Tasha by Mike Hill

Fire, Explosions and Naked Girls by Mike Hill
So there will be no fire or explosions, but I will show you how I did a recent nude portrait of my friend, Tasha. Most of the time when I ask for a particular pose it usually takes a few tries for the girl to get it right, but Tasha nails it every time.
I used an iPad for this, but all the apps are available for iPhone as well. 
I used Superimpose, Handy Photo, Photo Wizard,  and  Snapseed.
These two photos were the ones I got (i and ii), the first had a more “artsy” pose but she hadn’t done her hair and makeup and it was a little blurry. In the second her hair and makeup were perfect but I didn’t feel her pose was as “artistic”. Breasts are artistic – you all know I’m right – just look at all those historic statues.




So I did what anyone would do in this situation, I cut off her head and transplanted it on the other’s body.



1 )  I opened up Superimpose and loaded both images, keeping the one with her head I wanted in the foreground and aligned them. In the mask feature I masked out all the parts I didn’t want from the top image and aligned her head over the one from the back image so that it fitted naturally and looked normal, not worrying about all the background stuff with the wall which would be covered later.



2 )  Once that’s done I went into Handy Photo, cropped it to a square and then used the retouch feature to remove the lines from the wall on the right side of her body, and also a few freckles so that when I start adjusting the brightness and contrast they won’t stand out more and will keep her skin smooth looking. I’m leaving the wall lines on the left side because I’m planning on blacking all that out anyway.



3 )  Next I used the clone stamp feature and with the “pattern clone stamp” (so that the target doesn’t move) I found the darkest spot in the pic and began to clone it all over the left side of her. This is what probably took the longest, I had to be very careful not to draw over her skin, and also not leave any space in between her and the wall. Details are so important to me.


4 )  I saved two different versions, one where the black at the top right makes a circular shape and one where it kinda doesn’t. These two will be blended together later to make the transition more subtle.



5 )  Next, using the one I saved with the circular corner, I converted it to black and white in Snapseed and then adjusted brightness, contrast and ambiance a bit, saved it.




6 )   I then took the one with the non circular corner that’s still in color into Photo Wizard and started to carefully mask out the right side of the photo where the wall is still exposed. I spent a good bit of time on her hair with this part, making sure there were no holes and everything was covered on the edges.



7 )  After that was done I went into effects, gray presets, and chose the platinum filter. Then I added a vignette, made it rectangular and adjusted the smoothness and size so that it gradually faded in around the border. Next I moved over to filters and used the motion blur, choosing the vertical and adjusted it to about 48%. This is what made the blur streaks in her hair. Finally I decided I would add a little bit of texture over the blur, I chose texture number 5 and slightly lowered it. Saved it.




This is how it’s looking so far:



8 )  Ok, so now I have to merge this photo I just finished with the black and white one from step 5. To do that I used Superimpose again, and basically just painted the two together, it was pretty simple with all the black I used in here to get them merged seamlessly. And I carefully painted in that top right corner so it kind of blended.


9 )  I took it back into Handy Photo after that was done to clean up a few areas using the clone stamp. Mostly in the hair and that top right corner, I was still not happy with the shape it came out so I lowered the stamp smoothness down to about 8% and slowly painted the black in to the shape I wanted.

10 )  So after all that I felt like there was too much black on the right side of the image around the border, I used the magic crop feature in Handy Photo to basically move the square over to the left a bit and take a little off the top, also adding a little more on the left side of the photo while still keeping it perfectly square. Magic crop works really well for this type of scenario where it’s a solid color, it pretty much just builds more of the photo for you.

And this is the finished image.


Thanks for stopping by and checking out my tutorial, if you have any questions please don’t hesitate to ask!

See more of Michael’s work here michaelhillphotography.com

View the original tutorial on Juxt:  http://www.wearejuxt.com/2013/07/23/fire-explosions/

Nicki Fitz-Gerald

Co-author of The Art of iPhoneographyCentral. Founder of iPhoneographyCentral.com


  1. Elaine (@sunflowerof21) said:

    So detailed, and brilliant. I deleted Handy Photo a long time ago. Time to reinstall it methinks! 🙂