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Creating Patriotic Composites with Carrie Hampton

Whether you have a family member in the service or you favor images with a military motif, it’s always a good time to show your support to our troops and promote patriotism. Tara Lesher Education group member, Carrie Hampton, did a beautiful job creating nationalistic composites and was kind enough to share her techniques with us.

As a military spouse, Carrie enjoys creating composites that pay homage our flag and the U.S. Military’s A10 Warthog that her husband flies as a member of the Air Force. She believes these images deliver a strong message of pride and solidarity. Carrie particularly admires the A10 as a beloved and dependent military aircraft. 

To create The Patriotic Boy image, Carrie shot photos of a friend’s son whose father is also a pilot. She used a neighbor’s flag that was attached to a flag pole and brought it down for the shoot and also had the young boy wear an oversized pilot’s jacket.

Carrie shot the photo using the Brenizer Method, also known as Bokeh Panorama, and stitched about 25 images together, each containing various depths of field and a wide view. After resizing and making perspective adjustments, she used Photoshop to drop in planes, either one or two at a time, and used images she took of A10s training at the range.

 All editing for The Patriotic Boy image was done by hand via Photoshop, including adjustments in levels, the sponge tool, and burn tools. The final product is a bold image of a young boy in a pilot’s jacket, waving the American Flag in a show of support as groups of A10s fly home overhead. 

For her 4th of July Hog composite, Carrie first shot a photo of the plane while she was on the flight line on base. Then she gave the image a vintage look by applying sepia filters and a few texture overlays with the opacity adjusted and brushed off in certain places. Finally, Carrie placed a flag overlay over her base image and cut away everywhere except the plane. 

Carrie’s Pin-Up JTAC image was shot in the same fashion as The Patriotic Boy image. Her composite features a female JTAC, or Air Force airman on the ground who calls in air strikes, and was included in Carrie’s A10 Pinups 2015 calendar. I’d like to thank Carrie for sharing her insightful compositing methods with us. You can check out more of Carrie's gorgeous images here.  

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