Friday, June 8, 2012

Removing Reality

In this column, I'll share with you a simple technique for removing reality using Photoshop.
By Rick Sammon Published in Quick Fix

Here's the result of that technique. You have to play around a bit to get the desired effect.

The next step is to select a soft brush and white as the foreground color. Paint over all parts of the image except the eyes, eyebrows, nose and mouth. Here's a half-painted screenshot to show you the effect. Reduce the Opacity of the brush when working around areas like the eyes and lips. That way, you'll paint out the details at a slower, more controlled rate, which gives you more creative control over what you're erasing.

If you want to add some color to the eyes or lips, use the Color Replacement tool (nested in the Brush tools on the toolbar). I chose a shade of green and used this tool to color the model's eyes.

For more color fun, try the Bi-Color filter in Nik Software's Color Efex Pro. Here, I selected blue as the top color and red as the bottom color. Experiment. Have fun.

As a final step, I added a back border to my image to make it stand out on a white background. You can do that in Color Efex Pro using Image Borders. There's another option in Photoshop: Select All, Edit > Stroke, and pick a dark color.

As you can see, reality does leave a lot to the imagination—your imagination.

Rick Sammon teaches photography around the world and on his website. Go to

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