Shop Forum More Submit  Join Login
Some advice when creating photo manipulations:

Add grain.
Much too often when you've over processed a picture, perhaps by using the smudge or stamp tool, you end up losing some of the grain that was originally in the picture, thus creating a softer less realistic looking picture. I never used the stamp tool over a 10 pixel radius, and I hardly ever use the smudge tool under 100%

Why more realistic?
The purpose of photmanipulation is to create realistic images beyond traditional photgraphy, when you overprocess a photo and end up making it look too smooth or too perfect is might as well have been painted or drawn.

Why must it be beyond traditional photography?
Traditional photographers spend hours adjusting color or burning negatives to accomplish the same task that we with our computers can do in minutes. Out of respect we must shoot for higher purposes simply because to not do so is to take the lazy way out.

Start with hard masking
Photomanipulation is in essense, lazy art. So using lazy art to make lazy images is an insult to traditional photographers. Plenty would be photmanipulators out there opt for the easy task of magic wanding out elements that need to be masked in order to combine photos. Softly blended edges and bad color matching are a tell tale sign of lazy masking. Do yourself a favor and go in there 300-500% and mask it out with the eraser at 75-100% it's not as hard as it seems. And more worth the time.

Finally, if only you knew
A true tell tale sign of good photo manipulation is when people don't notice. Think of it as if it were high budget hollywood special effects, on a smaller scale. Much smaller. If the special effects artists didn't do their job, didn't make it believable, the effect wouldn't pass. But the best special effects in movies so far are the ones that ENHANCE the scene, not create it. Just remeber that when you do something right, it looks like you did nothing at all.
Add a Comment:
 
:iconkedralynn:
kedralynn Featured By Owner Aug 5, 2004  Hobbyist Photographer
I do that hard masking thing all the time. It takes a very long time to do, but I think it's worth it.

*takes notes on the rest of the journal entry and on the comments* :D
Reply
:iconmontyoum:
montyoum Featured By Owner Aug 5, 2004  Professional Filmographer
yeah, I still am looking for a beter method, buts this is still the best.

helpful tips, if you don't know them already...

use the shift key when quick masking/erasing around the edge of the photo using the "connect the dots" method around the edge of it.

use the space bar to manage the canvas and move arouind

enlarge the object and then resized it back down after you done masking it.

Iwish there were faster ways, but so far the standaard way offers the most control
Reply
:iconkedralynn:
kedralynn Featured By Owner Aug 5, 2004  Hobbyist Photographer
Hmm I hope I didn't just double post... DA is flipping out on me :(
Reply
:iconkedralynn:
kedralynn Featured By Owner Aug 5, 2004  Hobbyist Photographer
Thanks :)

I wish there was a faster way too. But quailty usually can't be done quickly.

I'm reminded of an older Dell Taco commercial where the guy talks about slow cooking the beans. Nothing like slow cooked. I think it makes it better... I wouldn't really know, I don't like beans...
Reply
:iconmontyoum:
montyoum Featured By Owner Aug 5, 2004  Professional Filmographer
dell taco?..

oh yeah, those are on the west coast. Damn I miss california
Reply
:iconkedralynn:
kedralynn Featured By Owner Aug 5, 2004  Hobbyist Photographer
They may not have them on the east coast. It's a mix between Taco Bell tacos and a real mexican taco. They use real meat and stuff... or something. I don't eat there.

Anyway on the commerical, some guy just sits there and says "Slow cookin' the beans. Just slow cookin' the beans." And then they were happy... Commercials are weird aren't they?

Have you seen the Dell commercial with the goth and the prep? That's my new fave commercial :)

Talk about a subject change huh? I went from photo manipulation, to tacos and now commercials.
Reply
:iconmontyoum:
montyoum Featured By Owner Aug 5, 2004  Professional Filmographer
commercials commercials... hmmm...

I don't think I watch tv anymore... funny it hadn't occured to me, weird.
Reply
:iconblameshiori:
blameshiori Featured By Owner Aug 5, 2004
Sure, making things from scratch takes talent, but I think just as much talent is used in taking already completed parts and forming them together in your mind and placing it correctly on screen. From scratch, you can do what you want. From pieces, you can only make it as close as you could. But the thing is, if you could take pieces and do what you want with it, that's real skill.

