Here are some quick outdoor photos of Silas. It's difficult to see much detail in the partial as the lighting isn't quite right. I could fiddle with my camera settings to try to get a better exposure, but my faithful model and husband has breathing difficulties, and so can only wear the mask for maybe five minutes tops. Not much time for fiddling.
My husband and I could theoretically switch roles, with me modelling and him taking pictures, but unfortunately photography is not my husband's strong suit. I'm modelling here while my daughter is taking pictures. She's a good photographer but has limited patience for these endeavors. Still, most importantly, you can see that the exposure is still not great and not a lot of detail is visible in the mask.
The beginnings of an indoor setup! My husband, a teacher, had just made a video with his kids at school and so was all excited about the idea of a green screen, so that's what we got for a backdrop. I learned shortly afterwards that any color solid backdrop would have worked, and a non green backdrop would have worked better, as the green threw up a lot of green reflections on the partial which had to be edited out later. But that's what GIMP is for. My floodlights from my tabletop setup worked just fine, though it was a pain to carry them up from the basement to the living room, which had taller ceilings.
And....a downside of indoor setups like this one... cats love 'em. This older cat was relatively well behaved but our younger cat had to be locked out of the room, as she wanted to play with the backdrop REAL BAD and nearly pulled all the stands into every last item in the living room, including my beloved model horse collection.
If I were going to go through all the trouble of learning how to remove figures from their backgrounds, I wanted some cool backdrops to stick them on after! I took this picture on Pearl Street in my hometown of Barre, VT, a new pedestrian walkway featuring a granite sculpture of a castle. (Barre was given a large bequest by a wealthy resident, which was used among other things to commission a number of granite statues commemorating Barre's long history of quarrying and stoneworking.) It only seemed fitting to incorporate images of other local artists' handiwork along with my own.
All I can say for learning GIMP is, GIMP Workshop baby!!! These videos were very easy to follow and the guy's voice was very calm and soothing, which helped keep me from freaking out and throwing my computer out the window on more than one occasion. Especially helpful were these videos- this one on how to remove an object from its background and this one on how to remove a furry object from its background. This one, in addition to being about removing an object from its background also had info about how to make simple shadows and remove colored reflections (like the green on Silas' fur and jacket).