Model: Laura Douglas
Going on with my photographic and 3d modeling experiments.
In this case I used a Photo taken last year, and a photo of actual cicada wings I took some 5 years ago.
In final images, it might come across quite easy, "just add some other stuff to your Photo" or "use a phone App to make an image striking".
Well, phone Apps might work for a Social Media post, but certainly not for an image you want to print out and hang into your lounge. Also those Apps are rather limited, you can't adjust lighting etc.
I had a discussion wit someone being very upset when I called those Apps "toys", but, sorry, they are. In the example this person was talking about, there were two moons added to an existing picture. But those moons didn't reflect in the water of the original picture, and they were lit up from straight above - the light in the original came from the far right.
This brings me to the "just add something to the image via Photoshop". It's a bit more complicated than that.
First, my original photos of those wings have been shot on white paper. They have to be mostly transparent though, apart from the structure holding them in position. "Half" transparent is the key here, entirely transparent would have been easy, just cutting out the white background, but that doesn't work for "half".
Also they will need to be in the right position, size and area. They would have to catch light, to cast shadows, to be blurred where they came out of focus of the real image. The perspective also needs to be changed via 3d features, to get them look real, not just by changing size and angle in 2d.
So, such an image is made up from way beyond 50 layers in Photoshop, way beyond just "adding something".
And, I'm just talking about the "wing" part here. The original already consists of 30+ Layers, including conversion of some parts to infra red, which gives it the appearance of a moonlit night-shot.