Manipulation Basics: Illumination and Coloration

When comes to photo manipulation, the basics and most important parts are the illumination and coloration, these are the main things that if you know how to work around it pretty much will assure you of a good result at the end, so open up the photoshop and get ready to learn some tricks. Click on the images for a bigger view, and make sure to visit my behance to check out more of my work. To create a good photo manipulation you have to make sure all the photos that you put together end up looking like one real photo, that’s the beauty of a good photo manipulation, that question that pops on your head; Is that real or no it can’t be real it has to be photoshoped. That’s when you know a good job is done and that’s what we are looking for. Some of the most important things are to keep the same illumination and coloration while mixing up multiple photos, and so I will show a sample of how to do it. Using two photos only to keep it simple, I will show you the techniques I used to blend in this composition. To keep it simple I choose a full body portrait photo and found a photo of a background scenario where I would like to place him. Katanaz Stock Shutter Stock First thing and very important is to select the model and place him into the background photo, and try to size it well according to the object sizes you see at the background photo (I will be writing about sizing and perspective very soon). I used the Magnetic Lasso Tool (L) always using a layer mask so I can fix the little details on the selection, it’s really good if you know how to use the pen tool to make precise selections but if not you can get around using other tools like I do. As you see on the image I placed the model on the background photo and now I am going to work on the illumination and coloration to make this photo look like a really good composition. To start on that I need to figure it out where the light is coming from in both photos, in this case it’s not that bad of a confusion of light because I had that in mind while looking for stock photos, and this is what you should do as well. Once you find or have a main photo that you want to work on you start looking for photos that match the same illumination and somewhere at least close to the same coloration as well. As you see the direction of the light on the model is not a problem to the background because the place where he is has no light, but as you see on the far back background the light looks to be coming from about the same way. But if the model is there and the light is hitting his face it must also hit the background so we are going to start working on that, but to make the colors easier to match since it’s only a two photo manipulation I will desaturate the background (Image>Adjustment>Desaturate) and reduce the saturation (Image>Adjustment>Vibrance | Saturation: - 44) of the model so later I can add on some colors to it. Ok, now I am going to work on applying that same light into the background, to do that I need to get the background a little darker so I duplicate the layer and on the background copy I made it darker using curves (Image>Adjustment>Curves | Output:100 Input:150) Now is the tricky part that will make the light effect, on the background copy create a layer mask and using Gradient Toll (G) | Radial Gradient make a gradient circle on the left side of the background so it looks like the sun is hitting there since the layer under is a lighter than the one on top. You can notice the difference because you creating the image but to make it more noticeable for other eyes we need to make the background layer even lighter that way it will give a better contrast on the light spot I just created. This time I use (Image>Adjustment>Brightness/Contrast | Brightness: 100) Now as you can see we solved the problem of the light direction on both photos but now we have to add the shadow of the model. The shadow is very important, try to follow the same path of where the light is coming from to apply the shadow. Holding ctrl click on the layer mask of the model and on a new layer paint it black, use distort and perspective (Edit>Transform>…) to make the shadow following the light direction and use a little bit of blur give a good look to it (Filter>Blur>Gaussian Blur). Place the layer under the model layer and you should have something like this. Now just set the layer mode to Soft Light and the Fill to 54%. Create a new layer (still under the model layer) and with the Gradient Toll (G) | Radial Gradient make a gradient circle where the feet of the model touch the ground to make a little shadow on that spot as well. Now that I took care of the shadow I need to adjust the light on the model, so I will give more light on the top and less on the bottom. This is what I am going to do, duplicate the model layer and on the top one I will make it brighter by applying (Image>Adjustment>Brightness/Contrast | Brightness: 65) I got a very lighter model now but I only want it to be lighter on the area that the light is hitting, so I go on the layer mask and with the Gradient Tool | Linear Gradient I will use the gradient to cover the body leaving only the part where the light actually hits as you see here. Now to make the bottom darker we could also apply the same technique duplicating the layer, making it darker and using linear gradient to leave only the bottom part showing. But since this time I am going to do it an easier way, holding ctrl I click on the layer mask of the model layer that will give me the selection of the model, now from bottom up using Gradient Tool | Linear Gradient and the color black I am able to make the bottom really black, for a better look I set the Fill of the layer to 80% and the result is right on. Looks like we got a great composition so far, all the lightning is matching and it really looks like one only photo. The final touch on the illumination is done by creating one layer on top of everything and with the Gradient Tool | Radial Gradient make a big circle around the main area using black and set the layer mode to Soft Light and the Opacity to 80%, so it will bring all the attention and focus to the main part of your image which is the model. All the lightning is done and now it’s time to give it some color, this part will be really based on what you really like, it’s my favorite part to work on and I can play around for hours until I get a result that really makes me happy. On this case I am going to keep it simple and nice. First thing I like to do when working on an image that is desaturated is to create a new layer on top of all, and paint it light brown (#c7b299) set the layer mode to Multiply with the Opacity to 80%. Now to give a final touch with the color I create another layer on top of that and add some color, I used a light purple and set the layer to Soft Light and the Opacity to 40% but you can pretty much mix a bunch of colors use some gradient tool and get the result you really want. These are some basic and pretty effective techniques I always use and you can adjust to your style and the way you like to get things going, I hope you guys enjoyed, if you have any questions just leave a comment. Download the .psd Thank you!

