Creative Photography: Grow Your Own Giant Pumpkin! | Mariya Popandopulo | Skillshare

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Creative Photography: Grow Your Own Giant Pumpkin!

teacher avatar Mariya Popandopulo, Photographer & Illustrator

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

10 Lessons (32m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Before and during the shoot

    • 3. Taking pictures of pumpkin

    • 4. A little extra

    • 5. Cutting the pumpkin

    • 6. Planting the pumpkin

    • 7. Adding extras

    • 8. Adding shadow

    • 9. Finishing touches

    • 10. Conclusion and project

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About This Class

Compositing - an art of combining several images together to make one whimsical result. 

In this class  I will show you how to create a giant pumpkin, how to blend it into the image and make it realistic. 

In the first part, I will talk about important stuff you need to know before and during the shoot, because the final composite will only be as good as the original images we capture. 

I will talk about light, aperture, location and choice of outfit for this particular project.

In the second part we will go to photoshop and I will show you how to bring two images together to make one deliciously magical autumn picture.

I will use quite a lot of tools in PS, so it might be challenging for a beginner, but I dare you to check it out, because the process is not that hard and you may pick up some new PS skills you never used before =) 


Learn more about light in this class => Travel Photography for Beginners: Let’s Talk About Light


Class notes


Aaaaan finally, as per usual =)

For those of you who are not on premium membership, here is a link for a free enrollment in this class =) There are 20 free places currently.

And for those who want to upgrade to premium membership, get 3 months of Skillshare Premium for only $0.99  Here is my link to use that offer

Have a great day! =)

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Mariya Popandopulo

Photographer & Illustrator


Hi! My name is Mariya and I am photographer and illustrator based in Almaty, Kazakhstan.

I never could quite decide what do I love more - photography or illustrations, so Im doing both =D

I have illustrations portfolio on Behance

My preferred social media currently is Instagram (no surprise here =D)

