Christmas Card Composite

As i was about to purchase a pack of Christmas cards it dawned on me that that i should absolutely be making our own this year, especially as i am exploring the world of compositing!!

So as usual, i have a last minute idea and it’s a mad panic to try and squeeze it into the time slot i have which was 2 hours before i had to go out.

Concept: Sophie & Owen in a Playmobil Christmas Scene

Location: My desk

Equipment Used:

Nikon D750, Sigma 50mm 1.4 Art

2 children

Playmobil figures

Camera Settings: Scene 1/160s F7.1 ISO 1000, Soph & Owen 1/160s F4.5 ISO 1000

Shooting: I knew exactly how i wanted this to look because i had a clear picture of it in my head so i didn’t feel like i needed to shoot many angles. Soph & Owen were going to be in the red trailer so i needed to have them sitting in something similar so they would be in the correct position. For this i used my Sofa and turned it round so there was an edge that they could lean on. I also put a red cloak over the edge so that it was a similar colour to that of the trailer. As i learned in Day 5 of my Composites challenge when i got Owen to hold up a big red pad which i replaced with a black game card but there was a red reflection in the shadows on his fingers and was difficult to remove so i didn’t want there to be the wrong colour reflection on their skin so i matched the colour by using the red cloak over the sofa. These were taken using natural light from the window to the right, as a result of the low light i had to use a high ISO.

I then photographed my christmas scene on my desk with our christmas tree blurred in the background. I wanted the camel and donkey out of the line of focus so they were set slightly back and the trailer with santa to be in focus so that once i put the kids in they would stand out.



Like in my previous composites i cut out the bulk that i don’t need with the RECTANGULAR MARQUEE TOOL & the MAGNETIC LASSO TOOL:

Screen Shot 2017-12-03 at 10.21.30

I then drag that into the scene and add a LAYER MASK to it and tidy up the edges by painting on top of the layer mask with a BLACK BRUSH.

Screen Shot 2017-12-03 at 10.45.33

Once i had completed this i realised that Owens fingers really didn’t look right so i photographed him again solely to get his hands in a better formation so i could add those in:

From each of these images i selected the hands only and added them to my image and repeated the cutting out process as above:

Screen Shot 2017-12-03 at 10.53.44

Once that was done i pinned an adjustment layer to Sophie & Owen so that i could brighten them up and then i added some CONTRAST to the background scene using a CURVES LAYER. I flattened the image then duplicated the background layer and NOISE to that, i then inverted that noise layer so that i could paint it on only where needed:


The noise was painted onto Sophie and Owen so that they matched the background scene.

Then to finish i cropped it in tighter and removed the donkey at the back because it seemed unnecessary and i painted a very slight vignette around the christmas tree.

Christmas Card Composite crop -Edit-3

And there we have my Christmas card 😀


The style and editing of this image follows the same methods as i used in the 7 Days Of Composites Challenge.

I made the most of the tricks that i had learnt throughout the challenge:

  • Kept the idea clean & simple.
  • Photographing at the same time of day
  • Natural Window light for both images
  • Used a colour fabric to cover the area they were sitting on which was very similar to the colour that i was moving them to which made the blending so much easier.

I am extremely happy with this one and i think it is one of my best so far.