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Magical Autumn Mood

Fall is knocking on our door!  Let's have a foretaste of this wonderful season and read how the magic of Autumn was created here by Elisaveta Jordanova.


Canon 350D  .  Canon 5mm f/1.4  .  Canon 8-200mm f/3.5-5.6
With this image I wanted to portray a foggy morning in November. I created it by using several different photographs that I placed appropriately.
The idea came all of a sudden when I saw the landscape with the tree. This tree is near my home; it is quite small with a huge piece of rock underneath. It was autumn, most leaves had fallen and I already saw the picture — the waving hair, the birds flying away like blown dandelion seeds from someone invisible, and a few remaining leaves to remind us of summer.

I used the following images:

1) A picture of the tree.
2) Photos of flying birds.
3) A picture of long hair.
4) A picture of a woman and her hand, with bent fingers as if she holds something.
5) A picture of a wall texture to overlay the entire collage.

The images of the landscape were shot on an early, foggy morning in November.
I used Photoshop for all of the post-processing.

1) I chose the photograph of the landscape with the tree as the base of the composition. To curve the horizon line in the corners, I used the Free Transform tool and the Warp tool in Photoshop.


2) The next step was to insert the face and the hand. I was unable to find a proper model, so I took a self-portrait, shot in the mirror with one spotlight. Spotlighting is typically used in old paintings, and I wanted to achieve a similar look.

3) The hardest part was adding the hair. It was cut from another photo and I had to add a lot of strands of hair to the edges of the cut image. I created each hair with the Path tool in a new layer and used Stroke Path With Brush. This is the second icon in the bottom of the Path window. Before choosing the Path tool, I had to choose a Brush size and color. Because I needed thin hair, I chose a 1 pixel Brush size and a dark color picked from the original image. After creating a lot of hair, I adjusted their length and made the ends subtler with the Eraser tool.


4) I used the Burn tool to darken the part of the face where the hair would cast a shadow. I duplicated the layers of the face and the hand and applied the Gaussian Blur filter with a Radius of 3 pixels to the layer below, to slightly smooth the sharp border of the cut parts.

5) For the birds I used two photos of dark birds flying across a light sky. This contrast helped to add the image with the birds without the need to cut them out one by one. I simply adjusted the blending mode of the birds layer to Darken.


6) The difficulty with this image was that I used many different pictures, shot under different conditions, with various exposure times, ISO and lenses. Some of them were transformed, others resized. Looking closely, you may notice the different graininess and texture. To give the entire image a painterly feel and hide those differences, I used a photo of a cracked wall on a new layer with the blending mode set to Multiply and opacity set to 65%.


7) The composition of the image is very important. Here I had the freedom to arrange the elements as I wanted. I left more blank space for the birds because they will need it to fly away. The bent fingers are just over the base of the tree to give the optical illusion that the hand holds it. The face enters the frame delicately and mysteriously. 

8) I wanted the color scheme to be subtle and muted without vibrant colors, since these are typical colors of a cold and foggy November day.
I was born in 1977 in Ruse, Bulgaria. I studied Technology of Clothing and Industrial Design at Ruse University. I have had two computer graphics exhibitions, and l have participated in numerous photo exhibitions. I found my passion for photography in 2005, and my first camera was a Kiev 6C. Now I live and work in Ruse as a graphic designer for websites.Magical