I also post comics and doodles under Pinks&Roses name

See full profile

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1. Introduction: Have you ever wondered how this kind of photography is done? Surely it's not magic, right? This is called compositing in Art of combining several images together to make one whimsical result. Hi, my name is Maria and and today I will show you how to make a giant bumpkin like this one. In this class, we will be using compositing to combine the picture off the main, seen with the model and the picture. In the first part, I will talk about important stuff you need to know before enduring Bishop, because the final composite will only be as good as the original images capture. I will talk about life. Aperture location ensures a vault in the second part will go to photo shop, and I will show you how to bring two images together to make one magical pictures. I will use quite a lot of Photoshopped tools, so it might be challenging for a beginner. But I dare you to check it out because it's worth it. And the process is not a part, and you make up some new leadership skills in there the year before. So crescent roll button and let's grow some pumpkins 2. Before and during the shoot: First of all, let's start with the notion off composite image, which I will use quite a lot, wrote this class. As per Wikipedia, compositing is the combining off visual elements from separate sources into single image. With compositing, you're not limited to just documenting things as they are with your camera. You can actually create your own reality similar to drawing. If you just want to see how compositing is done in further shop, the final stage off putting a giant pumpkin in the main picture. You can skip the first section and go straight to the video, cutting the bumpkins and extras. So let's start some general points to consider before the shoot. For this project, you will need a camera, obviously a pumpkin, on the model. You may need optionally white office paper or blank art converse and a little still, I will explain about them in a bit. So let's start with location, Jews, location that will no destruct from your idea, but rather complimented when preparing this class. I made two trips, others, and that's because I didn't quite like the first shoot. I wanted the image to have this distinctive autumn feel, so I needed my senator to be simple, but with brown yellow orange colors. However, for my first photo shoot, delegation was more green and quite busy. So I decided to find another place and this field barely with any plants. And it was perfect, Like I will now stop saying that Flight is paramount to photography. It determines the feel, the quality and the colors. You can learn more about light in my class. Travel Photography for beginners Let's talk about life. I will leave the link to it in the about section for my composites. Well, for a lot of my pictures, I prefer shooting during magic hour and backlight as it makes images just a little bit more magical. Magic Hour is the first all the last hour of sunlight, meaning you only have about an hour in the morning and in the evening, backlight. He's shooting against the light, meaning the source of flight will be in front of the camera. Behind the model backlight during the Magic hour makes images hazy and whimsical, and that's exactly what I need for the kind of image ahead in mind. Giant Pumpkins, Cinderella fairytale. In this image, I don't should directly at the sun as it will make picture too hazy, like on the mission. The left. Here, the sun on my image is on the left side, but it is backlight nonetheless out. Think about the out for my pictures. I typically choose the clothes that are more or less neutral and timeless, meaning without labels or attention grabbing graphics. I also think about colors coordination. For example. The pink jumper on the left doesn't really add to the overall harmony off the image, grabbing too much attention. On the other hand, they needed off why Jumper on the right is very neutral and looks quite good close to the pumpkin I hold in my hands. It doesn't destruct from it. Finally, be weather conscious. I have a bad habit of dressing up to right, which is not good, practically because it's hard to maintain a dream face expression when all you can think about is that your feet are totally frozen in the rain. Boots, Indian knows is about to make a run for it, and it is turning red by the minute, so just try no to prioritize the look over your well being 3. Taking pictures of pumpkin: taking pictures of the pumpkin. When you take a picture off the pumpkin or any object you want to enlarge, and for the shop and places somewhere, you have to keep in mind. Four things 1st 1 direction off the right for the final composite to stay consistent, your pumpkin has to face the light in exactly the same way as you main seem. I was shooting back light and sun was shining on the left side of the image. You can see how bright the skies are there. You can also see a ream of light on the left off the model's body, like a yellow orange outline on the hair and on the jeans. Now same is the case with the picture off. The pumpkin light is behind end to the left of the frame, and there is a ream of light on the left. Also, as expected, left part off, the pump is exposed better than the right part. Here is the example how the same object will look in terms off colors and exposure. If we were to shoot in different directions, the image on the right was shot back light. You can see the rim of light on the left, but the majority off pumpkin visible to the viewer, stays and shadow. The image on the left was taken with the direction off the light that is some is behind and to the right off me and my camera and is shining upon the bumpkin hands. It is very well it, especially its right side. And here is the main picture I was planning to use for the class but ultimately made a reshoot the next day. This time my main scene was shot with the direction off the white, meaning the model is brightly. Now compare this image with our two previous pumpkins, which one will look more organic in the picture? Obviously, it's the one that was should with the same my direction. It will be strange to use the image on the left so that the model will be brightly lit and the pumpkin will be in shadow. So life very important to keep you light set up consistent to achieve more natural looking results in your final composite angle and direction, Often object. Keep in mind at what angle you capture your main scene. Easier camera. Tilt it down so that the scene is captured from above, or is it tilted up? Or is it looking directly at the same meeting? The model in my case camera is slightly above the model, so a camera is looking down