The bar has been raised so high in terms of excellent photography that to compete with other photographers you have to bring to the table every skill you have. In addition to outstanding composition, finding compelling subjects, and sensitivity to light and color, Photoshop expertise is a must. When pictures don’t turn out perfectly as you pre-conceive them, CS3 can make them perfect – and salable.
Before - No changes
© Jim Zuckerman
All Rights Reserved
I was recently in the Dominican Republic shooting beach scenes for a client. I know this client likes brilliant color, so I was always on the lookout for anything that could add more color to the sand and the water. I came upon this boat that was partially submerged in the sand, and I knew the subject matter worked. However, as you can see in the "Before" image, the background is a mess, the foreground sand has too much organic debris, and the name on the boat had to be eliminated. Usually end users don’t want identifiable names and logos in their pictures for fear of lawsuits.
After ... Photoshop to the rescue!
© Jim Zuckerman
All Rights Reserved
Creating the After image
Using the side of a blue boat I photographed in Ireland last year, I replaced the white side of the submerged craft using the clone tool. I opened both photos on my desktop and cloned from one picture to the other. Then I carefully replaced the background with another shot of the ocean that was devoid of people and boats. I then cleaned up the sand using the healing brush and clone tool, and finally I cut and paste a palm tree into the scene that had been taken on the same beach about two miles away.
To make the shadow, I pasted the palm tree into the scene again, moved it in place with the move tool, filled it with dark gray with Edit > fill, lowered the opacity of this floating layer, and then used a layer mask to eliminate the palm fronds.
In my Creative Techniques in Photoshop course that I teach here at BetterPhoto, I explain how to do these things. Photoshop skills have significantly increased my income.
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About Author / Instructor / Photographer, Jim Zuckerman
Few 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, I’d 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.