composite photography by dallas advertising photographer, jason ulsrud

Case Study: Breaking Down my Bottle Rocket Composite

Back in July I had this crazy idea to create a Composite themed around the 4th of July, and using my twin boys, Luka and Niko.

So, today I’m going to Break Down my Bottle Rocket Composite.

The photography for this Photillustration sat in my Lightroom files for several months before I decided to use one of the shots for a Photoshop Tutorial called “How to Shape Faces using Photoshop”.

This video inspired me to go ahead and create the Photillustration I call, “Bottle Rockets”.

So, let’s light the fuse and blow this bad boy up.

Bottle Rockets

As a Composite Photographer, my primary goal is to continuously challenge myself photographically, as well as Photoshop-ily.

Which is why I am frequently creating personal Composites.

While I believe I still have a long way to go until I’m at the level of some of photography’s master compositors, I do love the process of growth.

One of the hardest times for me is when the Photillustration is complete.

I don’t know…

composite photography by dallas advertising photographer, jason ulsrud

During the entire process of designing, producing, photographing, and retouching, I feel happy and alive, but when the project is complete?

Well, when the projects are complete is when I’m at my lowest.

Breaking Down Bottle Rockets

As I mentioned earlier, the concept for this Bottle Rockets composite occurred several months ago, and generally only lived within my brain.

At the time, this concept seemed like such a good idea.

Like many of the ideas I have, however, if they don’t get out of my head and into a Photillustration, what once seemed really cool, fades away into a washed up concept.

So, my ideas definitely have a short shelf life.

breaking down the bottle rocket composite

#1 Niko: My son Niko is a master at facial expressions. Especially if they look like he has to poop.

#2 Luka: Luka, one minute younger than Niko, is always picking on Niko.

#3 Me (Jason): I’m not one to be in my Photillustrations typically, but this seemed appropriate for the situation.

#4 Taren’s Legs: To capture the perfect moment of my wife Taren, I had to composite her legs from a separate image.

#5 Taren: Taren isn’t much for being in my pics, but she did awesome for this composite.

#6 House: This house was shot in a neighboring neighborhood just as it started raining.

#7 Dog Pooping: I tried for several days to get a dog pooping, but ultimately had to use a stock photo to capture that moment. I’ll keep trying though.

#8 Mailbox: The mailbox was an after thought as I needed something to fill a dead space, so I went back to the neighborhood and shot this box.

#9 Sky: Used a stock image I had from my sky collection.

#10 Fireworks: Used stock images for this, so add fireworks on to next years list for stock images I need to collect.

#11 Fireworks: More fireworks.

#12 Bottle Rocket: I’ll tell you, bottle rockets aren’t what they used to be.

#13 Bottle Rocket Flames: Stock Images and Photoshop.

#14 Lighter Flame: Did you really think I’d let Luka have an open flame around his bottle rockets?

#15 Sky Reflection: Added a subtle reflection of the sky into the windows to add some realism.

#16 Open Door: I created an open door effect using Photoshop to give the inside of the house some depth and life.

The RAW Photos

So you have a better idea of where this Bottle Rocket Photillustration began, here are some of the RAW photos I used right out of my camera.

untitled- Photillustrator





That’s a Wrap

Along with using 16 separate images to create my Bottle Rocket composite, I hope you see there is more that goes into a Photillustration than simply slapping a few pics together.

Compositing, in my opinion, is 95% psychological.

Ok, maybe I’m over exaggerating and dramatizing that a little, but I will say there is a psychology that goes into all my work.

Now, I want to hear what you have to say about Bottle Rockets, so leave a comment below and let is POP!!!

Leave a comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.