Photoshop”Gritty Gangster” Effect

This was one of those times when you see an image and just feel like you have to make something cool with it. I was actually on looking for another image, but stumbled upon this one and was hit with an idea. I have seen this effect in many movie posters and, as you’ll [...]

Grid as Design Element in Photoshop

Excerpted from Photoshop Down & Dirty Tricks for Designers, Volume 1, by Corey Barker I actually saw this effect in a movie poster, but it definitely has a number of uses. Once the base grid is created, you can add just about any image for any purpose. While we’re creating the effect, try to be [...]

The High-Contrast Portrait Look

Lightroom’s Clarity slider increases midtone contrast, and does a pretty nice job of enhancing texture and giving your subjects a gritty look, but if you really want to take it to the next level, jump over to Photoshop and apply this high-contrast, mutli-layer tonal contrast effect. This is a simplified version of a technique I [...]

When Your Subject Is in the Shadows

We all wind up shooting subjects that are backlit (where the light is behind your subject). That’s because our eyes automatically adjust to the situation and we see the subject just fine in our viewfinder. The problem is our cameras aren’t nearly as sophisticated as our eyes are, so you’re almost guaranteed to get some [...]

Balancing Skin Tones with Photoshop

You’re definitely going to run into situations where your subject has a patch of skin, maybe on their arm, or back, or leg, that is either brighter or darker than the surrounding skin. So, we should do a quick retouch to balance those areas before we start any kind of skin softening or smoothing. You [...]

Photoshop Chalkboard Effect

Here’s a pretty easy way to get a chalkboard look in Photoshop (without getting the chalk dust everywhere).

Fixing Group Shots the Easy Way in Photoshop

Group shots are always a challenge because, without a doubt, somebody in the group will be totally hammered (at least, that’s been the experience with my family. You know I’m kidding, right?).

Extracting Soft Edges in Photoshop

By Corey Barker Excerpt from Photoshop Down & Dirty Tricks for Designers, vol. 2 Sometimes getting an accurate selection means going beyond using normal tools and methods and using more experimental techniques. I say experimental because these techniques are worth trying, but are not always effective. They may require some tweaking, depending on the image, [...]

Swapping Out for a Better Sky

By Scott Kelby Excerpt from Photoshop for Lightroom Users This is yet another form of compositing, but it’s kind of “reverse compositing” because, instead of selecting a person or an object and placing it on another background, we’re going to select the background (sky) and replace it with a better one. This is a handy [...]

Geometric Effects

One of our senior graphic designers, Margie Rosenstein, asked me to watch the new season intro for So You Think You Can Dance so I could see the geometric, vector-looking video graphics that were used in it. They combined a da Vinci-style mechanical rendering with a Minority Report-like computerized vector effect that was freakin’ cool. [...]

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