Creating a Fine Art Fantasy in Photoshop

by Jim Zuckerman

© Jim Zuckerman
All Rights Reserved
Recently I had given a seminar in Pittsburgh and was about a half mile from the airport to catch my plane home when I spotted this beautiful composition. I stopped on the highway to photograph it, and then when I got home I used some of the enhancement capabilities in Photoshop to make it more of a fine art fantasy. Here's how I did it:

  • First, I softened the image by using Filter > blur > Gaussian blur.

  • Then I pasted the blurred image over the original and lowered the opacity of the floating layer in the layers palette. What you see is a combination of the sharply defined original plus the blurred copy.

  • Next, I used Image > adjustments > hue/saturation to boost the color.

  • Finally, in Image > adjustments > color balance, I shifted the color bias toward blue.
I thought the combination of the reds and yellows with increased blue would be very unique.

More on Jim Zuckerman...

  • Be sure to check out Jim Z's Bio.

  • Jim Zuckerman teaches many excellent online courses here at BetterPhoto, including:
    Creative Techniques in Photoshop and Advanced Creative Techniques in Photoshop.

    About Author / Instructor / Photographer, Jim Zuckerman
    Photography Instructor: Jim ZuckermanFew people are able to spend most of their time pursuing their passion in life. I'm one of them, and I feel blessed to have had a love affair with photography since I began taking pictures.

    In 1970, I decided to abort my intended career as a doctor in favor of photography and have never regretted it. Photography has enriched my life more than I can tell you. My career has taken me to over 60 countries, and I've seen and photographed wondrous things.

    I specialize in wildlife and nature, international travel, and digital effects. In addition, I also shoot nudes, photo- and electron microscopy, children, and other subjects that stimulate my visual or emotional sensibilities.

    For 25 years, I shot a medium format camera, specifically the Mamiya RZ 67, for its superior quality. When I would lecture, Id project the large, glass mounted transparencies, and it was really an incredible experience to see the brilliant color saturation and resolution of these slides. However, I went digital in 2004 because the technology finally equaled or surpassed medium format. I now shoot the Canon 1Ds Mark II digital camera with a variety of lenses.

    I am the author of 12 books on photography. My work is sold in 30 countries around the world, and my images have appeared on scores of magazine and book covers, calendars, posters, national ads, trade ads, brochures, and corporate promotions.

    For many years I've led photography tours to exotic places. These include Papua New Guinea, Thailand, Burma, Greece, The Czech Republic and Slovakia, Spain, Morocco, and Peru.