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8 Composite Photography Ideas to Get You Inspired

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collage of woman portraits, neon lights, flowers and apples

Taking a photo with your camera is cool and all, but what if you could put two pictures together? It turns out that this is possible with software programs, and you can take multiple exposures and blend them into an artistic, otherworldly masterpiece or enhance the sharpness of your images.

If you want to take your photos to the next level and explore a new, interesting genre, look no further. Below are eight composite photography examples to spice up your craft! 

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The 8 Composite Photography Ideas to Get You Inspired

1. Use Windows to Your Advantage

We may see these transparent, glass surfaces as just an everyday thing, but they do open up a monumental number of creative ideas that you could get a hold of. As many people take photos out of their car or house window, the scene in the background may not be as eye-catching as they desire. This is the perfect opportunity to edit something that looks mesmerizing, such as a mountain vista, the full moon, or a cityscape meshed into the window. Windows can be a portal to a new world or idea. 

2. Enhance Your Nightscapes

If you’ve ever seen pictures of the stars with a considerably lit mountain landscape in the foreground, you’ve already been exposed to this type of photography. You can take some incredible photographs of a landscape scene during blue hour or at sunset, and then throw in one of your favorite milky way images on top to keep things looking crisp. If you’re really into it, you can get a star tracker for the best astrophotography results.

3. Keep Up the Contrast

One thing you can do to make an interesting composite is to take a photo of an object and blend it with a completely different tone to add some contrast. You might be surprised to see some interesting effects. For example, throwing a flourishing flower pot into an Arctic environment would build some extreme disparity between the subject and the setting, piquing the interest of the viewer and bringing them closer to the scene. Landscapes are a great way to do this too, as you can mix them together even if they are in totally separate locations.

4. Exaggerate the Scale of a Picture

An incredible way to provide depth in a photo is to add a sense of scale to the background. In this case, if you’ve taken an exposure with a vast landscape and you don’t have a subject in the frame, you can get a previous photo you took and place a tiny person on a ledge or faraway distance to increase the magnitude and size of the background in the image.

You can also do this with miniatures and put life-sized people in a macro-environment. Oh, and don’t forget the moon—you can enlarge this and throw it in just about any outdoor photo! It’s all about getting creative and finding what suits your style best.

5. Change Up the Sky

Sometimes our lighting conditions aren’t the best in a photo, but we want to make the image pop. Let’s say you want some clouds in the sky, as it was clear when you originally shot it. There are many tools out there that will enable you to remove the existing sky area of an image and replace it with a variety of presets, such as different cloud formations. Or, you can of course add your own sky images to keep it a bit more original. Remember, the sky is the limit!

6. Use Motion

One area you definitely should skimp on is motion. In many cases, it can be fascinating to see your image come to life if you blur the background by using a slow shutter speed, but also adding an object into the mix to create some sense of movement. You could even go as far as keeping the subject still, contrasting it from the rest of the frame. It doesn’t have to end there though, as you can put two blurred photos together to build a surreal final image.

7. Blend in Some Extra Subjects

Don’t forget, composites aren’t limited to just two photos merged together. You can blend as many as your program or computer can handle. That means you could do many of the things we’ve stated above, and mix them into others. For example, if you take a blue-hour photo and merge it with a space background, you can also build on it and put a flying car in the distance. Or you could paste five of the same person in the frame.

There are hundreds of other things you could do to the photo to change it up, depending on your taste. Also, you don’t always have to match reality, as composites usually aren’t a depiction of that. 

8. Combine the Abstract

As most of us feel, photography is an art—a form of expression that we create to display our best concepts and experiences. Abstract art is one area where you can make some pretty unique images that people may not understand but are, nonetheless, a way to design a brand-new impression. With composites, you can take all sorts of abstract frames and mesh them together into something random or whatever suits your idea. 

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Composite photography is actually one of the most popular and Instagram-worthy types of imagery out there. That’s because the concepts are endless, and you can build something that might exaggerate your picture, whether it’s to make a higher-quality result or to create an otherworldly photo. Whatever you choose in your path, we hope these eight composite photography ideas have you eager to create something amazing.

Featured Image Credit: popovartem.com, Shutterstock

About the Author Robert Sparks

Robert’s obsession with all things optical started early in life, when his optician father would bring home prototypes for Robert to play with. Nowadays, Robert is dedicated to helping others find the right optics for their needs. His hobbies include astronomy, astrophysics, and model building. Originally from Newark, NJ, he resides in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where the nighttime skies are filled with glittering stars.

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