Exercise: Composite image

This exercise involved using “digital software such as Photoshop to create a composite image which visually
appears to be a documentary photograph but which could never actually be.”

I had the idea of superimposing a picture of a train or a lorry on to a river scene so that it looked as if the vehicle was travelling across the water.

I thought about the angles that I would need to take the photos from and the relative scale of the images and the train. I thought that the best option would be to take two photos, one of a river view looking down from the centre of a bridge and then one from a railway bridge looking down on a train passing below. In this way I thought that the angles and scale of the two photos would be about right.

I was lucky in that the local heritage railway had just started running steam trains for the summer, so I was able to get the photo of the train from a bridge near to where I live. I then walked the length of the River Wensum in Norwich City Centre taking photos from the different bridges. This enabled me to choose the best background to complement the photo of the train.

The final result can be seen here: Rivertrain comes to Norwich

This exercise was great fun, both in conceiving the final image and then using Photoshop to create it. I learned just how much thought has to go into preparing the final image from scale, perspective, angle of shot and weather conditions. Last year I had attended an Evening class session on how to use Photoshop – I’m really pleased that I had done that and I was able to put what I had learned to good use in this exercise.