Saturday, January 28, 2012

How to clone your subject in the same photo

This is my first attempt at doing a photo like this. It didn't quite turn out the way I wanted it to. (There was supposed to be more clones.) Mostly, it was because the subject moved stuff he wasn't supposed to move, and the photographer didn't notice. So I blew the whole setup. It's always challenging shooting a toddler. There are some important lessons learned though, which I will share with you here.

Step 1: Shoot!
Get a tripod. Put your camera on it. Take photos.

Photo #1 
Photo #2

Photo #3

Step 2: Layer!
Open Photoshop or any photo editing program that lets you use layers. Open all your photos. Copy and paste each photo onto a different layer in the same file.

Step 3: Erase!
Imagine your photos are stacked one on top of the other. Erasing or cutting parts from the topmost picture will reveal the photo underneath it. That's basically how it works. Keep on using the eraser tool on the different layers to reveal the other layers beneath it.

I used this photo as my background.

Then I added this layer on top.

This layer was trickier since I had to erase closer to the subject.
For finer erasing, you might want to use the lasso tool to drop out your subject.

Step 4: Save as JPG!
You're done!

Sometimes you can learn more from a bad photo! Learn from my mistakes :)

Lesson 1: Don't move the tripod!
Yeah, I moved the tripod in between photos. There's actually a bunch of photos that I couldn't use with the others.

Even nudging the tripod may cause problems. Use a remote if you have one.

Lesson 2: Try not to move stuff in the picture!
The little boy moved the car when I wasn't looking. So again, I couldn't use some photos with the others.

I was still able to make another photo with the outtakes:

Sometimes it really feels like there's two of him...

Lesson 3: Keep the same exposure.
Your camera isn't always consistent when metering the scene. So your photos may be of different lightness/darkness. You don't want that to happen. Hit Auto Exposure Lock to avoid this. Or better yet, switch to full manual mode.

Lesson 4: Take care with your depth of field.
Depth of field determines how much of your photo will be in focus. Larger aperture means shallower depth of field. Using a smaller aperture means more stuff will be in focus. You might want to take a few test photos to see exactly what is in focus in the picture.

In my first sample picture up on top, you'll notice the baby boy is never in focus. In some parts, he's just moving too fast. In others, he's too close. He's already stepped out of the area that's in focus. Notice the toy car is not in focus. I didn't. Haha!

That's it. I'll do better next time, promise. Try it out. Have fun!


Em said...

Wow! I can't imagine having two or three Vito's :) Although in a few years, you guys will be running after two of them na.

Thanks for the tip. Will definitely try those when the hubby gets his new camera.

Katrina Villareal said...

This is so cool! Difficult to try with a toddler who will definitely move things around, but worth a shot! :)

The Third World Nerd said...

Em, yes! We are scared/excited/stressed about the new baby's arrival. Especially if he's as malikot as Vito!

Oh, and I remembered an easier way to do this: If your camera has a photo stich/panoramic mode (many cameras do), just take multiple photos of any area and make sure your subject is in every shot. The camera will stitch it all together. Same effect! (Mahaba nga lang yung photo.)