As a photographer, ask yourself this question: how often do you break down a session into those key elements? Our creative path is usually inspired by other images we see, images that evoke the desired adjective of “beautiful” and also conjure the phrase, “I want to shoot something like this too!” You get all the necessary components together and start photographing. But are you replicating what you saw as your inspiration, or are you returning to the basics of beauty—the definition of the word?
Creating a beautiful piece of composite artwork can seem like a monumental task to achieve. All those Photoshop steps and techniques, all the secrets that you don’t know, and the famous phrase, “Oh, I will never be as good as so-and-so.” Well, today is your lucky day, because I’m going to give you the biggest secret of them all.
let’s be honest, In today’s modern world, social media is where we share our lives, and everyone only cares about their own photos. Rarely they will care about another’s photos unless those images have interesting content. If you want to showcase your photography within this overly saturated market, it will be even harder unless it has something special or different, something that makes them ask, “How?”
This article will cover my retouching process exclusively for Adobe Photoshop CC. You can utilize Lightroom or other popular programs like Capture One for some of the retouching, but the major steps will require the use of Photoshop.
Over the next six articles, in order, you’ll learn how to properly manage Lightroom catalogs so you’ll be ready to cull and sort your images while you import. Then, you will learn to Color Correct from the basics to the advanced stuff, leading you to a solid creative edit workflow with Photoshop.
If an image needs heavy composite work to swap a sky or clip out a subject, of course it’s Photoshop to the rescue. But what about the creative editing of tones, color grades, dodge and burn, HDR, sharpening, etc.? Can we really work in Photoshop to prep and go back into Lightroom and get good results?
Adobe Camera Raw is the solution for nondestructive editing from Lightroom to Photoshop using Smart Objects. This is useful for Lightroom to Photoshop, but what about Photoshop actions into Lightroom? Adobe’s recent improvements give us the ability to create Custom Color Profiles in Camera Raw, so we can flex our creativity with Photoshop actions and Custom Color Profiles by exporting Look Up Tables, or LUTs. This is a massive overhaul for Photoshop that makes our Lightroom workflow even more powerful.
To bring a story to life through composite art in Photoshop, I often begin with the existential question: What is speaking to me? This doesn’t always come in the form of a place or location, as it did for Sal that day. The spark of an image can begin with a single emotion, a piece of music, a line from a play.
To build the right post-production workflow, we have to look at what we want to accomplish as an end result and where we can save the most time. As a Lightroom user, I feel like I’ve milked as much efficiency out of this program as I can, but because of the back and forth with Photoshop, I have to create different workflows. Within these workflows, I have to rely on Photoshop Actions to streamline each edit, but what about large batches of images? We’re in wedding season and I’ve got over a thousand images ready to export out of Lightroom!
I began teaching myself how to retouch images with Photoshop version 4.0 (Photoshop CC 2018 is considered version 19). To this day, I still use some of the original processes and tools for retouching. In this article, I discuss the most important step in retouching, then explore the basics of retouching skin, enhancing eye color with blending modes and layer masks, and, finally, problem-solving stray hairs.