The River City Ballet, a dance company in San Marcos Texas, puts on an annual production of The Nutcracker Ballet as part of their holiday season. An important part of this tradition is the role of the Angels in the performance; any child, with or without dance experience, can audition to be part of the show as an Angel.
Needless to say, the motif of angels is very important from the publicity end of the spectrum. So when River City Ballet asked for my help creating a graphic they could use as a poster or flyer, I was very excited and jumped right into it. I had to admit, I did not seem to recall any angels from The Nutcracker. It was then that they informed me that they were actually performing The Nutcracker’s Second Act, where Clara and the Prince travel to the Land of Snow and the Land of Sweets. In the Land of Snow, an enchanted forest, they are greeted by dancing snowflake angels. At the time, this was all news to me, as I only could remember the fight between the Army of Toys and the Mouse Army.
Lacking a viable snowy forest at my disposal (Central Texas remember), I knew I would end up combining two images to create the final image: the shot of the angels in studio and a forest scene that I found at a stock site. These two images are below.
With my task at hand, I worked to seamlessly blend the angels with the background to create a convincing photomerge. I wanted it to straddle the line between realism and fantasy. The final result is below.
Hopefully this can give a bit of insight into what it takes to bring a forest snow scene to the balmy land of the Texas Hill Country.