If you have been following my work, you know that I believe that Photoshop can be the next realm of creative expression. It doesn't need to be your 'cheat' in photography. In other words, I don't use Photoshop to save a photo. Instead, I use it to perfect a model, to set the mood of the shoot (through color) and sometimes to add a few creative relishes to it. If you saw my 3-days of retouching on creativeLIVE, you saw this in action!
I want to take a moment to show you a real world example of how photoshop can really play an essential roll in setting the tone of a photo. In this example I was shooting a perfume ad, and the fragrance was meant to be soft, dreamy and feminine. I wanted to reflect this in the final image. To create some lensflare effects I shot through a prism on set and held misc items in front of my lens. Yet the image, to me, was flat and didn't scream 'dreamy escapism'. I knew that I would emphasize lensflare in post as a way to set the mood (since it was unrealistic in those lighting conditions to create it in camera).
Here is the dull and unexciting image as it appeared straight out of camera.
The image seemed too 'real' and was not enchanting. Here is what my mind processed that needed to be changed:
- Straighten edge of wall
- Improve image contrast (particularly on the face and use select adjustments to enhance facial features)
- Tiny adjustments to model jawline (using Liquify)
- Change mood/color of image (more magenta and warmer)
- Add lensflare/bokeh effects to create dreamy mood (by using blend modes and layers)
Below is the final image and its dreamy effect.
Although obviously extreme uses of unusual colors and intense lensflare is not usually called for in an image, here it worked exactly how I needed to communicate the brand of this perfume and to appeal to the target audience.