at the same if it was looking directly the horizon, this line where feel Mr Mountains would be somewhere closer to the waste of the model, knowing that I know that the pumpkin shot has to be made with a similar angle and direction . In addition, I need to make sure the direction and positioning off the pumpkin. I also consistent with the main scene shot, for example. Here, both images were taken at the correct angle from slightly above. However, on the image on the left, the bumpkin direction is different and falling to the back. Well, the picture on the right is more falling to the front, which is more consistent when the pictures taken from above. So the image on the right is the one that will look better on the final composite aperture . This is important one, especially if you should, with a premise as I do and love using high aperture values like one point for 3.5 old technological things aside, why Opera shovel is important in our situation. Well, because it did governments the depths off field or the picture depths of field is how much area off the image stays sharp. Just a quick example. These images are almost identical, except for the part that background mountains and field on the picture on the left, almost all in focus, same as the model. You can see the details off the field and mountains in the distance while on the right, although the background is visible, it is much more out of focus and blurred so back to our situation. Why do you have to think about this at all? That is because if you do shoot at high aperture values, you will have to reduce the aperture for taking a picture of a pumpkin confusing. Okay, just think of it this way. Final digitally in large pumpkin will be at the same level off the depths off field as the model. So if the model is in sharp focus in full as here, even if the background is out of focus, anything that is located at the same distance from the camera as the model should also be in sharp focus. However, if you should use scene with, say, aperture value of 2.8 as I did and continue to shoot the pumpkin at the same aperture, you may end up with parts of the bumpkin being out of focus, like here on the image on the right. The difference may not be so visible, but it will look slightly off in the final composite, especially because the pumpkin will be so big. In fact, the first image I tried to do had exactly this problem on the picture. On the left, the front of the pumpkin is blurred. For my second attempt, I used another image off the pumpkin, the one which was more sharp. And I do like this result much more. It may be the little things, but it all adds up to the real life effect. So if you prefer shooting with high upper so values, that is, you love your background to the blurry. Don't forget to change your aperture toe a lower value like six or seven when shooting the pumpkin separately so that it will be in sharp focus all over final point to consider it is your ability to separate the object from the background info ownership with tools available in Photoshopped, we can separate probably any object from the background. It just depends on how much time it will take. I always prefer to spend as little time on this as possible for that. During the shoot, I watch out that my pumpkin in the park, in short, could be easily separated from the background, and nothing will interfere with the object. For example, here on the image on the left, my singers are in front of the pumpkin, so cutting the pumpkin will be a big problematic, not impossible, but problematic on the image on the right, however, you can clearly see the front of the pumpkin. Nothing interferes with it. In addition, there is a good contrast between the object and the background. The field is dark, while the pumpkin is a relative delight, which makes the cutting often object much easy and photoshopped. So when taking picture off the pumpkin, make sure it will be easy and hassle free to cut. You object the pumpkin from the image. Don't shoot in the grass. It will be too hard to isolate the object either. Shoot on a flat surface like a little stool you can bring to the shoot or holding with your hands. Just remember, bumpkins are heavy. 4. A little extra: a little extra and just a few more things that are optional and depend on how much time you want to spend on making your composite. This is our field here and there. You can see the stems off the cut plants, so to make your image believable and your pumpkin to look like it was there, you may want to use a few of those stands to be in front like I did here. The problem is that it is tedious to separate those from an image of the scene, but one thing you can do is to take a white paper or a blank white. Our canvas said it just right behind the individual stems like I did here on the left and take a shot. White background will make it much easier to separate this temps in photo shop so that you can then put them in front of the pumpkin. Here is another example. If this sounds a bit confusing, the editing part will clear this out. Okay, so important points that you need to know before and you're in the should are covered, and we can move on to the editing stage 5. Cutting the pumpkin: here is our pumpkin and I will use quick selection told to selected. As you can see, quick selection Tool does a very decent job where the contrast is high upper area. However, it may struggle when there is less contrast. So I press and hold alky, which makes to substructure rather than ab new areas and quickly delete some major ones like this. Right? So this is a far as I can go with quick selection two. Now I just go to last and well, holding the alky carefully drove over the areas I still need to remove. Then I press and hold shift key and add the little business will left out like here. Right now. Let's refine the edge. I press selected mosque button here and work on sliders. Well, Minor said already, but I need to adjust in. I use both smooth and southern to make ages more natural and not so crispy sharp or they will look too obvious. In the final composite. I had some contrast and shift edge inside, just to be sure, there are no unwanted outlines in the output section. I choose new where from drop down menu and press OK and there we have our pumpkin. Now, while we added leads also cut the stamps here I will not select the stems but the white Bagram I go to select, choose color range and sample the white area, increase the fuzziness and press OK, Now the majority of our white background is selected but it needs some cleaning I use magic want and while holding shift key at areas that we missed, Remember? Right now I'm not selecting the stems. I'm selecting the white. There are also this little boats here and there and I choose the lasso tool. And