How can you get a photo approved for Dreamstime assignment?
Well...it's not very easy, neither difficult, if you do have certain patience and technique. For this latest assignment my photo below was approved, but I had several tries/photos, until this one. I had to upload other 4 photos, which were in rejected from various reasons like "not good composition" or "not good lighting" or "the focus is not on the subject". These 4 photos were from my last years portfolio, so none of these pictures was shot these days for this current assignment theme which is 'hobby'.
So first I had to thought of a concept. What if I use a kid as my main subject? Then how to create a colorful photo, a funny one, as the main theme is 'hobby' and anything related to it.
Looking at a kid with a clown wig on head: it crossed my mind - I should take a picture of that kid, somewhere outside, using natural light. And that is what I did: taking a photo of a preschooler clown kid somewhere in the city.
I took several photos in order to have multiple versions in order to choose the best one.
When downloading my photos on my computer, I remarked that the subject was in focus. So that was good, but the background behind had parts which I did not like them, like some wood parts and a dull sky.
So I thought a cleaner background would be more attractive, something like a blue clean sky would make the subject stand more. So what I did in Photoshop was the following:
1.Open the original photo, in my case the photo with the clown kid.
2. I've selected the Quick Select tool from the Tools menu and select only the kid clown head from the photo with the Quick Select tool.
3. I double clicked the background layer in the Layer window to convert it into an ordinary layer and then I used "Add a Layer Mask" from the bottom of Layers window just to hide/reveal the layer content behind my subject
4. Open up the other photo for the background, which contains only a beautiful clean sky and drag & drop it into the original photo (eg. clown kid photo).
5. When zooming I've remarked that the hairs of the clown wig were not very properly embedded into the background. So to fix this, I've just selected the right part, meaning the layer mask
6. Then I used Refine Mask from top Photoshop menu "Select > Refine Mask". I've tried different settings from the' Refine Mask' until I've seen that the kid clown edges nicely fits the background.
Of course both layers, the sky photo and the clown kid can have the colors adjusted until your satisfaction.
7. Final Result:
For all the other screens, original photo and sky background, you may read the entire article by clicking HERE
As a conclusion, many times you may not have in your past photo portfolio a photo which fits exactly the Dreamstime theme contest, so you should do your best to create a concept just for this contest. However if the concept is very good, you will certainly have downloads in the future. So it's not a lost time.