Harry Harpoon and Banjo:
I took the base photo for this composition at the Fort Henry Rendezvous last summer. Harry travels around the region working as a musician…really nice and talented guy! The image was taken during the middle of a bright day—even though it looks like it was taken at night next to a campfire. I underexposed the scene by several stops, then had a friend hold an off camera flash fairly close to his face and banjo. The RAW file was converted to a Black and White using Nik Silver Efex Pro in Photoshop. The main figure was also given half a dozen different painted effects, then merged into one. (I uploaded this image at a fairly high resolution, so click on it to see a lot more detail)
The composite above consisted of around 18 layers and adjustment layers, bloating to 2.5 gigs in size. The image contains a dark granite photo under the entire image. The two tipi tops were from a photo I took a Fort Bridger several years ago. A stand of dead spruce trees, taken recently, were merged into the background, then masked out as they went across Harry’s face. The cursive text in the lower left came from scans of a mountain man’s journal from the early 1800s. The stream of smoke came from a texture I downloaded off the Internet. On a final composite layer, I added some grain using Nik’s Analog Efex Pro 2.