Photo Corners

A   S C R A P B O O K   O F   S O L U T I O N S   F O R   T H E   P H O T O G R A P H E R

Enhancing the enjoyment of taking pictures with news that matters, features that entertain and images that delight. Published frequently.

Happy Easter Share This on LinkedIn   Tweet This   Forward This

12 April 2020

Some things are real. Some things aren't. You'd think we could tell the difference but it isn't easy. Even unreal things often have something real about them. Take this image of a chocolate bunny for example:

It's not a real photograph. And yet it is. Two, in fact.

The bunny in the ribbon is one photo. The sky is another. But together they do not depict a real situation.

We started with the bunny on a black background and selected the foreground to color it a dark green. We used a Gradient Map on the selection, picked a green we liked that didn't clash with the green ribbon and shifted the midtone until you could see some color, like a nice dense loam.

Then we selected the black area of the background, just roughly with the Quick Selection tool in Photoshop. We used the improved Select and Mask dialog's Refine Edges brush to run over the edges for a better fit. That got our fans whirring but it did a great job.

We pasted in the sky, which came from another camera with a slightly smaller sensor. So we had to scale it larger. We also wanted to scale it larger to crop out some trees in the sky shot. Finally, we used a Gaussian blur on the sky so it receded into the background, leaving our bunny the subject of the image.

This hasn't been a good year to go shopping for Easter bunnies or egg coloring kits or anything you don't absolutely need as we continue to shelter in place to hide from the coronavirus.

In fact, we woke up this Easter morning with the church up the street strangely silent. No church bells clanging the news of resurrection, not a single Easter bonnet to be seen, not an egg hidden on the church's front lawn. Unreal.

But life has a way of scribbling a few liner notes along the way you can see if you put on your reading glasses.

And that's the real part of this story about our composite image. That bunny didn't come out of nowhere.

Joyce had befriended a neighbor who lives a couple of blocks away when she smiled and said hello to him as he walked his dog many months ago. He had just lost his partner and was distraught. The simple but kind act meant a lot to him and they chatted a bit.

Sheltering at home a couple of weeks ago, she ran into him again and he had good news. He had decided it was time to get out of the house again and be among people. So he had gotten a part time job. He really liked it and they liked him too.

"Wait a minute!" he said to her and ran back into the house.

He came out a minute later with a bag full of chocolates, which included the bunny. The job he'd gotten was at Ghirardelli Chocolate Company.

"Oh, you don't have to do that," Joyce assured him.

"Yes, I do," he said.

That's the real story of our chocolate bunny.

BackBack to Photo Corners