Background from another canyon taken a month ago.
Background in Same area, taken a month ago.
Original photo taken last week.
Now that everything is dead, but families still need photos taken, it is really hard to find something with any color. I took this family's photo last week, but also had some backgrounds from about a month ago when there was color. I don't make this a habit, but sometimes I find it necessary. The bottom one is the original, the middle one was in the same place but the background was taken a month ago and the top, the background was in another canyon. The photo obviously matches best with the background in the same place, but I was surprised how well it did match with the canyon photo. I still need to do some dodge and burn around the highlighted areas, but there is hope for some color and a better background. All in all, finding a background that doesn't matter what season it is, is better, maybe a cool barn, some great building, anyway, but for now, this is what I did.
In order to do this, I pull the background over the original photo and bring the family back in with a layer mask and the brush tool, toggling back and forth from top to bottom layer. It is like a giant head swap. The thing you have to be most careful with is when the heads are in a highlighted area, like the sky. Digitally, they make "halo's" around the area and that is when it is hard to put them into another background if there are trees and subject matter, this is when it starts to look like- "you put them in". That is when I do the dodge and burn thing to bring shadows and mask the "halloing" (sp?) and make it look as natural as possible. Most people can't even tell when it is printed.