photoshop creative

5 ways to add drama to your images

Posted in:
Tips & Tutorials, by Mark White
October 13, 2014

Give your images punch by adding dramatic impact

1. Selective Colour

First of all, duplicate the background image twice keeping the original layer locked. With the last layer selected, choose Other>High Pass and apply the filter with a Radius of 7-10px. Change the layer’s blend mode to Overlay at 70% Opacity. Merge these last two layers and create a new one. On the new layer, make a gradient using yellow tones and change the blend mode to Overlay. Merge all your layers and desaturate, applying some sharpness (Filter>Sharpen>Sharpen).

2. Dramatic Monochrome

To create a dramatic monochrome image, you must be careful to preserve the image quality when converting it to black and white. Go to Image>Mode and select Greyscale. Now go to Image>Adjustments>Curves and change the Preset to Darker (RGB). Be careful not to overexpose the white. Use the Dodge and Burn tools (O) to brush on highlights to the overall image.

3. Fantasy

To create a whimsical style, you can highlight the cool and warm colours, and desaturate the others for an unusual and mysterious feel. Start by creating a point of light by selecting the Filter>Render>Lens Flare. Create a light effect where the image is brightest (where the sun would be) and finalise with Flash reflex. Set this in the same direction as the existing light that hits the model so it does not lose its shadows.

4. HDR

To get a dramatic HDR treatment, boost the colour vibrance (Image>Adjustments>Vibrance) to the maximum value and enhance the colour contrast (Image>Adjustments>Brightness/Contrast). Duplicate the layer and create a coloured gradient with mixd cool and warm tones. Change this layer’s blend mode to Overlay to complete the HDR effect.

5. Cinematic

For this effect you can apply subtle editing which boosts the image without being too obvious. Images with neutral colours give the best results. Head to Image>Adjustments>Photo Filter and choose a deep yellow colour. Ensure Preserve Luminosity and hit OK. Now adjust the contrast via Image>Adjustments and use the Dodge and Burn tools to add impact where you want.