Our buddies on Raw Exchange Germany just had one of their photos featured in Pictures Magazin – it’s the Sand Goddes.
The idea: Mysterious ruins on a sandy desert, no human eye has seen this place for quite a while. A night deity watches over the spirits of the past and sends out spies and angry storms of sand to protect the sacred place.
This is how this photo came to be:
I chose the background from the Angkor Wat package. It’s a mostly uniform picture and there aren’t many elements in it that could distract from the final composite. There are plenty of stones making up the entrance to the ruin. It was really only a case of removing the foliage in the background, which was easy given the hard edges of the stones. All I did was use the Quick Selection tool and mask out the greenery.
I composed the sky from two clouds, with the second layer in ‘Hard Light’ mode to create a sense of menace. I added to the surreal, dark mood using colour variations from the Curves tool. Finally, the background was followed by a black layer. I placed this over the entire background using the Copy layer mode with opacity set to 25%, which darkened everything.
On to the model: Jamari Lior. Her eye-catching pose and masked black costume gave the mysterious touch I was looking for.
Positioning the model correctly in the scene wasn’t as tricky as it might have been. There’s no horizon line in the background nor in the stock image of the model. It was just a case of estimating the size and feeling the perspective.
Next, I need to give the sand goddess a shadow. The light would be coming from the top of the scene and slightly to the right, meaning that the shadow would fall on the left of the figure and be hard and short.
To give the picture some magic, the model needs to be able to ‘summon the sand’. I used several stock images of sand and pebbles, photographed on black backgrounds. Having a black background is perfect for compositing as you don’t have to select your articles by hand. Instead, you can just superimpose the layers in the ‘Negative Multiply’ mode. Anything that is darker than the background can be dimmed.If you want to follow a complete step by step on this composite, you can head over to
If you want to follow a complete step by step on this composite, you can head over to this blog post. Here is a quick run through of the steps:
Ok, are you hooked? do you want to recreate this kickass composite? We made a bundle just for you, (yes, it sometimes go on a crazy sale). THis bundle contains all the materials needed to recreate the composite (sans the lizard, he just did not want to join the fun…), It’s a compilation of 9 products at a great price.
- Angkor Wat: The City Series package contains 30 composing backdrops from the Angkor Wat temple in Cambodia. At al super-high-resolution of 80 megapixels and with perfect focal point to incorporate people
- Clouds: A collection of 328 very different sky images. Probably every single cloud you’ve ever thought of is here. Strong, or slightly cloudy, dawn, evening and thunderstorm, … A cloud for every mood. This package totals at 1.7 GB of high-resolution JPGs.
- Jamari Lior: One of our most popular stock packages: Jamari Lior 2! Great costumes, great poses, clean backgrounds, easy to composite – what more could you ask for? The package contains 44 high-resolution JPGs totaling at 600 MB download.
- Sand: Countless lots of sand grains – trickling or static, scattered all over the place, lying in heaps and piles, It’s. Its a 766 MB download with 121 textures split into three easy to use folders.
- Pebbles: Small pebbles of various sizes, shapes, and colors. We shot them in motion against a black backdrop, so you get gorgeous patterns that are easy to compose. A total of 56 high-res totaling at 128 MB.
- Dust: This 2.4 GB package contains over 311 textures of Dust. It has widespread dust puffs with varying densities! All are high-resolution and recorded against a black background.
- Light: With over 950 textures spanning 2.8 GB, this is one of the largest packages at RAWexchange. The textures were sorted into three folders: effects, tracks, and moods. A gigantic selection makes a happy composer
- Particles: For when you need something small – but lots and lots of it! The package contains 200 particle files, plus a photoshop brush. Everything is photographed against a black background for easy compositing. It’s a huge 2.5 GB package
- Backdrop: Those backdrops are hand painted on canvas (just like works of art), and show great details and spectacular color. You know what else is incredible about those backdrops? They are hand-painted and that means that there are no two backdrops alike. (21 photos at high and super high resolution)
SUPER BUNDLE at a SUPER PRICE
The Sand Goddes bundle consists of 9 packages totaling at 2,072 files and over 20 Gigs of assets, and if you got all the files, the cost would be $190. Our magic for you: a juicy 28% discount if you get the entire bundle. This is certainly much more than our Sand Goddess can conjure.