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How'd they do that? Photos by Keda.Z and more

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  • How'd they do that? Photos by Keda.Z and more

    Hello, everyone. I'm new to the group and not very advanced in Photoshop, but there are three photographers who's post processing I love and can see really bring their photos to a different level. While these are three different and distint photographers, it appears that they have a similar style for PP. Can anyone shed some light on what they do to chieve this look? I'm a self taught person and I'm more than willing to figure how to use these techniques, but I just need a little direction. Thanks in advance.

  • #2
    Re: How'd they do that? Photos by Keda.Z and more

    These are all over the place, but I assume you like the dramatic appearance and are unsure how to achieve a similar impact with your own work. The best thing I can tell you early on is to learn to break the work down, and make sure you are comfortable with your tools.

    First I don't know if you're using a mouse or tablet. Either way you want to be able to basically draw with the thing. It will save you hours of headaches if you can accurately do smooth lines. Ideally you should be able to at least paint a pretty circle in photoshop without an enormous amount of effort. If necessary train this to memory over a period of weeks. This way you won't endure things that are just slightly off. I recommend that you also work in a position that is comfortable and ergonomic. Your elbows and shoulders should not feel forced.

    Now the work has adjustments at multiple levels. Some adjustments are applied overall. Some may be applied to certain color ranges. Some are probably just applied to get the right color for skin, clothing, or some other small but important detail. You can gain the ability to refine things that way by learning to mask well using the brush tool and if necessary the pen tool.

    Masking will help you more than anything, because it solves the problem of how to get the sky to look like that without making the woman look terrible in shots like this one that you posted.

    Some of these use a certain amount of compositing, but that's a lot easier with strong fundamentals. A lot of the color work is relatively mundane, using various color adjustments to get the backgrounds to look just right or arrive at a pleasing skintone. At the level of what you posted, it won't give you a lot of difficulty.


    • #3
      Re: How'd they do that? Photos by Keda.Z and more

      Thanks for all the advise. Your reply was very helpful. You know what you're talking about and made me realize that there is now quick fixes for producing work like this. Even though it may seem simple in relation to what one would do for a commercial shoot, it still goes to show that skills in Photoshop are equally if not more important thatn the photograph itself.

      That said, I realized that I should be asking more specific questions rather than "how'd they do that?"

      Agreed, multiple layers to isolate certain elements of the photo were used. Lots of dogding and burning.

      There was just something about the look of the scenery that I couldn't put my finger on. There's sharpness, but also there's smoothness in the details. What is that called? Is it just simply painting on top of certain elements and changing blending mode?

      And there's something unreal and almost flawless about it. As if more touching up were done to a building or a mountain than the couple themselves.

      On a side note, I just looked at photos from last year's WPPI and am blown away by the amount of Photoshoping done to many of the award winning entries. No way one could do this without a tablet! (

      Thanks again.
      Last edited by keif90210; 01-12-2016, 07:13 AM.


      • #4
        Re: How'd they do that? Photos by Keda.Z and more

        I wouldn't say it's never fast. Obviously these guys have budgets and schedules. Some parts are probably repeated and simplified over time. They still differ quite a bit, so I'm trying to suggest a strategy that will help you test these things out on your own without getting endlessly stuck.

        I can also tell you that I don't make an image more complex than absolutely necessary. I make selections from combinations of masks at times or their intersections, because it helps maintain consistency. I reuse layers or apply masks at the group level when it's feasible. You will always have some mistakes, so good organization will help you avoid working yourself into a corner.

        I thought the other topics were more fundamental to your goals, so I led with them.


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