The second stage of The Empress is now nearing completion. This stage involves sourcing and incorporating the background images; plus manipulating and adding lighting effects.
The Empress is traditionally shown in a cornfield, symbolising growth and fertility. I had a few photos of fields (not necessarily corn); though none of them had a suitable sky.
I therefore chose a couple of images and merged them: one of a field in the Pentlands; and the other of a sunrise I took years ago in Florida.
I then warmed them up and colour balanced them before cross processing them and dropping the merged background in as a layer behind the model (smoothing away a couple of stray white pixels which the layer mask had missed).
The last step involved adding some lighting effects (using lens flare rendering, colour dodging and motion blurring). Not all of these may make it through to the final version, as I’ll need to assess the overall composition once it’s complete, but as everything’s still on its own layer, it’s easy enough to hide or move things around.
I’m aiming to have this one complete at the weekend; then next week, I’ll be moving on to the next card (The Sun).