Virtual Travel by Composite Editing

One sad part of this summer was missing our typical trip to Williamsburg. We figured it would be way too much work to drag a non-sleeping infant to go on “vacation,” and my wife surmised that breast feeding an infant in ninety-six degree weather 1 would not be enjoyable. That’s OK, we’ll go in the fall. The pool will be closed, but the weather will be nicer.

And yet, through the power of composite editing, Bump was able to visit Williamsburg this summer – virtually.

The original photo was actually taken down at the Jersey Shore, at the top a dune on Long Beach Island.

Mom and Bump on LBI
This was Bump’s first visit to the Jersey Shore.

But, with some magic in Affinity Photo I was was able to select Bump and my wife, including her hair 2, and then setting them in a nice Williamsburg scene. I also did some color matching so it looks like they belong in the background scene. It’s far from perfect, the lighting is wrong on the two figures and if you look at my wife’s sunglasses you can see the beach path reflected in them, but a casual glance doesn’t highlight any huge issues. I’m really pleased!

Mom and Bump composited on to a Williamsburg background.
Mom and Bump, transported to Williamsburg!

Affinity Photo made this selection and compositing process so easy. Once I got the feel for the tools making a realistic selection was a breeze, and creating the composite was fun. It can’t do everything the same way Photoshop does 3, but it is a lot more fun to use.

This tutorial shows how I refined the selection.

I used a shortcut to match colors, but I’ll be trying this tutorial in the near future to get more accurate results.


  1. With 100% humidity. 
  2. Selecting hair for composites has always given me issues. 
  3. The title in the Penny Gnomes cover loses its texture, for example. I could recreate it, but the way to get to the end result is different. 

3 Thoughts

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