Alice in Wonderland Redux

Sometimes I take my photography too seriously. This time I decided to do a digital image (not really photography but using photo elements). It was a fun project and I learned a few things doing it. I'll share with you the basic tools and techniques I used to create this image; Sara in Harewoodland (click for larger view):

First I needed a background image for my composition. Just south of Nanaimo is the wonderful Harewood Plains which bloom with many spring flowers each year. So I worked with this shot (cropped and some painterly filters applied) as the background:

So now we need the star player: Sara (Alice). I have a print of my daughter Sara from a shot I took when she was 7 years old (now 30). I scanned it into digital format and cut it out of the photo:

Two more things remained in my concept: bring in Harewood flowers in the sky plus butterflys. And a slightly hidden image (you have to find it!) So here's a flower:

And here is a butterfly:

OK. All of the flying images had a drop shadow or other effect applied to bring it up from the background. The last ingredient in the recipe is how to get the movement effect you see on the flowers and butterflys? All of these images were placed on a seperate layer in Photoshop so I could try and discard or keep. There are many ways to do this but I choose to use the EyeCandy7 filter from AlienSkin. This product has a number of good features including the motion effect for still images (no afflilation). 

One of the skills Im assuming you have is to cut out an image from the background. It take some skill but is much easier than it used to be.

Hope you enjoy the image: (click on for larger view)