Saturday, March 12, 2016

How I Replace Backgrounds

I was going to show you how I set up to do night photography of the Milky Way, utilizing apps.  I selected the Myles Standish Monument in Duxbury, Massachusetts to scout out during the day and determined the appropriate set up to photograph the Milky Way around the monument.  However, the best the plans fell through.  The monument was closed, and we could not approach it.  So we went to Jenney Pond photographed the interactions among the waterfowl along with some ring-billed gulls.

The ring-billed gulls are starting to get into breeding plumage with bright red rings around the eyes and red around the opening of the beaks.  After I reviewed the photographs on my computer.  There was two of them that I liked, but the backgrounds were either busy or dirty.  So I decided to isolate the birds, utilizing StudioMagic I https://www.layercakeelements.com/studio-magic/pro-panel ((I have no relationship with Layer Cake, who developed StudioMagic).  I have been using StudioMagicI to replace backgrounds and liked it.  Okay, here is how I do it.

After adjusting the photograph in Lightroom, I exported the photograph to Photoshop.  StudioMagicI is an extension in Photoshop.   The background was very busy.  I use the Quick Selection Tool to isolate the bird.  Then in StudioMagicI, I use the detailed cut out to help refine the edge of the bird.  After clicking okay.  The bird shows up in the layers palette as a gray object with a black on white mask.  Also, a new background layer is created.  Next, I select the black on white mask and using control-which invert the mask, allowing the bird to be seen.  In my catalog, I have a collection of backgrounds and textures, which includes clouds, moons, and some different out of focus backgrounds of plants and flowers.  I will choose one of the backgrounds to bring it into Photoshop, floated all in Photoshop, selecting the background and using the move tool drag it into the photograph in which I want to put a new background.  Next, that layer has to be dragged just above the new background layer and then, utilizing the free transform tool to fill in behind the object.  There you have it, the isolated object with a new background.  It does take a little time to learn the process, but once you use it, It goes fast.

Here are the originals and then the same with the backgrounds replaced.
Original 

Original
Background Replaced

Background Replaced

The directions on how to perform the task.
Use the Quick Selection Tool utilizing refined egg

Utilizing Refine Edge
Creating the Mask

Image with Mask Inverted