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Masking is hard enough when working with an opaque subject set against a relatively homogeneous background but one of that subject is casting a shadow that you want to bring into another composition, what if the subject is translucent as in the case of say, a flame? What if the subject contains the same colors as his or her background? What if the subject is wildly colorful with elaborate ruffles or fringes set against some busy multicolor background? What then Mr. Mask whiz, what then? Well, when the masking gets tough, the tough get masking, which is my way of saying, you have your work cut out for you.
Fortunately, I have a few suggestions, and while I can't show you each and every masking curve ball, that might get through in your way, I do manage to cover shadows, flames, blonde hair, feathers, and weird bushy things in the front of macaws that I don't what they are called. If nothing else, watch the final exercises, in which I explore three different ways to approach images with busy backgrounds. Somehow, someway, something is going to work.
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