position of the camera, take another shot.
  4. Repeat this until you have all the necessary shots of the model in various positions as per the scene.

Done? Now let’s get cooking.

Processing

Step1: Load up the images in photoshop layers

Open photoshop bridge and navigate to the location where you have stored you images on your hard drive. From the top menu, go to tools-> photoshop-> load files into photoshop layers.

cloning photography tutorial irfan hussain thereddotman

This will open up photoshop and stack up all your images in photoshop layers panel.

cloning photography tutorial irfan hussain thereddotman

By default, the name of the images will be assigned as the name of the layers as well. For the sake of clarity, I am going to rename the layers as layer 1, layer 2 and so on.

cloning photography tutorial irfan hussain thereddotman

Step 2: Layer masking

Select the top layer, which is layer 1, by clicking on it. Next, click on this icon to layer mask layer 1 over layer 2.

cloning photography tutorial irfan hussain thereddotman

This will create a mask of layer 1 on layer 2.

cloning photography tutorial irfan hussain thereddotman

Select a hard round brush.

cloning photography tutorial irfan hussain thereddotman

Now to figure out where to paint on this mask to reveal the other me in layer 2. To do that, reduce the opacity of layer 1 to, say, 50%. This will reveal the other me from layer 2.

cloning photography tutorial irfan hussain thereddotman

Select the foreground colour as black. Ensuring that layer mask is selected in the layers panel, start painting on the image to reveal the other me from layer 2.

cloning photography tutorial irfan hussain thereddotman

Once you are done painting, you should have the model from the layer 1 and layer to together in one frame.

cloning photography tutorial irfan hussain thereddotman

Select layer one and two together by pressing the ctrl button on the key board (command for mac) and clicking on the two layers, then right click and select merge layers.

cloning photography tutorial irfan hussain thereddotman

Both the layers will merge in a single layer “layer 1”.

cloning photography tutorial irfan hussain thereddotman

Step 3: Continue layer masking

Repeat what we did in step 2 for layer 1 and 3. Once you are done, you would have bought the third position of the model as well into one scene.

cloning photography tutorial irfan hussain thereddotman

You are now just left with layer 1 and layer 4. Here comes the tricky part. Once you reduce the opacity of layer 1 you will see that the position of the model in layer 4 is overlapping the position of the model from layer 1 and 2. Be very careful while layer masking in such situations. Since there is a overlap, if you paint outside the area of the model in layer 4, you will end up erasing the model from layer 1.

cloning photography tutorial irfan hussain thereddotman

Once you are done painting, you should have something like this.

cloning photography tutorial irfan hussain thereddotman

Step 4: Finishing touches

Pat yourself on the back because you have just created a scene with all the clones of the model in one frame. As finishing touches, I will just crop the image to get the desired composition. Here, I also used nik viveza plugin to increase the structure in the image and nik colour efex to add a vignette.

cloning photography tutorial irfan hussain thereddotman

Things to remember

  1. This is a creative process that can be done with any camera. It’s more about how creatively you plan your scene.
  2. Watch the shadows. You might have to create some when masking one clone into another image. To do this, just add a new blank layer in overlay mode and paint black colour with a soft round brush at about 30% opacity, wherever shadows are necessary.
  3. Create an interactive scene. Here i didn’t do much but just made it look like one me is sitting in the computer painting something and another me is watching him from behind. Showing more interaction has even more impact in your cloning. Something like this.
    cloning photography tutorial irfan hussain thereddotman

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