Olga Levien
New Zealand Artist | Mentor | Mum

Olga Levien wedding | documentary family photographers Blog

Personal projects and documentary-lifestyle photographs taken by Olga Levien photography artist - wedding and family photographer in Auckland, New Zealand and international.

What can you do if you chopped a hand {Photography education | online tutorial for photographers}

O-oh! It just happened, you shoot on location and by accident chopped a hand, foot or any other part of the body {sound terrifying for not photographers}. What can you do?

Firstly, if you have a chance shoot another frame, step back or change composition where you can fit subject as you like. 

Get it right in the camera!

We know kids are moving fast, and often we don't have a second chance. That's why I often make sure I did a few clicks, shoot through the moment, sometimes slightly changing my angle and composition to make sure I got the best possible shot according to my vision. Back button focusing is a key, keep holding while you are shooting!

Last weekend I shot my kids at the beach and I been envisioning a faceless shot with my son looking at the ocean. It happened in the split of a second, he runs to the water and pretty much comes back. 

Luckily I got two shots, but the best one, first one had his hand chopped, while second had better composition but not the body lines that I needed.


Luckily I remember a great tool in Lightroom - Photo Merge. I am happy to move you step by step what I did to make this image work.

Select two images with holding Alt + arrow.

Go to top navigation Photo - Photo Merge

Select Panorama - Perspective. Press Merge. It will create a separate image.

Crop your image to delete white space around or take it to Photoshop to fill the canvas using a magic wand to select part and Edit - Fill {content aware}. If the area small you can easily use spot healing brush tool on the left side {thats what I did}.

How simple is this! Look at final result - we have a solid image with full hand included! I feel its stronger in BW, so I made this simple transition with my custom BW preset in LR.

everyday-levien-65 copy.jpg

You can use photo merge for any other situation, to create a Panorama {with many images from the same location, you can not only do a perspective panorama, but also Spheric one, do a HDR merge - photos with different exposure, lighting situations, do a photo merge with a different subjects on the same location, etc.} Also if happened you shot too close to the frame and not leave enough space to showcase surroundings you can easily take another shot and merge few images together. Have a play around and let me know what do you think! Hope this short tutorial help! 

Thank you for looking and let me know if you have any questions!