What Photoshop Is Used For Today

We hear a lot about Photoshop being used to make models impossibly thin, or remove every sign of wrinkles from someone’s face. Photoshop is no longer the day-to-day photo adjustment app (that’s Lightroom’s job); but it is an invaluable tool for a certain type of photo related work: masking and compositing.

The image below shows the before and after versions of an image. Clearly the before was shot for graphic design use, as it lacks the foreground element to make it a final image in its own right. However, that’s exactly what’s needed to create the type of commercial image required to advertise this gelato cart business.

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This type of image makes it possible to create business cards, brochures, and websites before the cart is actually available. In fact, the “Photoshopping” of the cart into the scene is not the only digital trickery here; the cart does not actually exist, it is a rendering produced prior to building the cart for final okay of paint color and graphics.

If the final image below leaves you hungering for gelato, and you are looking to hire such a cart for a special occasion in the Miami area, contact mritzer@gelatobarista.com, and inquire about availability. Buon appetito!

GelatoBaristaCartFinal

C. David Tobie

Amusing Signs

There are few ways to get more smiles, or more attention, than images of amusing signs. This can range from intentionally witty ones, to signs with poor grammar, to signs that seem normal in one location, but very odd to those from other places, to unintentional placement of signs. Stock up!

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C. David Tobie

Creating a Numbers Series

Numbers are in constant demand for graphics, articles, blog posts, and even book covers. Take the time to start an interesting numbers series, and remain on the lookout as you shoot, for additions to the series. Interesting numbers shots will be amoungst the most popular of your stock images with writers, graphic designers, illustrators, and bloggers. Consider creating multiple series, depending on colors, or locations of numbers within your images. Include plenty of context, and let the designers crop as desired.

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C. David Tobie

Just Add Life…

As an architectural photographer, it is easy to focus on images of empty buildings and silent streets. Such shots may well serve many purposes best. But it is also important to shoot images containing people. This adds scale, interest and, well… life. The image at the bottom below was recently used to discuss lighting for narrow streetscapes. The image above it is all of that, plus an overflowing helping of life. A wine tasting taking place in the same street a month later offered this opportunity to contrast the empty and the full. Each serves a different purpose, and each would speak to a different image purchaser. Just add life, plus appropriate keywords, et voila!

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C. David Tobie

Capturing Color Relationships

Colors make an image sing. Color relationships make an image harmonize. The image below has a powerful border of teal, from the paint on the wall behind the mirror, which makes a strong warm/cool color relationship with the gold of the mirror frame. But the further relationships of the gold of the mirror frame to the similar gold in the painting frame in the reflection, and the wood tones of the frame relating to the wood in the reflection, tie the layers of the image together.Mirror-1

C. David Tobie

Freeze Motion Shots of Night Fountains

Fountains are designed to please the eye, but they often produce disappointing images when shot during the day. However, many are dramatically lit at night, and are better isolated from their background in the dark.

There are basically two types of fountain shots. One type has a pleasing soft blur from the water motion, which require a long exposure, and thus a tripod; this type of shot is excellent for including both the fountain, and a lot of detail about other elements in the image, such as architecture in the background.  The other type of image is ones that have sharp water detail. Digital cameras have improved to the point that a tripod not actually necessary for the freeze-motion fountain shots; after all, to freeze the water, the shutter speed much be quite fast, making hand-held shooting possible, though multiple shots are a good idea, so that the steadiest shot can be selected.

The shot below is a handheld image of a fountain in Zurich, with lots of very satisfying frozen water detail. The image was actually darkened a bit from the default RAW settings, to reduce the emphasis on the background, and noise in the darks. With the latest DSLRs, there would be even less dark noise, and other processing options opening up the background further would be possible.

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C. David Tobie

On the Look-Out for Color Relationships

Colors can add power and meaning to images. Color relationships are part of these effects. When an entire image is of one object, the color coordination was taken care of by the designer of that object. But when various elements in the real world form unintended color relationships, its a great chance for the photographer to step in, and manipulate color.

In the image below, the red, white, and blue motif of the trolley is a given. But the coincidence of it stopping at a traffic light behind the red and blue scooters was an opportunity not to be missed. The only question was whether there was enough time to pull out an iPhone, open the Photo app, and compose an image before the light changed. Once that was accomplished, a bit of color coordinating in Photoshop, to enhance the relationship between the various reds and blues in the image, completed the process.

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C. David Tobie