3 Simple Steps to a Beautiful Custom Image - part 1 of 1

Published 01/02/2008

With Photoshop, a handful of handy Actions, and a simple workflow, you can create beautiful custom images in 2 minutes or less. Let's see how it's done.

Step one: Capture a decent image. That's the beauty of what we're go-ing to do here - you can transform a good image into a great image with minimal effort. Don't use this as a crutch to bad photography, however, but rather like adding a turbo charger to an already fast car.

Step two: Do your basic colour and tone corrections in a program like Adobe Lightroom™ - it is much faster and more intuitive than doing them in Photoshop. By doing all your corrections in a dedicated work-flow program, you save time, and save Photoshop for the fun stuff.

Step three: Draw the viewer in - lead their eye to the most important subject matter: faces and expressions. There are two basic ways to do this: with lighting and with focus.

To create depth in lighting, we can use tools like Digital Fill Flash and Smokeless Burn from my Kubota ImageTools Artistic Action Pak vol-ume 2. These are the most used tools of the entire collection because of their "every image" usability.

In the finished image, I've used Digital Fill Flash to quickly lighten the face area. After running the action, I just paint where I want more light. Then I used it's soul-mate, Smokeless Burn, to darken the edges - creat-ing more depth and minimizing the distracting details.

Next, I used the Edge Blur action (also from Artistic Vol. 2) to quickly soften the edges, further drawing the viewer to the main attraction - the beautiful expressions! Lastly, I added the Anime Bold action (from Artis-tic Vol. 3) and reduced it to 45%, for the colour punch and subtle skin softening.

Voila! After a few simple steps, we've made a marked improvement in the impact of the image, and that's what it's all about: impact and first impressions. Warning: once you start "tweaking" your images like this, you'll be spoiled and never want to sell a "normal" image again! Your clients will get spoiled too, and never want to buy images from any other photographer again! I guess that's a good problem to have.

Finally, it was a great pleasure to meet so many of you at the SWPP & BPPA London you all took away something useful and positive from my Masterclasses...all our team really appreciated the feedback.

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1st Published 01/02/2008
last update 09/12/2022 14:50:38

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