The Pep Ventosa technique
Pep Ventosa is the photographer who has made popular the technique of walking all around a subject taking photographs, and then combining all the shots in a multi-layered final image. He uses hundreds of shots to create his masterpieces, but you can get started using only 3 or 4 layers.
To have a go, bear these things in mind:
1. Try and have one fixed point in the shots that will overlap (eg. the tree trunk in the example above). It can be difficult to keep the overlapping point in the same place in the frame, so allow plenty of room around the subject to crop later if you need to nudge individual layers into place.
2. You’ll need to use an editing program that allows layers (like Photoshop). Import all your photos to the same image as layers (in Photoshop use File > Scripts > Load Files Into Stack).
3. Work through every layer adjusting the opacity (start with about 40%) and the blending mode (try Multiply or Screen).
4. Lots of shots means a huge file size and a slow computer. If you are not going to print your final image, consider working with smaller file sizes (for the shot above I exported 20 layers at 2000 pixels across).
My online Camera Club members have had a go at this technique as part of our advanced shutter speed exercise last month, and these are some of their results:
Free beginner’s workshop
Do you need help with the absolute basics? Join my free online class A Year With My Camera and start from the beginning: