Photoshop has been around for the past two decades. It has made its mark on the lives of human beings and revolutionized art like never before. Among the umpteen advantages of the software, photo manipulation is the primary one. When someone says “let’s Photoshop this snap”, they must be referring to the widespread practice of photo manipulation. We see manipulated photos everywhere. These images are found on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and other social medias platforms. Today, it has grown into much more than a hobby or leisure activity.
Photo manipulation techniques aren’t limited to personal use nowadays, but decide the fate of a multitude of industries and businesses. Photo retouching enhances the beauty of natural landscapes, increases the glamour of models and repair those damaged parts of a photograph. Those enticing magazine cover images you adore aren’t real. In other words, even the make-up used by super-models are digital in nature today. Ad makers and magazine photographers can’t afford to overlook the vast potential of image manipulation techniques.
Digital photo retouching comes in many forms. Only specialized hands can work on these techniques and produce those excellent results. However, completing a photo manipulation process with utmost perfection is a tough nut to crack. If you still don’t get it right, do not fret and understand that scope for improvisation is always there. Here are few tips for photo manipulation that could take your attempts to the next level.
Watch out for resolution
Each and every trade has raw materials that are basic building blocks of the final product. Tampering with these raw materials wouldn’t help you in any way. Instead, it will act as a hindrance to the quality of the work and its results. The same is true with photoshop too. Here, pixels act as raw materials and they should be protected from being stretched, squeezed and deformed. As a photoshop enthusiast, you must ensure that your finished product is not blurred or hazy. It is advisable to work at 150-200% the size of the final piece. Afterward, resample it accordingly. Also, it is important to understand the requirements of the medium you are working for. Online Media and printed ones have entirely different criteria. More resolution should be ensured when it comes to Print Media. All printers need a fixed density of pixels in the photograph to deliver a copy that looks attractive. Individual pixels shouldn’t be obvious and smooth color transitions are mandatory to achieve the end. This is essential to grab the eyeballs of readers.
Websites do not demand so much. 300 dpi is the resolution needed for printed platforms, while screen displays require only 72 dpi. This difference is crucial and an artist who caters to these demands can be successful. If you do not pay attention to these basic requirements, the entire effort could go in vain. Nobody would like a final image that is pixilated or deformed. When images are taken from a wide variety of sources, the problem can become worse. It is safe, to begin with, the lowest resolution image and adjust others accordingly.
Pay attention to light and shadows
Suitable lighting and matching shadows are essential for the credibility of a photograph. First of all, a consistent source of lighting should be put in place. Imagine a particular aspect of the image featured in a different lighting. There is no doubt that it would result in a different shadow and make the whole image look odd and artificial. The same happens in movies and television programs where actors are presented in a form of lighting that is clearly deviant from the background. This aspect is often ignored by filmmakers, but the scene looks awful. Take extra-caution to avoid the scenario in photo manipulation. Tackle the menace by identifying the source of light in a scene and ensuring that all surfaces are illuminated or shadowed from the source. Do the same for every light source there. Once you get it right, the task is easy to handle. Remember that photo manipulation tricks in Photoshop are always there to augment your efforts.
Keep an eye on the improper scale
This is one of the most vital tips in photo manipulation. Inflated size of photographs isn’t acceptable as they appear as an eyesore. Improper scale plays spoilsport when it comes to image manipulation. When this happens, the photograph appears weird and shoddy. Therefore, it is essential to ensure that all elements are in proper scale. Those vanishing points and horizon must be identified and elements should be aligned with them. Drawing and sketching have these processes as integral parts, but image manipulation to is not much different.
Stylize a bit
The ultimate aim of photo-manipulation is to create images that are visually appealing and captivating. In order to make the image palatable, easy photo manipulation ideas can be employed. Sticking to the realistic version might not pay off in all situations. Therefore, a little bit of stylization would do the trick. There are instances when unrealistic photographs embellished with dazzling colors and extraordinarily alluring shadows catch the public eye. If this is what works better than drab images with realistic touch, it is advisable to make the most of it. When you think of stylization, Dodge and Burn tools come in handy and yield unprecedented results. These tools allow blending of skin tones, fine-tuning of sharp edges, elimination of ugly wrinkles from clothes and skin. Inspired from traditional darkroom settings, they successfully lighten or darken areas and act as a boon to print medias. The Burnt Wood Creation Kit renders the look of realistic burns. Wood backgrounds and grunge vignette overlays together bring in the effect. You can also opt for HDR Photoshop Action. With the action, a magnificent HDR (High Dynamic Range) effect is just a click away.
Employ custom brushes
The wide variety of brushes offered by Photoshop are the ultimate tools to add fast and lifelike features to an image. While doing it, a greater form of control lies with the user. Although Photoshop has a wide array of efficient brushes, all of them have many limitations when compared to real-life paint brushes. This is where custom brushes assume significance. Custom brushes enable users to come up with brushes suitable for creating particular and peculiar effects. They mimic paintbrushes in the real world. For example, images of metal knives and ancient doors covered in rust could be created. Scratches on surfaces created by these brushes look life-like.
Apply realistic textures
This something most of the professionals offering photo post processing services do unfailingly, with perfection. A realistic sense of detail is brought about through the adequate and clever usage of textures. It is the quickest method to bring the work closer to real life. Textures based on real life can be employed here. It is more convincing to add a texture than paint each and every detail manually. With textures, an image will be high on details and appear credible to viewers.
Get into the action mode
Through the introduction of actions, the overall speed of work can be increased. This is done through automated tasks. Otherwise, these steps may become repetitive and eat into your valuable time. Complex effects are the results of these actions and they appear quickly than manual exercise. This technique can allow you to concentrate on other duties. The Space Effect Photoshop Action is one among those famous actions. It adds cosmic effects to photographs in a simpler manner. The Forge Photoshop Action is another one. You just have to fill the subject with the desired color and select the action. The editing part is easy and promises amazing results.
Buy a graphics tablet
Tablets are extremely useful for photo manipulation tasks. They are known for applications in painting and drawing. 2,048 levels of pressure sensitivity are what a graphics tablet comes out with. By adding sensitivity for speed, barrel rotation, and pen angle, the input device is ready that gives the soap-on-a-rope effect to the mouse. Photoshop Brush Packs benefit a lot from these astounding options. The Acrylic & Gouache Photoshop Brush Kit comes with 27 excellent brushes that live up to traditional styles of art. The pack is recommended for all passionate designers.
Use the transform and warp options
When someone speaks of manipulation, the transformation of an already existing element of the photograph into something different is the focus. The image manipulation software named photoshop has enormous potential. Each technique comes with its own set of pros and cons. Hence, it is important to learn these techniques and achieve expertise in all of them. Basic transformations, custom wraps, liquify and puppet warps assist in changing the basic shapes of images. Transformation tools are used by celebrities and models to look younger, older, thinner, bulky and whatever. Therefore, it has many creative applications. The Liquify filter lets you distort an image and make it look obvious or unnoticeable. Also, it is possible to bring the distorted image back to its original shape. The reconstruction works in dual ways. You can choose to reconstruct the whole picture or selected areas. The Freeze Mask tool is available to stop distorted parts from being reconstructed.
Continue learning & stay passionate
Just like any other activity, practice is the only thing that makes you perfect. Becoming a Photoshop expert in offering quality image manipulation services takes nothing less than sheer hard work and passion. Accompanied by the constant curiosity to master new concepts, the software becomes easy. One of the best tips to stay motivated is to maintain a folder where you can store beautiful artworks done in photoshop. These exciting products of the photo manipulation process would keep the spirit inside you alive. Want more inspiration? Our suggestion is to check out the Cloud action that brings the effect of a cloud. Motion effects can be added too. The Destrukt Photoshop Action is another one that keeps you hooked.