Next, I took this photo into both Mextures and Distressed FX to add some subtle texture and lighting to the background as well as to lighten the whole piece up and decrease the blues & purples. I meant to save a copy at that step but unfortunately I forgot to do it. I try to save a copy at every step along the way, sometimes ending up with 30-50 copies by the end, but once in a while I just forget to do it...
I spend a lot of time creating the background for my pieces but if you put in the time & effort to get the background right, then they generally all come together fairly quickly in the end when you combine the final photo. From start to finish, the background took me about 1 1/2 hours. The remainder, combining the final photo and putting the finishing touches on it, only took about 10 minutes.
Often, I already have the final photo in mind when I start a new composition and I'm creating a background specifically for it, but sometimes I just create a background and then find a final photo once I see what I've come up with for the background. That's the case with this piece. Once I saw the completed background, I knew I needed plants or something else with a strong graphic element to lay across the light in the middle of the photo.
This photo doesn't look like much by itself, but I've used it many times as a final photo because I just love the perspective these little flowers were shot from and they work perfectly for scenes like this where you want to light something up. (Also, I had to lie on the side of a muddy hill to capture this from below, so it's good to know that messy day paid off!) If you scroll down through my Instagram feed, you'll see that I've used this one several times before in different compositions, sometimes flipped backwards.