Creating Composites | Day 4

Concept: Tiny Mermaid Sophie

Location: My living room & Sophie’s Bedroom


Nikon D750, Nikon 35mm 1.4, Yongnuo Flashgun,

White Sheet

Sophie in her mermaid tail

Camera Settings:

Sophie: 1/200s F9 ISO200, Flash bounced to the right 90 degrees.

Shell: 1/125s F9 ISO 800, Natural Window light to the right, Flashed bounced to the right 90 degrees (it was a really dull day so i had to increase the light coming from the window by bouncing the flash off the thin white blind that i had pulled down)


First i photographed Soph with her tail on in the morning before school, she was very tired this day and couldn’t quite get into imagining she was in a shell with another mermaid (lol… 8am why on earth not!??) so i didn’t get very many photos before she was sat there just looking sad…which we can’t have so i thought i’ll just have to make the best of what i’ve got.

Then once i took the kids to school i faffed around in Sophie’s room trying to figure out what i could put her in/on.


I decided to use this shell and it was a pain to photograph because it was such a dark day and whenever i used flash it made the plastic shell look awful so i decided to look for a new location and photographed my sink and chose this image:


….and then spent the next 5 hours trying to get that one to work….and it didn’t, no matter what i did i just couldn’t make it look real (…well as close to it as i can) And i ended up with this –

Sophie Mermaid

And i just wasn’t happy with it…. it looked TOO photoshop’ed, so i scrapped it and started again and then spent the next 2 hours trying to put her back in another shell image and ended up with this –

Mermaid SML


Getting the tail to look right against the sand was so hard and this was as good as i could get, i simply couldn’t get her hand to where i was happy with though so i cheated and put a shell over it. But at least it looked more real than the sink anyway and my challenge was to shoot and edit and finish each composite in one day so i had run out of time to improve it anymore.

I didn’t enjoy doing this one, it turned out to be a nightmare and i think it was because i was tired from being up late editing yesterday’s composite and unlike my first 3 which i could see in my mind exactly what they were going to look like before i even started i didn’t have a clear vision of this one. All i knew it was going to involve Sophie in her mermaid tail.

So this was the least enjoyable one so far, the first 3 worked out exactly like i had seen them in my mind, i didn’t have a clear vision & plan for this one hence why it was such a disaster.

**Note to oneself ……. GET A VISION FIRST!**