Nowadays, every graphic designer knows how to use Adobe Photoshop in order to remove blemish from the face of a model, or to hide a few cracks in the wall. However, there is only a handful of designers who know how to fulfill this software’s full potential, and as a mater of fact create an entirely new photographic reality. I take pride in being one.
The secret, in a nut shell, is to stop thinking of the software as a tool, and to start thinking of it as a blank canvas, ready to be painted upon. Instead of using strokes of oil paint, we paint our image out of bits and fragments of photographs, distorting and reshaping them, until they blend together perfectly.
Once you realize you have this ability, you can plan your photo shoot accordingly. For instance, I once wanted a client of mine, who is an environmental adviser, to appear on his brochure while hugging the planet. I couldn’t find a big enough globe in order to do that, and so I used a inflatable exercise ball instead, knowing I can later replace it with a realistic globe.
Here’s a good tip for anyone who wants to improve his or her Photoshop skills – you need to become aware of the way light behaves. Spend some time observing the way light falls on different objects, and the way these objects cast shadows. Later you may implement this behavior in your art, and get a more realistic looking result.
Don’t limit yourself to a few tricks you have picked up from your friends, or from some web tutorial. Allow yourself to experiment with new techniques, and gradually expand your knowledge of the software. The amazing thing about Photoshop is that you can always learn something new about it, even after many years of experience using it.