A while ago I dug up some pictures I made a couple of years ago in Hong Kong. At the time I didn’t do much with them (except make a personal album of that trip to China and Hong Kong), but some months ago I came across an online photo assignment about “couples” and those pictures just popped up in my mind. I’d like to tell you a little about this image.
First things first, the image is made in the Hong Kong Zoological and Botanical Gardens (HKZBG). This zoo is located on Albany Road at the slope of Victoria Peak in Hong Kong. For me it’s in the first place a beautiful park between the huge buildings in this global city where they also show animals. But since it originates as a botanical garden, the park feeling is logical.
Taking the images
In the HKZBG is a huge cage with many different colorful birds where you can walk through as a visitor. So it’s great to take pictures. After looking at all this beauty, these two black-and-white birds showed up at a branch a couple of meters away from me. The interaction between these two birds was great to see and therefore I made 10 or 15 photographs of this couple, while standing at the exact same spot. I continued my trip through the gardens and only reviewed the photographs when I was back home in Belgium.
Post-production of the images
As earlier mentioned, I didn’t do much with these photographs at first, but I did combine these two images in my personal album of that trip. I used one next to the introduction on page 2 and the other one on the last page. For this album I just cropped the two photographs more or less the same, because they weren’t used on the same page “more or less” was close enough. When I came across a photo assignment about “couples” I looked up these images again and imported them into Lightroom and gave it a little extra contrast.
From Lightroom I exported them to Photoshop and placed them into one image as two layers. Then I used the “Auto-Align Layers”-tool to align the two layers so the branch and background were at exact the same spot. After that I cropped them the way I wanted them to be. Then I exported the image twice from Photoshop: once with one layer visible and a second time with the other layer visible.
Then the two images were perfectly aligned and had the same size and I re-imported them into Lightroom. There I used the Print-Module to combine the two photographs. I gave them a black border about 0,5cm wide (on the screen resolution I have on my laptop that is) and placed them vertical. The black border contrasted beautifully with the birds at gave points the viewer directly towards the birds.
As photographer I usually don’t combine images, but these two gave a perfect result for me.