30 Spectacular Photo Manipulations by Elena Dudina

Straight from Spain Elena Dudina should be watch closely by everyone that loves to see a good composition. With a style somewhere between fantasy, emotional, and dark, she brings the best of illumination, colors and ideas to make a spectacular Photo Manipulation. For More Visit

Amazing Case Study of "Lost With In"

This is your chance tho check out step by step the newest experience of Richard Roberts, inspired by Salvador Dali he creates a totally surreal mix of photo manipulation and digital painting and the result is amazing. The meaning behind it is basically if you obsess over riches and luxury you can loose yourself as a person. Enjoy! For more visit For a bigger view click on the image final result close ups Did you like this post? How about the Abduzeedo's new Limited Edition Tee "Goddess of Abduction"

Gorgeous Cross Processed Sun Flare Pictures

For me, one of the greatest photography techniques is cross processing. It gives the pictures a great retro feeling that is really gorgeous. Cross Processing itself is the procedure of deliberately processing photographic film in a chemical solution intended for a different type of film. Although working with film is much more awesome, one may reach the effect using Photoshop. The effect was discovered independently by many different photographers often by mistake in the days of C-22 and E-4 . It has been used a lot for fashion advertising and band photography. In more recent years it has become more synonymous with the Lomography movement. Some time ago I had a tutorial teaching how to reach the effect along with a lomography feel. You may check it out at Cross-Processed Lomo Effect - Photoshop Tutorial. Here, I've selected some totally gorgeous cross processed sun flare pictures, that I bet you'll really enjoy. Please, pay all these guys a visit! They're really good. Hope you all like it! Cheers. ;) David Teter daisy sharrock Rikki B Jemma Roe Gail Edwin-Fielding Carl Jones Demafia Erik Clausen nico Klara Karen Omair Haq Craig Thomson rachel pick Inge den Oudsten Liana Garcia Joyce Rico Deasis Tracy Timothy Erickson Daniel Coyne supergelatogirl Sam Milianta Cerys Jones Rafa Torcida

Amazing Photo Manipulations and Vectors by Liquid Pixels

This is the second post from the series about the some cool artists we found online! This one will show the work from Japi Honoo, also known as "liquid pixels". She is an artist that express lots of creativity, female energy and sexuality at her work. She produces photo manipulation and vectors using some creative tools such as photography, drawing, women sensibility and also some spirituality. At Japi Honoo's website you will find further information about her work/bio. "I become the work I create. It is this moment, this sensation of being one with my image, this is the passion roller coaster that I search for as a Art comes to life." Liquid Pixel. Photomanips Vectors

