Friday, September 3, 2010

The Dwell Effect

I have been discussing, off and on, the impact on our business of the popular magazine Dwell. It is not an abstract discussion as myself and many photographers I know have been asked to imitate that "Dwell Look". Well here is my latest, an art directed example for one of my favorite locally based national magazines.

The original a flat stitch of one of the reject poses with the camera in a horizontal position. The stitch was requested to insure that they had enough real estate to work from. There was great natural light that just needed to be slightly boosted and the ambient color to be cleaned up. Two lights were used, a fill bounced off the white wall behind me and one in the kitchen set slightly brighter to pull the eye in. When doing these kind of stitches, it is only necessary to shoot the left side once, but the right side with the home owner multiple times, in different poses, and then stitch the selected right side of the woman with the previously shot left side. This was a difficult stitch as there was not much detail in the overlap area for the program, PS CS4 to find reference points. I ended up manually stitching these. The right example has been cropped in some already at this point. The merge area is between the chairs.

Unfortunately I had to manually stitch a number of these before the art director decided which she wanted. Left-the final published cover. Right-one of the rejected poses.

The most recent cover in the same vein.


  1. Kirk, there are better tools for stitching than PS, try PTGui. Once you've set your control points and got a good stitch you can save the project as a template, which will allow you to swap around the imput images. Then it's just a case of blending in the required subject matter from the [perfectly aligned] output images using a mask in PS.

  2. I agree completely on more complicated stitches, BUT in three years of doing a few of these flat stitches a week for clients, I have only had problems with 2 stitches. PS has handled all the rest fine, and directly from the raw file in Bridge or LR only takes only like 20 seconds and gives a perfect stitch 99 percent of the time.


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