Photography for





Direction of light and color cast

Combining two images will not be perfect if no attention taken for the light direction and color cast on both of the photos. A successful super-imposed image will always have consistent light and color cast. Both of the combined images shall have similar color cast and also the light direction.
Therefore when you create those super-imposed images, always follow these steps:

1. Get the background image first.
2. See the light direction and color cast of that image.
3. Take the photo of your model to mimic the light direction and color cast of that background.

Do not swap those steps the other way around, since it will be much easier to artificially create the light and color cast on the model rather than the background.

The examples below will further illustrate.


The above photo is the background.
Clearly the light is coming from the left hand side, bright daylight. Based on that photo, I created the photo of the model (right). It is a 1/72 scale model of J2M3 Raiden
This model was photographed under a bright light to simulate a daylight, and the light's direction was intentionally arranged so that it will be similar to the background photo (note the shadow cast).

Below is the final image, after super-imposing both photographs.
Added with shadow to give impression of near-ground position of the plane, propeller turned, and also
added with smoke streaming from its lower exhaust pipes, to create an indication that this plane got some trouble and doing an emergency landing on the beach.

This is an example on how a color cast shall be observed carefully.
The background photo (left) was dark, taken at late sunset with the sun almost retire into horizon and dark cloud hanging above, creating a monochromatic image with yellow color cast.
To create the same color cast as the background, the model was then photographed using the light from incandescent bulb, and back-lighted. This is a high-contrast photography.
The final image can be seen below. A propeller-driven fighter plane is flying toward horizon, heading into the setting sun,
leaving the dark earth behind. What type of aircraft is that? well, in this high contrast photo,
it may be a bit difficult to see the overall body of the plane, especially that it was a rear-view photograph.
It is a 1/72 scale model of Hawker Tempest Mk.V in RAF grey-green camouflage color.

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