One of the great joys of Photoshop is the ability it gives you to take a person from one scene and put them somewhere entirely different. This enables you to make fantastical composite images. But while it’s a fairly simple matter to cut someone out and drop them on a different background, it’s slightly trickier to make the scene look convincing.
Success depends on two main factors. First, photograph the images that make up your composite under similar lighting conditions. Our books were lit from the left to emphasise their shape and texture. The girl was also lit from the left and the camera was positioned above her to mimic the perspective of the book scene.
Stripping away detail from images so that you’re left with pure black and white is a great way to add a pop art feel to your shots and will quickly become one of your favourite Photoshop effects to use. If you then duplicate the image for repetitive effect and introduce blocks of bright colour, you’ll create dazzling images that’ll look great on any wall or even a T-shirt.
To get our desired Photoshop effects, we’re going to show you how to strip away all the midtones using the Photoshop Stamp filter, so you’re left with just a black and white shape. After cleaning up distracting blobs from the tarmac background, we’ll duplicate the shot four times and render each version in a different colour for a cool graphic art look.
Do you often find leaning buildings in your architectural photos? This is called barrel distortion.
The most likely cause of barrel distortion is shooting a building from too close a distance. When shooting too close, you’ll need to zoom out to a wide-angle focal length, which can result in noticeable barrel distortion, making the top, bottom and sides of a building appear to bow outwards. For those instances when you just can’t shoot it any other way, here is how you can correct distortion on the computer using Photoshop.
Panoramic photos are a great way to showcase sweeping landscapes. By shooting a series of overlapping images and combining them on your computer, you can take in a much wider angle of view. This technique also means you don’t need an expensive wide-angle lens – your 18-55mm standard lens is fine.
This photo stitching technique is much better than taking a wide-angle shot and simply cropping it because it produces a picture with a much higher resolution. Stitching photos together in this way might sound complicated, but it’s not. All you need is a tripod and Photoshop Elements or higher. We’ve used Elements because it has a Photomerge Panorama tool that makes stitching photos really easy.
When it comes to taking photos (or trying to top up your tan) the weather inevitably will let you down, even when you’re shooting in an exotic holiday destination. This can be especially annoying if you’re trying to capture white sands, bright blue seas and clear blue skies.
But thanks to one of our favourite Photoshop tricks, we can select our start image’s drab overcast sky and use the Photoshop selection tools to replace it with a more brochure-like graduated blue. On its own, the Photoshop Magic Wand tool can select most of the picture’s original sky, even if it contains a mixture of greyscale clouds and patches of blue.
Red eye has long been the bane of photographers. How many times have we photographed our friends and family in a variety of social scenarios, and the flash photography leaves our pictures of people looking like demons!
Red-eye occurs when your camera uses a burst of flash to capture a decent exposure. In low-light conditions our pupils open wide so that we can see more clearly. This means that a sudden influx of light from the camera will illuminate the eyes’ interior, bouncing off the blood vessels on our retinas – and adding a sinister red glow to our subject’s eyes.
Watch Practical Photoshop’s video review of the latest update to the popular consumer-level image editor
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