I'd say that's an art itself as well.
Reply
:iconmontyoum:
montyoum Featured By Owner Aug 5, 2004  Professional Filmographer
That's true too. I do aim very high, but someday I hope to be one those artist much like the zen masters and philosopohers who can manage to paint a scene with two strokes of a brush. I am young and vain, I care mostly about sexy complicated images that impress me technically. When I grow up I hope I can be as wise and diligent as some of those master I've read about. Right now it's alright to live the art I create and not be so caught up with tradition. But it's also alright to respect it. I know it sounds like self loathing when I talk about how it's a lazy art. But that sort of mentality is necessary for growth. Someday I want to make impossible images so undeniably real that people will question reality itself.
Reply
:iconaleks-kun:
Aleks-kun Featured By Owner Aug 4, 2004  Hobbyist Photographer
great hints...
i read the journal and your comments with great interest.
thanks a lot for sharing! and good to see you more talkative my friend :D

I will follow your journal with great interest (as I always do with your stuff :nod:)
Reply
:iconmontyoum:
montyoum Featured By Owner Aug 4, 2004  Professional Filmographer
I guess it's easier to respond to questions when they have some ligitimate purpose even when spoken idly.

I suppose it's not in my best interests to be giving away all my secrets, but I've been rather frustrated looking at the more popular "photomanips out there." Especially when someone takes some other person particular stock art, covers them in cuts and bruises and gets 100 favs.
Reply
:iconaleks-kun:
Aleks-kun Featured By Owner Aug 4, 2004  Hobbyist Photographer
all about community....
or better: to get acceptance - :+fav: other stuff....
that's what da is abut i guess, but it is a story so often told, that noone really cares anymore.
to know people here on da who do their thing with passion is much more appealing for me than getting popular.

and true for your comment style. what to respond to something like 'hehe' or 'amazing' anyway... :?
Reply
:iconborrowtheworld:
BorrowTheWorld Featured By Owner Aug 3, 2004
those are good tips. Id quite like to get more into photo manip, but have no idea where to start, that at least gives me something to work with
Reply
:iconmontyoum:
montyoum Featured By Owner Aug 3, 2004  Professional Filmographer
Oh one more thing, I'm not a patient person despite what people say. So in regards to photoshop I know about 95% of the hotkeys that make things faster. When it comes to routine tasks, I almost never touch the mouse at all.

One thing to make it easier when "going in there +300%" is to pick an imaginary point along the objects edge and follow it by finding the next straight line along the edge, click there, hold down the shift key and click on the next point. Sorta like connect the dots with and eraser.

Ask me anything else if you want more advice. I'm all eyes.
Reply
:iconborrowtheworld:
BorrowTheWorld Featured By Owner Aug 6, 2004
squee! You're a star. Once I get home I shall be playing away!
Reply
:iconmontyoum:
montyoum Featured By Owner Aug 3, 2004  Professional Filmographer
hmmm, where to start?

Well, I started photo manipulation with putting butterfly wings on my girlfriend [link]

I quickly first had to decide where the light was cmoing from to keep it consistent. So for her to be sitting on that flower, I had to pick one where the shadows were consistent with the direction of light that was cast on her.

The matter of making it believable was, like I said, going in there +300% and using a hard eraser to get rid of the edges in order to combine photos. At the time though, I wasn't so determined so I'm certain I used erasers of 25-50% hardness to mask out the floor she was sitting on.

A year went on with me thinking that I could work with any picture really and manipulate the light in order to match lighting consistency.

About 500 pictures later that I couldn't use (due to lighting constraints giving me the harsh problem of lack of a background) I realized the to have pictures of combined elements I would be wiser to do myself the favor and give myself lighting that I can work with.

It was about just before this submission [link] that I really started to utilize lighting directly. Taking both the pictures of her and ther car in the exact same situation.

My second to most recent work tho is a testament to not truly having to limit yourself entirely. The original was not taken by me [link] but with some vigilance I managed to match most of it properly. The details of this picture I speak of somewhere on this page I'm sure, but one thing I haven't mentioned was what started it.

I had just seen spiderman and liked the way Doctor octopus' tentacles segments reflected light. So the inanimate star of this picture are the watchbands and lamps that are binging her.

phew...

some advice beyond lighting is something in the way of discipline.

When I say you never know, I mean it. Looking at this WIP [link] you'll understand that Moving bodyparts and might be something the way of "Frankensteining peices together, but If I hadn't sucked it up and started cutting her up and peicing her back together, the picture never would have been made. Mostly because I don't have the luxury of reshooting did I have to be good at making it right to match my mind's eye.

Speaking of mind's eye, that should be who you finally trust, with some regard to advice and influence, always trust youself and make it YOUR picture.

:)
Reply
:iconroleychiu:
roleychiu Featured By Owner Aug 3, 2004
hallelujah brotha
Reply
:iconmontyoum:
montyoum Featured By Owner Aug 3, 2004  Professional Filmographer
photo manip is and "ends justifies the means" kinda art. Real talent should rightfully be more respected.
Reply
Add a Comment:
 
×

:iconmontyoum: More from montyoum



More from DeviantArt



Details

Submitted on
August 3, 2004
Link
Thumb

Stats

Views
506
Favourites
0
Comments
18