while holding the shift key, select them. You can also see that part of the stems were selected and we don't want that. So while holding alky and using the lasso tool, I remove them from the white selection. Now we have all white area selected but we don't want it. We want the stems. So I go to select inverse and they're only stamps and ground are selected now, now saying that's what pumpkin, I want to work on the edges here. I don't want as much feathering and I definitely do not want to shift the edge as the steps are already quite thin. So I have just the settings and press. OK, Done. Please don't mind this straight line. I will deal with it at the composite in stage The good part. We have our steps separated and we can place them in front of the pumpkin. So in the next video we will be blunting out our pumpkin in the film. 6. Planting the pumpkin: blunt in the bumpkin. So this is my main image. And this is a pumpkin I choose. Move, tool and drug the bumpkin onto the main image. Okay, first of all, pumpkin is not big enough. And I also would like to make it cooler. I go to transform, scale and resize it once. I'm happy at press enter when deciding on where to put your pumpkin, make sure you consider shadows and life. For example. You can see the ream of light here on the model. So obviously, if you put the pumpkin too close, if it was a really object, it would block the sun race, so there would be no room. So if I put my pumpkin right about here, it will possibly work. The pumpkin looks okay on a soul, but right now it's almost like it's floating in the air and we need to set it on the field . I reduce the public in support city to see the field, go to the background layer and using a magnetic lasso tool, select few area around the base of the pumpkin. As you can see, I follow the round shape of the pumpkin to make it more riel. I will show you how it will look like if I just went straight in a bit. Once the selection is done, I go to select and mass once and happy with sittings. I press okay, and we have our part off the field layer separated. First of all, check the background layer and bring the pumpkins capacity back then drug the feud layer above the bumpkin. Well, this already looks much better than before. Right now, I make a layer mask off this layer and clean up of it. I start painting on the layer mask with black brush over the areas. I don't want to be visible like variety did stems because they wouldn't be any since son is now blocked by the pumpkin. Well, obviously, I won't delete all of them. That will take a lot of time. I will deal only with those that are attracting too much attention on the white layer mask . The black brush tool will act as an A razor. So when I'm just using a reserve, well, if you erase something and he wanted back, you have to go a step back with later masks. You don't have to do that. You just have to switch your brush, color, toe white and paint over the area you need back. And it will be bad because the layer is not raised by the blood brush. It is hidden here. Is it before and yours? After I zoom in and check if I need to do more cleaning or refining and continue. I repeat the pumpkin slightly to see how it will look better now. Just a quick example. If I just went straight line. See, this looks unnatural. Okay? I think the edge we have here is a bit too sharp. And it's contrasting with the pumpkin itself. So I go to filter, blur and choose Go, Sandler. And 1.1 seems to be okay for me. Another thing. I want to just ease pumpkins Location. I want the stem here and model to be on the same level of focus. That is, that they both I'd sharp focus, so I need to move my pumpkin down, tortured that Make sure you move both the field that is in front of the pumpkin and the pumpkin. Finally, because I move the pumpkin in the field, I need to make sure Nothing. What is going on here at the bottom? And I do a little cleanup painting with black brush over the layer mask off the few of layer and a little bit more here. All right, so this is already maybe the final result. Everything that I will talk about further is optional and more advanced. 7. Adding extras: I want to add the stems ahead to add just a little bit more believability. I drugged the layer and it's huge, so I just resize it, using the scale transformation toe to about here. Right now, it looks out of place, but it's okay. I make a layer mask on this layer and start painting on the layer must with the blood brush to remove parts off the image with stem. By the way, I use my computer touch. But for all the work, I don't use the mouse, and I very rarely use my Malcolm tablet so you don't really have to have any of those. For compositing, it might be easier, but you can get pretty good with just a patch. But I don't need to make this perfect because these stems are really small compared to the whole picture. But off course, if you want your image to be like, really, really realistic, you can spend as much time as you want on this once and done, I repositioned the steps to fit them better. Now I don't really like his dark area, so I will play something about same as before. I go to the background layer and using the magnetic lasso to make a selection, I refined the edges with the same settings that are already safe and move resulted layer to the top. I place it over the stem and blend it into the image. This stems looks to green and bright to me right now, and I want them to be more yellow, orange and less bright. So I goto adjustments and select color bones and make stems more yellow. Vernon highlights Mick Jones and Shadows. I had then go to him situation and disintegrated a little, as well as bringing lightness down so that the stems will look darker. I decided to reduce contrast and brightness as well, going to the same location, adjustments, brightness, contrast so that the stands will blend in better into the image rather than stand out on their own. Okay, I'm still not done doing another correction in the color balance, just making it more orange red as you can see editing work. For me, at least, it is never just a simple recipe. I have to dry things, see how it looks better to arrive. At the result I like I zoom in and reposition the part that is in front of the stem just a little bit now, since I don't have any extra shots off honest amps and I still want to add a couple more to the picture, I will use this Once again, I duplicate the layer and drug to the place where I want to be. However, obviously I don't want to look it like I cloned it. So first of all, I will flip it horizontally and then I will use work tool to modify the shape. Okay, this looks quite different and reposition resized and Kobe it again to add one more here instead of using water again, I just rotated and it