Certainly makes the image stronger. But I think they are floating, just a little.
Very nice! For those of us who are new to this kind of post processing, would you care to share in general how you accomplished this?
Thank you, Phil, Dean and Barbara.
Barbara, the general steps were something like this -
Starting with the 2nd image -
Slight adjustments to sharpness and lighting to make the man and boy a better match to the first image.
Select those two figures by drawing around them (PSP X4 has a "Smart Edge" tool to make this easier and more accurate), and then "Copy".
Then to the 1st image -
"Paste As New Selection" to put the figures onto the image, judging where their position should be by their size relative to the footpath, leaves and nearby trees.
Change the general colour balance to warmer tones, and then give an extra boost to the saturation of the autumn reds and yellows.
Increase the overall brightness and contrast, but darken the area under the man and boy - no sun so no detailed shadows to bother about.
Sharpen the whole image, using the simple default sharpening setting.
Resample the image for the web, maintaining the aspect ratio, down from 4928 to 900 pixels on the long side.
Final sharpening using the Unsharp Mask tool - radius=0.3, strength=100.
The adjustments I make during processing are usually gentle - i.e. small changes judged by eye, comparing the altered image with the original (I often have both on screen). If it needs more (or less) then I repeat the small adjustment. I know that a lot of this is a matter of subjective opinion, but I sometimes see images on the Web where parameters such as contrast, saturation, colour balance and particularly sharpness, have been modified too much to be realistic or pleasing to view, so I try not to go too far.
I really like the ideas. You should feel no qualms about it. I agree that the figures seem to float in the background. Maybe it's lack of shadow.
There is a line between Pics and Digital images. This, to me has not crossed it, a picture that could have been taken, as seen, looks like a well used path. Doubt if I would have realized it was composite, if not warned beforehand. Cloning some leaves strategically around the feet would help. Personally I would have added a bit more contrast/lightness, bring out a bit more detail, but, as Phillip says, his choice, and, Monitor calibration may come into this. A good pic. Approx how long to do this. Ed.
All it needs now is a perspective shadow then the floating will make it appear grounded ..... well done!
The light does not indicate that shadows would be cast? Ed.