Bizarre Photo Treatment in Photoshop

Last week I was playing with Photoshop, experimenting some photo treatment techniques. Cameron, a friend of mine, showed me one in particular and it really got my atention. The technique used the Lab Color Mode and some other very interesting steps. In this tutorial I will show you this really cool photo treatment using some Image Adjustments and also, we will play with the Liquify Filter to create a crazy effect. Step 1 Open a photo in Photoshop and extract the person from the background using the Pen Tool (P) or the Lasso Tool (L). Step 2 Go to Image>Mode>Lab Color, then go to the Channels Palette (Windows>Channels), choose the Lightness layer and go to Filter>Sharpen>Unsharp Mask. Use 50% for the Amount, 30 pixels for the Radius and 0 for the Threshold Levels. Step 3 Change the image mode back to the original RGB color. Go to Image>Mode>RGB Color. Step 4 Duplicate the guy's layer and go to Filter>Other>High Pass. After that change the Blend Mode to Vivid Light. Step 5 Now go to Layer>New Adjustment Layer>Gradient Map. First select the Reverse option then change the Blend Mode to Soft Light and the Opacity to 50%. Step 6 Go to Layer>New Adjustment Layer>Hue and Saturation, then lower the Saturation to -20. The image was too colorful, that's why we reduced the saturation. Step 7 Now, let's play with the liquify filter. The liquify filter allows us to create some very nice effects: I've used it to create smoke, the mental explosion and now we will use it to create a bizarre character :). Go to Filter>Liquify, then you will have some tools in the left and the settings in the right. Select the Bloat Tool (B) and lower the brush size to 158. Then simply click in the middle of the eye to bloat it. Do that for both eyes (1 and 2). Step 8 Now, select the Forward Warp Tool (W) and make the chin bigger. To do that just click and drag the area you want to move. It's really cool. Step 9 With the Bloat Tool (B) again bloat the hands of the guy. You will have to use a bigger brush for his left hand and a much smaller for the right hand. Step 10 Let's add some blur. Firstly go to Layer>Layer Mask>Reveal All. Then select the Gradient Tool (G) and change the gradient type to Reflected Gradient. Fill the mask with the gradient, just make sure you had for the colors: Black, White and Black. Use the image below for reference. This layer mask will be necessary for the Lens Blur. Step 11 With the mask filled with the gradient go to Filter>Blur>Lens Blur. Change the Source in the Design Map to Layer Mask, the Blur Focal Distance to 40 and select Invert. Also select More Acurate and press OK. The Lens Blur will make the black areas of the layer mask blury while the white parts won't be affected. Conclusion The liquify filter is really cool to create some caricature or super expressive effects, like in this case that we bloated the eyes and hands. Besides that, we used a very cool photo enhancement techinque using the Lab Color mode. This techinque is nice because we can achieve a sort of HDR effect, and playing a little bit I'm sure we can get some results close to what Dave Hill does. Click on the image for full preview Download the PSD File Click here to download the Photoshop file used for this tutorial.

Super Cool Photo Manips by Mariano Villalba

For us here at Abduzeedo, photo manipulation is a true art. When you have liberty to create, you get yourself a real challenge in your hands: to design a cool photo manipulation that others might believe is an actual scene. When people get such challenge, you get to know who's actually good, and who's not. The good ones make you believe what you're seeing... they make it smooth and you just gotta show it to someone else. And that's actually why we're featuring Mariano Villalba today. This guy's photo manips are totally cool. Some are surreal, some macabre... but everyone sets you in a storyline, ant that's the idea. For more of his work, visit his profile at DeviantART. You'll really enjoy it. Hope you like it. Cheers! ;)

Inspiration: Krinsky Menachem

The greatest thing about photo manipulation is that we get to recreate what's inside us, in our minds and heart. You can wonder though places that you could never visit, all in a split second. Menachem is an artist that manages to travel to this imaginary scenarios through his work. I really this kind of work, thoughtful and peaceful. There's not many people out there doing pieces this good. For more pieces, just visit his Flickr photo stream. Hope you all like it. Cheers! ;)

Bored at home with Photoshop: The Tutorial

Last week I posted "Bored at home with Photoshop™" which showed a sped up process of me retouching an image. I was pretty surprised with the results and the simplicity of the effect. With some persuasion by Fabio, I decided to create a tutorial on how I achieved that effect. So without further ado here is the tutorial: O and if you have any questions, post it in the comments.

Bored at home with Photoshop

Well it's been almost 7 months since I posted my last video on here and I have learned a lot of great techniques since then. The "A perfect lie in Adobe Photoshop" was a great start; however, I have learned that the techniques that I had used before may not actually be the proper way. Over the past 7 months I've learned a number of different methods and have experimented countless times. On numerous occasions I had to stop and take a step back and just remember the basics. I learned some pretty cool effects and I think this one is one of my favorites. So without further ado: And here is the final image:

Inspiration: Ishbu - David Waters

David Waters a.k.a Ishbu is still a graphic design student from Idaho, but some of his works show that he already has really impressive skills. You have probably seen some of his pieces on our Daily Inspiration articles, however it's always good to see some more. I am currently studying Graphic Design with the University of Idaho. My time thus far with the University has pushed me into more traditional methods and expressive processes I had never experimented with much before. I am enjoying the life as a student/freelancer and the freedom to work on a wide variety of projects. I hope to soon find an interesting group of creatives that I can work with and help further push my skills as an artist and develop my sensibility of design. For more information visit David Waters website at: Some Works

20 Great Photo Manipulations

Photo manipulations are a great source of inspiration. They are an excellent place for designers to express their creativity in multiple different fields. These images are beautiful collaborations of photography and illustration. This is a guest post, if you would like to contribute with Abduzeedo writing guest articles, just send us an email explaining your idea for the post.

