Behind the Scenes of My Game of Thrones Photo

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The Photo turned out much better than I thought.

This is a blog post that has been highly requested and I’ve been putting it off for no reason in particular other than I’m really lazy. This was one of those photos that turned out so much better, and different, than the idea I had in my head. It’s one of those times where I finished it and I was like, huh, I’m actually alright at this whole editing thing, huh? 

Now obviously, I’m not blonde so I had to order a blonde wig online. I would link to the one I bought, but I wouldn’t recommend it because it looks absolutely horrendous from the front. The original plan was to take the photo from the front, but that was thwarted when I saw how fake it looked, so it had to be done from the back. I actually think this worked out better because it provides a bit more anonymity to the photo, so in theory it’s more believable that it’s Daenerys. Besides, I looked terrible as a blonde anyway! 

So here is the original photo. The plan was to have dragons actually flying around above me, but I didn’t like how that looked. So I had to have a bit of a rethink and that’s when I found a PNG of a dragon that looked like it could be sitting on my shoulder, so I tried it out and it ended up working really well! However, I still thought that the whole thing looked a little bit plain, and then I remembered the scene in Game of Thrones where  Daenerys  is coming out the fire, and I thought it could be quite cool to add some fire elements into the photo. So I took to Google and searched for ‘Burning ash black background’. The black background is extremely important and I’ll tell you why in a minute. 

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Once I found a couple of burning photos that I liked, I opened them up in photoshop and click and dragged them onto my original image. 

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But of course, the black background is there, and all you need to do to get rid of it is to change the layer type from ‘normal’ to ‘screen’ and boom! The black is gone! To get a bit more of a bolder effect, I like to sometimes duplicate these layers so the ash is big more brighter and noticeable. I used about three different types of burning ash photos to get this effect. 

But I still thought that the photo needed something else, so to make it a bit more ‘bookish’ I decided that adding bits of burning paper in the air would be a pretty cool effect! So I found a photo of burning paper online and opened it in photoshop. I unlocked the layer and used the eraser tool to get rid of the background, leaving just the paper visible. 

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Once I’d cut it out, I clicked and dragged the paper onto my final image. (to get multiple of them, all you have to do is duplicate the layer!) And to make each bit of paper look different, I found some pictures of flames on a background and used the same ‘screen’ method in order to make each bit of burning paper look individual and unique. This also requires a bit of fiddling with resizing and repositioning!

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And there you have it! This photo was actually quite simple to edit, the only struggle I had with it was that my original vision didn’t work out, so it took me a while to figure out an entirely new concept for it. This photo is the definition of ‘winging it’. A lot of the time in photoshop, it’s much easier than you think and is just a lot of layering.

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