The final image...
Need to shoot for the subject "Baby, its cold outside!". Ok, got a great idea in mind for a fun outdoor shoot. What could go wrong? Its Wisconsin. Its Winter. Its January. Right? Wrong. Its Sunny. Its in the 50's. It rained. Seriously. I couldn't shoot a winter shot in Wisconsin in the winter. Now what?
So, I took a photo I shot a few years ago in my driveway. We had snow. It was cold. Cool, I can work it. Then I got my granddaughters suited up in my meager studio for a shoot. I only had about 20 minutes of shoot time, even with the AC running. Yea, you heard right. Air Conditioner in Wisconsin in the Winter. If it wasn't real it would make a hell of a joke punch line huh?
So, here are the pieces of the puzzle...
The layer palette looked like this:
From the bottom up...
Layer 8 - the cropped portion of my driveway
Layer 26 - White. To lighten the bg. Opacity set really low
Levels 4 - Creates the haze/softness at the top
Blue Cast - A levels layer that adjusts the blacks to give them a blue cast
Layer 6 - Sampled from the skin, used to colorize the whites (soft light, with layer blending)
Layer 7 - Sampled from the skin, used to colorize the blacks (soft light, with layer blending)
Backgrround blur - The stacked background with a layer mask and a lens blur to simulate DOF
Levels 2 and Curves 1 - Final thouchup adjustments for matching background to girls
Background snow - Has 4 layers of the simulated snow (each blurred slightly more to simulate distance)
Girl Image - Cut out but not otherwise altered (backup, hidden)
Girl Image - Retouched and cleaned up girl image with cutout mask
Levels 1 - Initial levels adjustment for the girls
Layer 5 - Sampled from the background, used to colorize the whites (soft light, with layer blending)
Layer 4 - Sampled from the background, used to colorize the blacks (soft light, with layer blending)
Photo Filter 1 - Cooling gel. Used for the blue cast on the girls to match the background
Levels 2 - Used to match the girls to the background (darks and lights and blue cast)
Layer 26 - Also used as a whtewash
Folder mask - Used to clip the bottom of the boots and shovels to make it look like they are standing in snow.
Foreground snow - Has 4 layers of the simulated snow (each blurred slightly more to simulate closeness to the camera)