Hulk Eyes Effect - Photoshop Tutorial

Yesterday I watched the Incredible Hulk... and it was a real thrill ride. For those who are into the Marvel's Cross Universe, It was a great movie, probably not as great as Iron Man, but still a great movie. And now I'm gonna teach you how to do the Banner transforming to Hulk eyes. This is the result we must achieve. STEP 1 We start selecting that cool eye picture... if you want both eyes to become Hulk eyes, that's double work. For this tutorial, I'm gonna use only one eye. This is a personal picture. Using the pen tool, select the eye. For those who are not familiar with the pen tool, you can hold and drag the pen to get curves. After doing that, right click inside it and click in "make selection". Go to Select > Modify > Feather > 5. Ok. STEP 2 Don't loose that selection yet. Create a new layer and name it "GREEN", select it and paint inside the previous eyes selection, painting it all with just 1 click. Don't click several times, Just once. Now, invert the selection and delete... it will make our feather effect smoother. Se the GREEN Layer blending mode to Dodge Color. STEP 3 Invert the selection once more, and after doing that, click in the Original pic layer, and click CTRL + C and then CTRL + V. That will make an eye copy... name it "EYE". STEP 4 Now, hold CTRL and click the EYE layer we've made earlier. Go to Create new fill or adjustment layer > Hue/Saturation. For the Hue, use a value proper to your picture... make the eye gamma green. STEP 5 We're going to use the Dodge and Burn tools. Both of them will have the same values. Range: Midtones, Exposure: 30%. Size the brush as you wish. Use these tools to enhance the areas as shown. STEP 6 And the Hulk Eye effect is ready. Now we gotta do that greenish feel to the skin. Make a new layer right above the Original layer, fill it with black, set Blending Mode: Hue, Opacity: 40%. Name it "BLACK HUE". STEP 7 Repeat the same step, but this time, instead of filling this layer with black, use a really dark green. I'm using #030b00 here. Blending Mode: Hue, Opacity: 30%. Name it "GREEN HUE". STEP 8 Now we must sharp the picture a little bit. Select the ORIGINAL layer, and go to Filter > Sharpen > Unsharp Mask. Set the values as shown. Do the same for the EYE layer, but instead of using 5 for Radius, use 3. STEP 9 We also gotta set the mood. If your pictures lacks lighting, this is a important step. Click the ORIGINAL Layer, and select the eyes area. Go to Select > Modify > Feather > 40. Invert the selection and go to Image > Adjustments > Levels > 0,50 (for the middle value). STEP 10 Without losing this selection, create a new layer called "SHADOW" and fill it with black. Set the Blending mode to Overlay, Opacity: 50%. FINAL RESULT And we're done! Now we got the awesome Hulk Eyes effect. I hope I made myself clear, and that all of you got the same effect. Enjoy, and cheers! :) You may download the Sample PSD file HERE.

Cross-Processed Lomo Effect - Photoshop Tutorial

Cross-Processed Lomo Effect - Photoshop Tutorial

I've worked with photography manipulation for over one year, and during that time I've learned some cool techniques that I would like to share with you. Two of my favorite techniques are the Lomography effect and the Cross-Processing effect. Then, someday I thought: how about mixing those two? What I got was a major kickass technique that will make any of your pics pretty awesome. Step 1 For this tutorial, I'm gonna use a personal picture. So this is the original picture. Now create a new fill or adjustment layer > curves. Make a soft curve just like this one. That will work for the brightness and contrast. Step 2 Now create a new layer above all and fill it with black. Blend mode: Hue, Opacity: 40%. Step 3 Ok, now you must merge all layers into one. After that, go to Filter > Sharpen > Unsharp Mark. Set the values like mine. You may use your own Radius value... that's what will make any difference. Now you got a cool sharp looking pic. Step 4 With the Elliptical Marquee Tool make an oval selection on the picture... you may select the main subject of it for a better result. Now invert the selection going to Select > Inverse. Step 5 Go to Select > Modify > Feather. High Resolution pictures may use higher values. For this one, use 20. Step 6 Don't lose the selection. Got to Image > Adjustments > Levels. You may change just the middle value, making it 0,45. It will dark the edges a little bit. Step 7 Now go to Filter > Blur > Lens Blur. You may use these exact values to get the right effect. The only value you may change is the Radius, depending on the effect intensity you might want. And now you got finished the Lomo effect! really love this effect... I use it in most of my pictures. Step 8 Now we're going to add the Cross Processing effect, using nothing but curves. Got to create a new fill or adjustment layer > Curves. First, we're going to adjust the Reds. Make a curve just like mine. Now, the Greens. Make a soft curve just like this. And now, the Blues. This, people, is what will give your picture a vintage, yellowish look. You may adjust it to make a light cross process if you wish. Final Result Done! So here is our final result! And here are the original and final result, side by side. Hope you all enjoy this. Cheers!