does look different from the previous two. I also decided to place it under our initial field level like this. Okay, so when I zoom in, I can see that stems and the ground I placed in front of them are too sharp and in focus as compared to the pumpkin. I will blow them slightly to make them look more in place. I go to shelter, blur synagogues and learn. Now I just repeat the process on the rest. Let me just group all those layers together so I can show you before and after. So this is the before and this is after. All right, so we're looking at the picture again. I think I need to deal with these three areas. They appear to be too bright. I create a new layer select clone toe and make sure that it's sample area is current and below and just clone the unwanted parts out. I pick simple points from different locations so that it won't look like it was indeed cloned for this part. I don't want to clone it. I just want to make it less right. I goto adjustment layers and select levels here. I drove the bottom right hand slider to the left and talk left head slider to the right. Both his actions make image, Doctor. Now I invert the layer mask. Come on, I for Mac and control I for Windows so that all adjustments are hidden and carefully paint on the llamas over the area. I need to darken with the white brush, adjust the settings, and I'm done with it. 8. Adding shadow: add in shadow. Not I want to add some shadow. This picture looks OK, but we can also improve it a little bit by adding a shadow. Because the sun is shining from the left, the pumpkin does block some of it. An area in front of it should be in shadow. There are numerous ways to add a shadow, and I prefer to just paint it where it's needed. I create a new layer and said it to multi like robbers of brushwood. Dark color. I sample it here and start to paint it over. And it looks horribly bad, of course. So every disobey city off the layer and painted a bit more. Don't forget. It's not only the field in front of the pumpkin that has to be darkened, but the pumpkin itself as well. The closer to the ground, it is the darker it should be. OK, so here is the before and after now. Because the area in front is darker, it grabs less attention. In, even if our job off planting the pumpkin wasn't extremely detailed, it will still look quite natural 9. Finishing touches: square crop and finishing touches. I prefer my compass is to have a square former jazz, the personal preference. So before adding more details off finishing touches, I will cook my image square using the capital, I added most place in the sky and part of it now totally Wife is OK. We can easily extend it with content. They were skilled toe. I go back to my original image background level, grub less Soto and roughly select the sky. Then go to edit content, aware skill and just drug it upwards. And this is our scores on the sky looks quite empty at the moment, and that's why I want to add some clouds and birth from another shot. I copy and paste clouds and birds re sizing and blended them into the image in order for those extras to blend in better into the picture, I create a new layer below, filled with dark color and use a soft a razor to remove the edges off the selection, adding more clouds. Same process now, same thing with birds, but I want them to be bigger, so I resized remove the just again. But this time the selection is slightly darker than our sky. So I goto adjustments, brightness. I increased brightness. And there you go. I repeat the process again, looking for better composition. I like how the birds make this line that leads viewer toe the pumpkin here is it before and after. And I think this looks good enough. We are almost done. I noticed that this side of the pumpkin still looks a little bit too sharp and sort of floating. So I will could be the later were made before. But this one here and place it over the area I want to cover. I will blur it as well. Okay, so I think composite is good now a few more finishing touches. I want to add the radio blur for that. However, I need all my layers on one flat layer. I don't like just flattening the whole image in case I just need to go back. So I select all previous layers, group them, duplicate that group and murdered easier way is to use a shortcut. Come on out. Shift E for mark or control. I'll shift E for windows. Now I duplicate the result it later again and go to filters blur and radio and choose Zoom . Unfortunately, this tool does not allow preview. But I know that anything above two is just too much. So I settle with just want to make it barely visible. Another drawback is that I have to approximate the center. You see, the blur is more visible to the edges and non existent in the center. Obviously, I want the center to be on the face. So I dropped the central point to about here and press OK defies human. You will see that edges off the picture became blurred. Now, just to make sure the face is sharp I'm going to make a layer mask off this layer, pick the black soft brush and paint over the face and over front of the pumpkin. Castaic So all right, Well, this looks good. I want to add more contrast to the picture and for that I will create a new adjustment layer for levels Dragging the left slider to the right will dark in the shadows. I also want to add something yet same as with waiting shadow. There are many ways, but I just like to paint it over, especially here, because I only need vindicating at the field and know that the sky I go to the adjustment layers again, this time choosing curves and pulling the curve downwards. You can see the images getting darker. I invert the layer mask by using a shortcut. Come on, I, for Mac or control I for windows and paint with the white, very soft brush in the corners. And what I've done here is the original image, and here is the result. 10. Conclusion and project: So, guys, I know that I have used a lot of father ship those in this cross and this might be confusing for a beginner, but in photo shopped, there are numerous restarted the same thing. Changing color, adding shadows, etcetera. What I want you to understand from this class is the logic behind the process. How to make the object that wasn't there blend into into the picture. What Ed mature is important. What things you need to know and basically, how to be creative. With what? So don't be afraid to try a composite image. It all becomes easier with practice. And if you need any clarifications, just tried me on the discussion. Reach me out on Instagram or Facebook and I will happily extremity for your project. Well, I dare you to make a giant pumpkin opposite just in time for Halloween. If you enjoyed this class, please leave the thumbs up. Thank you for taking this class and I will see you in the next one