Lori Lankford  

Battle Lost by Lori Lankford

October 2020 - Battle Lost

October 2020 - Lori Lankford


About the Image(s)

This image is from the Bull Run Battlefield Park in Virginia. We often walk this trail which has several markings where homes were located before they were burned during the civil war. I took this image during a walk and wanted to add some small structures to it, to bring some life back to clearing. I originally wanted to have "ghost" soldiers walking up the hill, but that just did not work out. So I found these from a painting and added them. The first edits were in photoshop and then I took it to my iPad to finish with some textures and birds from Distressed FX, light and smoke added using Lens Distortions.

10 comments posted

Jan Handman   Jan Handman
Very nice colors and textures in this image, Lori. The color in the upper right sky and the soldier's uniform go nicely together. The warm tones complement the blues nicely too. The light you added on the right side is lovely. I like the addition of the three buildings, and they all have a nice rustic charm. My only suggestion would be to add a deeper shadow right under the soldiers' feet to keep them from looking like they're floating, and maybe darken their highlights a bit since they're in the shadow of the trees. I love that you added smoke coming from the chimneys, which adds another level of "life" to the scene. Very well done!   Posted: 10/05/2020 15:58:21
Lori Lankford   Lori Lankford
Jan, I appreciate your critique and feedback. I struggle with shadows when adding object, something I can work on. :)   Posted: 10/12/2020 11:12:16
Jan Handman   Jan Handman
I agree that shadows in composites almost always present challenges, but I think it's worth the time to get them right because they either "sell" the image as believable or make it feel "off." Like Steve, I create one separate layer for shadows in a simple composite, or sometimes many different shadow layers in a complex composite so that each element (and its shadow) can be moved, eliminated, resized, or whatever, without affecting the rest of the elements.   Posted: 10/16/2020 15:08:41

Alan Kaplan   Alan Kaplan
This is a well balanced composition with rustic charm. The sweep of the trees and combined with the path bring the eye from the background of the canvas to the foreground. The colors add to the rustic quality, but I feel the sky detracts a bit as it is too blue. To my eye the men and the houses look too much like they were not part of the original scene. This is an image worth re-visiting.   Posted: 10/08/2020 09:35:58
Lori Lankford   Lori Lankford
Thanks Alan, the blue was a texture overlay and I think it just does not work. I appreciate your feedback.   Posted: 10/25/2020 17:16:00

Steve Estill   Steve Estill
A good composition, but as Jan and Alan have noted, it's just not right with the lighting.
In composites it's important to get the light on all the elements coming from the same direction (unless your looking for something surreal). I use a separate layer and paint the shadows where I think they'd work - you can always reduce the opacity in that layer if you feel it needs it, or try a dfferent blending mode.
I feel that it's the soldiers who need the light / shadows treatment. The compositoon is good and I think it's worth spending some time on.   Posted: 10/15/2020 16:25:13
Lori Lankford   Lori Lankford

Steve, great note. I really don't shoot people or use them much in my creative work - so obliviously I need to spend some more time on it when I do. Maybe I will make that a 2021 project. :)   Posted: 10/25/2020 17:15:21

Candy Childrey   Candy Childrey
Lori, good job on transforming a modern image into an older one. The items added to the scene were good choices. I do agree that the lighting needs some tweaking. I also agree that the houses and men are not completely believable. For the image to be an older image, I feel that the saturation should be reduced. You should work on the image a bit more, and I would expect that it would turn out perfect.   Posted: 10/18/2020 16:12:23
Lori Lankford   Lori Lankford
Thank you Candy, I think the texture overlay messed it all up - before I added it the saturation was less and the colors were muted. Thanks for your input.   Posted: 10/25/2020 17:14:21

Georgianne Giese   Georgianne Giese
This is a very classic image, in my opinion. I love the colors. The buildings and the people are fine, in my opinion. The light seems to be coming from a low right side. The buildings are on a hill, so that light would cast a reddish tone as the sun sets in a foreground valley. The light on the people seems to be coming from the right direction, to me. Perhaps you could lighten up the sides of the buildings a bit and add some variation of light on the trees.
You did an excellent job on this composite, in my opinion. The composition reminds us of history, and the final result is like a painting.   Posted: 10/26/2020 12:51:07


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