photoshop creative

Creative photo retouching

Posted in:
General, by The Photoshop Creative Team
July 11, 2011

It doesn’t matter how dull a photo is, there is always a way to improve it. Issue 76’s feature looked at three methods for bringing new life to images

Our feature in issue 76 looked at creative photo-retouching techniques. Here is an excerpt to give you a taster…

We’ve got three very different subjects over the next six pages, retouched to perfection with three rather fab techniques. The first two really are testament to the fact that it pays to try and see the potential in your imagery as it first appears out of camera. Something that looks really ordinary could be a diamond in the rough. Take the case of our first portrait shot; it’s fairly drab and uninteresting – despite the energy in the model’s face and actions – simply because the colour is washed out and the contrast is low. By picking the two dominant colours in the shot and turning them into the colour theme of the image, it’s transformed into something that you simply can’t look away from and becomes a real eye-catcher. The thing to remember is that while your subject isn’t overly malleable without complex composite work, the colour and contrast of your image can be completely revolutionised to the point where the finished image is barely recognisable as the one you started with. What your picture starts out with in terms of contrast and colour isn’t even always relevant. That is the fantastic thing about postproduction after all – you have access to the entire tonal spectrum at your fingertips. So pick and choose to your heart’s content! The sunset image that we take a look at next doesn’t need to undergo quite the same transformation to catch the viewer’s eye, but we’ve still altered the colour hue to a fairly dramatic extent, albeit maintaining more reality than the portrait with its kaleidoscope sky. We’ve mastered its potential and made it extraordinary. The final shot has a very different feel to the first two, swapping colour for sepia, and an old-worldy look. But again, if you look at the contemporary, hyper-real feel of the start image, you’d be sceptical that such a picture could be made to look like a museum piece. So take a lesson from these inspiring tutorials and try and see the potential in everything you’ve shot.